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DEBUT ALBUM ‘SANTHOSAM’ TO BE RELEASED ON OCT 20TH
VIA WARNER RECORDS – PRE-SAVE / PRE-ORDER HERE
FEATURING THE NEW SINGLE ‘VACATION’ – LISTEN HERE WATCH HERE
The rising Tamil-Swiss artist Priya Ragu is set to release her long-awaited debut album ‘SANTHOSAM’ on October 20th via Warner Records. The album is launched alongside the new single ‘Vacation’, which has just premiered on Radio 1 as Jack Saunders’ Hottest Record. ‘SANTHOSAM’ is set to amplify Priya’s ascent, which took flight with the huge reaction that greeted her vibrant mixtape ‘damnshestamil’. The mixtape led to a flurry of achievements for Priya, including a BBC Sound Poll nomination; breaking artist accolades from MTV, Amazon Music, Spotify, VEVO and Deezer; ongoing support from Radio 1; and a show-stealing TV debut on ‘Later… with Jools Holland’.
‘SANTHOSAM’ (the Tamil word for ‘happiness’) is a standout dynamic album which takes her raguwavy sound – simmering R&B, masterful pop hooks, earthy soulful vocals, dance beats, and the warm tabla rhythms, and spiralling melodics of Tamil music – to even more adventurous heights. Defined by Priya’s contagiously positive spirit, it pulsates with gorgeously varied musical textures and urgent political themes. Once again crafted in collaboration with her brother and producer Japhna Gold, it’s an album that originates from Priya’s quest for self-discovery.
Priya says, “The album is my story of finding happiness. It helped me find my purpose in life. Maybe it will help others, too.”
The new single ‘Vacation’ is indicative of both the album’s uplifting sonic flair and its inner theme of connecting with yourself. Its sun-kissed pool-side sway and sumptuously sweet vocal harmonies feels like an escape from the daily working grind, a sound that complements lyrics about acknowledging the dangers of burnout and becoming overwhelmed by the pressures of expectations.
Priya adds, “That song came about while we were touring and writing at the same time. We just reached a limit. We were exhausted from all of the travelling, creating and never really being home, so we booked a flight to India. But it’s not just about being a pop star or being creative. Even when I had my office job, I was lost in that. That song is a reminder of how important it is to give yourself a break, to step back, let loose and allow yourself to recharge your batteries.”
‘SANTHOSAM’ opens with ‘Ammama’s Note’, which features a voice recording in which Priya’s grandmothers is questioning why she isn’t married. Like many young South Asian women, Priya felt like she wanted to achieve much more before she settled down, regardless of other people’s preconceptions of what direction her life should take. That ability to write one’s own destiny continues on the euphoric ‘School Me Like That’, set to a rumbling tambla beat and breezy synths. More universal issues are explored in the blazing anger of ‘Black Goose’, which was written in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests, and ‘Let Me Breathe (Reprise)’, a spiritual call for freedom, emancipation and peace.
Elsewhere, the record brims with highlight-after-highlight, taking in everything from the dancefloor disco energy of ‘One Way Ticket’ to ‘Power’ which features a rousing string arrangement that was written by Indian composer Bala and recorded with an orchestra in Budapest. It closes with ‘Mani Osai’, a song which continues a yearly family tradition in which Priya, Japhna and their father write a song together. Never intended to be a Priya Ragu track, it nonetheless felt like the perfect way to close the album – especially as the concluding “santhosam” chant conveys the meaning of the word with life-affirming zest.
Also featuring two previously released tracks in the shape of ‘Easy’ and ‘Adalam Va!’, ‘SANTHOSAM’ is now available to pre-order or pre-save HERE. In addition to its digital release, it will also be available on CD, vinyl and a white vinyl which is available exclusively via select UK independent stores.
Expect news regarding Priya’s live shows in support of ‘SANTHOSAM’ to be announced soon. Her previous live highlights include headlining a sold-out Electric Brixton, several shows as special guest to Jungle, sold out headline shows in New York and LA, and festival dates stretching everywhere from SXSW to Primavera to the Montreux Jazz Festival.
School Me Like That
One Way Ticket
Hit The Bucket
Let Me Breathe
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