India, February 2020: With a new decade on the horizon, the Grammy-nominated Indian American singer & songwriter, Raja Kumari, has announced her brand-new track and video “Bindis & Bangles” releasing today, 14th Feb and will be available across all streaming platforms.
Bindis and Bangles is an ode to the traditions of the past and the technologies of the future, all while shining a spotlight on India’s rich and unique culture. With this track, Kumari delicately drives home an apropos message of how God is omnipresent; and spiritual realization in modern times isn’t a fallacy and can be attained without the trappings of technology.
The intrepid and empowering video directed by The Fictionary, with its’ striking imagery, was created and curated by an all-female team in collaboration with the New York-based cyberpunk-artist Sam Madhu, who also directed visuals for “Karma” from Kumari’s 2019 EP, BLOODLINE. With retro-futurism at its core, the video comes to life with fictional characters from the ancient Indian world such as palanquin bearers, dancers and sages who are equipped with tools of the future, such as virtual reality and holograms. In the video, Kumari is portrayed as an ethereal apparition who glitches into reality and is perceived as a Goddess from another dimension. As they worship her, they in turn relinquish technology and awaken their own third eyes– visually represented in the form of complex digital interfaces.
Reflecting on the track, Kumari states, “Bindis and Bangles is my most ambitious project, working with an all-female team was empowering and inspiring. The Bindi for me is the third eye, and the visual encourages all to keep their third eye open. I’m so excited to share this song with all my fans.”
Produced by Zero, who is of American origin, the track is co-written by India’s premier hip-hop star and Kumari’s long-standing co-collaborator, DIVINE, and packs a passionate and powerful punch, loaded with robust rhymes and ferocious delivery over a nuanced beat with international reverberations. Armed with a compelling groove and spirited lyrics, the track sets the perfect exemplar of a vision of India’s future – inspired by its’ past.
With a maiden headlining North American tour and the release of her documentary “Raja Kumari: So Far” which spotlighted the importance of embracing one’s uniqueness by narrating her resilient story of empowerment as a woman of colour, 2019 marked many firsts for Kumari. She became the first Indian artist to host the American Music Awards Red Carpet and to perform at Formula One (F1) Singapore Grand Prix. With an album and tour in the works, we’ll hear more from the MTV Hustle judge in the near future. Stay tuned!