ASHWARYA, superstar in the making, shares second single BIRYANI
The single was initially shared as a demo earlier this year, but now has had a full revamp, and is really something special.
Header image by Byron Spencer.
Just a few months back, we got a glimpse into the future via ASHWARYA, the 21-year-old Indian-born, Melbourne-based musician who at the time, was sharing her debut single PSYCHO HOLE. It was a single worthy of causing a ruckus about; a snapshot of what's to come from the future of Australia's pop space as she carved together a distinct sound plucked from influences spanning Tyler The Creator through to the traditional Indian music she grew up through.
"From the get-go, PSYCHO HOLE feels like a dystopian introduction to someone we've never come across before, with a spiralling production and certain abrasiveness being at the core of the single's warping and incredibly unique feel," we said on its release a few months back, which also launched a new forward-thinking pop label in NOiZE Recordings, run by Australian producer Jarrad Rogers (Diplo, Charli XCX, Mark Ronson). "Aside from that, however, PSYCHO HOLE is near-impossible to describe accurately. It's a dark and brooding take of pop music that feels just as aligned in hip-hop and electronica; part-Bille Eilish's runaway success Bad Guy, but if it were remixed by someone like Tyler, The Creator with a Yeezus-esque rush running underneath it.
"In saying that, PSYCHO HOLE is distinctly ASHWARYA, judging from her first peak. There are elements of traditional Indian music and the Bollywood-esque drama in PSYCHO HOLE's foundation that really set it apart from the rest, and when a time where Australia's pop circuit feels so saturated that it's hard to imagine someone new joining the ranks, ASHWARYA does exactly what she needs to do - stand out from the crowd."
Now, backed up with her second single BIRYANI two months later, what we've said about ASHWARYA above feels only more true. Comparative to PSYCHO HOLE, BIRYANI fits perfectly into the ASHWARYA canon thanks to its combination of foward-thinking pop prowess mixed with influences plucked from her background, fusing elements of pop, hip-hop and electronica with bhangra drumming and glittering melodies that give nods to her culture. It's unlike anything else you could hear - only ASHWARYA could make this, and that's what makes it so special.
In a way, it's also an opportunity to show how ASHWARYA has grown and refined herself, even in the space of just six months. Initially, the song's demo was released onto triple j Unearthed prior to PSYCHO HOLE's arrival - a snapshot of what's to come, in a way. Now, with its fully-realised vision released for the first time, you can feel how ASHWARYA has grown and extended herself since the demo's arrival; the final version being more slick, polished, fun and just a touch more reflective of someone who is bound to be synonymous with pop's experimental, left-field future.
It also arrives with an official video which you can take a leap into below, recorded in isolation alongside Emile Frederick, as she explains to Complex: "We were and are still in a pretty major lockdown in Melbourne so I ended up shooting it in my garage, inside of a 55-gallon barrel where I performed to a 360 GoPro, no crews," she explains. "My dad helped me pump the paint until it eventually drowned me. It was as DIY as it gets in terms of set up. Looking back on it though, it was such a sick experience, but I'm not going to lie: I was slightly traumatised by it."
Hopefully ASHWARYA thinks its worth it through, because BIRYANI really makes it two from two for the rising musician, and to have the creativity to give such thought-out and dynamic visuals in the middle of coronavirus isolation is really just reflective of how forward-thinking and smart she seems. Take a dive into it below:
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