Hello! Fashion Magazine speaks with Tamil-Swiss musician Priya Ragu, who spent years honing her talent before establishing herself within the music industry with super-charged speed.
Last year she released debut single Good Love 2.0, a homage to her parent’s “love marriage”. And her single, Lockdown, referencing her desire for human contact during the pandemic, made it onto the Hottest Record on Radio 1’s Future Sounds and spent five weeks on the station’s playlist. And her new single Illuminous, is released on 2 March.
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Watch Priya Ragu on her Hello! Fashion cover shoot
“In 2021 one thing after the other happened. I think it must have been a force bigger than who I am, like there were higher gods working. Because, for me, it still feels insane that everything worked out so nicely.” Priya, who grew up in the Swiss city of St Gallen after her parents had fled Sri Lanka during the civil war of the 70s, was surrounded by music from a young age. Her father would arrange regular jamming sessions with family and friends where they would sing Kollywood songs. And then when he put together a Tamil band she became the singer.
Priya Ragu wears Kate Spade suit and jewellery on the cover of Hello! Fashion
However, her parents were strict and would not allow her to perform western songs on stage. “They thought there was no future in it. I understand, they came to a new country, didn’t speak the language and had to build up everything from zero. So then for their children to say, ‘Hey, I want to become a pop star!’ it just doesn’t seem realistic in a way.” Then in 2017, Priya decided to pursue her dream of becoming a musician.
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Priya Ragu wears Roksanda jumper, Kate Spade jeans, Christian Louboutin sandals
She quit her job at Swiss Air Lines and moved to America for six months with the goal of writing ten songs. And her friend, rapper Oddisee, lent her his Brooklyn studio while he was away on tour. Priya worked remotely with her brother Japhna Gold, now a successful music producer and Priya’s producer and co-writer, who was back in Switzerland. They would send voice memos back and forth on WhatsApp. “It was the right time, stories came and I would... spit them out.” Most of the songs made it onto Damnshestamil, her debut mixtape released in September 2021.
Priya Ragu wears Kate Spade dress, Vivetta jumpsuit and Christian Louboutin sandals
Since, she has completed her European headline tour and had a sell-out show at the Jazz Cafe in London. This summer, she will do the festival circuit. “I have some cool festivals coming up. One that I’m looking forward to is Primavera Sound in Barcelona. I always wanted to go to that festival just to be in the audience. But this time, I can be on-stage.”
Read the full interview in the new April-May issue of Hello! Fashion out now….
Shop the shoot
Here's where to buy Priya's key pieces from the April-May issue of HELLO! Fashion:
Floral Garden Twill Blazer, £375, and matching pants, £225, both Kate Spade
Stay Connected Drop Earrings, £85, Kate Spade
Infinite Spade Bangle, £75, Kate Spade
New Bloom Statement Ring, £95, Kate Spade
Indigo Denim Button Front Dress, £295, Kate Spade
Stay Connected Necklace, £160, Kate Spade
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