Today GRAMMY nominated rapper and singer-songwriter Raja Kumari unveiled her brand-new single titled “Firestarter”. released via Mass Appeal India in partnership with leading American record label Capitol Records. The premier follows hot on the heels of her participation in the Amy Winehouse Live Stream Benefit.
The Indo-American music trailblazer who has a knack for assembling star-studded, surefire gems in her productions ensures her that her spanking new release is no exception to the list. “Firestarter” is produced by the Indian film industry’s front-running music director Aditya Dev. The record mixes trap beats with Indian classical music, continuing Raja’s mission to trail blaze a musical connection between the East and the West. The “Firestarter” video is directed by MTV VMA 2020 titleholder Michael Garcia.
Tonight the multi-platinum artist also performs a tribute in memory of late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, paying homage to the Grammy-winning music legend on the 10th anniversary of her passing. Titled “Back To Amy’” the concert will emanate at 8pm ET from City Winery Nashville, the site of a new physical exhibit dedicated to Winehouse, and is a collaboration between MusiCares® Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Recording Academy, and the Amy Winehouse Foundation. The show will include performances, recordings from around the globe and spoken-word dispatches from other musicians. Livestream tickets available HERE.
Born in California to Indian parents who emigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s, Kumari (real name: Svetha Rao) has been on a relentless mission is to create art that blends her Indian roots with her American upbringing, with standout tracks that fuse the rhythms she absorbed as a trained classical Indian dancer with her passion for hip-hop.
A follow-up to her well-received recent singles “US” and “Rani Cypher”, the multi-platinum hip hop mogul whose moniker implies ‘Daughter Of The King’, unapologetically reclaims the throne. Recorded in the thick of the pandemic, ‘Firestarter’ reinforces how Kumari has galvanized popular music by belting grandiose vocal runs of self-love, inclusivity, and gender equality. Kumari’s unswerving alchemy has earned her a plum position as a powerful female voice in the modern hip-hop landscape, and ‘Firestarter’ reminds us that she’s conquering regardless of those who try to censor her artistry.
Pivoted on the theme of renaissance and rebirth, the record combines hip-hop heavyweight’s sharp hip hop sensibilities with her dope fashion aesthetics. She brings a freewheeling playfulness to ‘Firestarter’ with her cosmopolitan edge and strikes an alluring balance between her desi and global avatar, effortlessly elevating the track to top-tier status. ‘I ain’t afraid I’m only living for today,’ Kumari spits bars with her trademark forward-thinking spirit of a disruptor attitude. ‘There is no other can’t replace me cuz I’m bossy.’ Evoking an auditory whiplash, this bona fide monster of a track with its’ glitzy cocktail of silken vocals, slick verses, bone-rattling riffs and steely rap also throws into the mix a South Asian-infused hook ‘dhinak dhinak dhin dhinak dhinak dhin’ that is an instant ear-worm.
Speaking about her new release Raja Kumari expands, “After the last 16 months that we spent in the pandemic it was important for me to put out something that represented what I was going through. I just love how universal the record is and how it’s for everyone. The song represents being reborn and rising from the ashes like a phoenix and the need to constantly reinvent yourself and not being fearful about it. This is my 25th music video and I have accepted now that it’s my job to make these visual pieces of musical art. It’s been almost two years since I’ve been on the set, specifically for my own independent music video, where it’s about the fashion and the production. This is the first time that I didn’t take the whole creation process too seriously as I wanted it to be fun and free flowing.”
An enthusiastic Michael Garcia, who’s been credited for his work with artistes like Machine Gun Kelly, Ty Dolla $ign, Fetty Wap and Jack Harlow says, “Raja’s one of the most amazing artists I have ever had the chance to lens. She was fearless in every set up and wanted to be involved with the concept from start to finish. Such a pleasure and so dedicated.”
Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO, UMG, India & South Asia states, “At Mass Appeal India, our constant endeavor is to push the boundaries of our brand of global hip-hop and no one quite does it like Raja Kumari. Her sound, her vibe and her words are unique and that makes her an amazing artist with massive mainstream crossover potential. It starts with ‘Firestarter’ now and we couldn’t be more excited!”
The music video matches the fusion style of Kumari’s song: Garcia and Kumari blend both Indian and hip-hop culture to create an eye-catching artistic video.