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Raja Kumari brings the heat with her latest single

‘Firestarter’ is a rebirth for the Queen of Desi Hip Hop

LiFTED | Roger Yiu | 4 Aug 2021

Raja Kumari is the trailblazing queen in the Desi Hip Hop scene. The Indian-American rapper has been on a roll since her Grammy nomination in 2015 [as singer and co-writer for Iggy Azalea’s ‘Change Your Life’] and has been on a mission to put Desi Rap on the international map ever since. Her latest single ‘Firestarter’ continues this journey in fine style.

In her typically evocative and provocative style, Kumari leads ‘Firestarter’ with soulful, sexy vocals and a fierce rap over a seductive Carnatic-inspired beat. As a successful pop writer, Raja understands hooks, and in this case the production shares top billing with a synthesized lead shehnai horn and her own hypnotic vocal chanting. With a humming bass and pounding RnB groove, ‘Firestarter’ has everything we love best about Asian Hip Hop - a catchy Eastern-inspired chorus, boastful, saucy verses, and a throbbing dance groove seasoned with unique cultural references.

Directed by MTV video award winner Michael Garcia, ‘Firestarter’ showcases the queen in a smokey back alley with pulsating purple and red lights, moving with a rainbow coalition of attractive dancers. Raja, an Indian classical dancer herself, manifests confidence and charm as she blends and bends cultural dance references to the sultry track. Ever-emphasizing her East-West identity, Raja goes through several changes in the music video, all inspired by her Indian roots and Hip Hop sensibilities.

She recently took to social media to explain her inspiration for ‘Firestarter,’ stating that this track is the rebirth of her career after a long pandemic year, and she hopes the fun, free-flowing track can lift everyone’s spirits.

Check out Raja Kumari’s ‘Firestarter’ below.