Raja Kumari Drops New Album “The Bridge” Under Godmother Records

Photo Courtesy of Sundari PR

Interviewed & Written by: Bernadette

If there was such a thing as life coaching through lyrics, motivational speaking through melodies or just music in general being a superpower, Raja Kumari’s first full-length album The Bridge is just that. The beloved top female Indian-American rapper recently released her new album featuring nine songs. Each & every track being as empowering, fierce, and charming as the Grammy-nominated songwriter herself.

The Bridge Tracklist:

  1. Born To Win
  2. No Nazar
  3. Babylon
  4. Juice
  5. Colors
  6. Love Sick
  7. LA India (interlude)
  8. Gods
  9. Fearless


Raja Kumari is a unique talent paving the way for the next generation of artists as she continues to revolutionize the conventional standards for rappers within the game. At this year’s Walkers & Co. Tour in India, Kumari performed with John Legend to which he mentioned, “Raja is so smart and talented, and she’s so connected to both her Indian heritage and the music scene in the U.S.” Kumari has also opened for many revered artists such as Common, Black Eyed Peas and Wiz Khalifa. On top of breaking boundaries, Raja Kumari has the accolades to prove that she’s not only a talent on stage but a big supporter of the music community and the world at large.


Kumari has written songs for top-selling artists including Fall Out Boy, Gwen Stefani, Fifth Harmony, Iggy Azalea, and many others. She made history as the first South Asian to ever host the American Music Awards Pre-Show, opened the first-ever Wireless Festival Middle East alongside fellow headliners Travis Scott and M.I.A., and was the first female headliner for Breezer Vivid Shuffle at NH7 Weekender. She was also featured in ‘GQ Best Dressed 2022’. Beyond her aptitude for the arts, what makes Raja Kumari a rare gem is that she’s, at the same time, a humanitarian.


Kumari has contributed to several philanthropies including the creation of a hospital in Bangalore and a meditation hall in Hyderabad for the Vegesna Foundation, a school for children with physical disabilities. She’s been recognized as a benefactor through the Foundation for Indic Philosophy and Culture as well as honored with the Kohinoor Award for excellence in the Classical Arts by the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Kumari’s kind-hearted spirit and her contributions to the betterment of the world are perfect reflections of her new album The Bridge.


The Bridge is truly an album for anyone & everyone. It’s an album that doesn’t tell just one story, but infinite stories as it speaks to every heart reminding each of us to vibrate at our highest potential, and just like the titles of the first & last song on the album, we’re all Born To Winso be Fearless.”


***Check out Frank151’s interview with Raja Kumari below***


Hi Raja Kumari! How’s everything?


RK: Everything is good. Thanks for helping me tell this story (referring to her new album The Bridge). It’s actually album release day {Interview Date: Thursday 4/28 @ 11am PST} because global time starts so in India the album is releasing in a few minutes which is a huge region for me so I’m super excited. I always forget the day before is crazy for me because it comes out already.


Where are you currently?


RK: I’m in Los Angeles right now so we’re behind, but by 9pm tonight the album will be out in America because that’s Eastern Time midnight so it officially releases then.


That’s so exciting and I’m super excited for you because honestly, I seriously love this album. After discovering you I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, Raja Kuamri is like that motivational speaker that we all need to hear through music..”[laughs]


RK: Awww thank you. It’s so crazy because I feel like it’s my higher self trying to motivate me: the human on earth doing things. I realize the album is written like that. It’s funny because it’s written to me, for me. It’s for those days where I cannot get up and then I’m like, “Okay you’ve gotta listen to this song and you have to get up because this is what came through you so you’ve gotta walk that walk so get up..” I’m glad that you’re receiving it that way because if you’ve heard in the song “No Nazar,” it’s literally a protection spell. The repetition is on purpose and I even did the background with certain om’s because I was in a space that I didn’t feel protected. I was around a lot of toxicity so I was cutting a lot of people out of my life and that song was something that I had to say to myself to put up a barrier. I feel like when you actually listen to it you project your aura and that it’s actually practical.


Tell me if this was just a coincidence, but you studied religion in school, correct?


RK: Yes.


Okay so there are nine songs on the album. Tell me if I’m just being a weirdo, but some people believe that within the number ‘9’ there are three-3’s and that is the “full circle.” ‘9’ being the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Was having nine songs intentional or was it more, “I have nine songs and these were the only nine that fit for this particular album?”


RK: No, everything is on purpose. The album is almost in ‘acts’. The first act is where we have “Babylon,” “Born To Win” and “No Nazar” which are all like coming out of that hyper-masculine state where you feel it’s fight or flight or where your root chakras are overly activated. Then in the next act you start feeling yourself with “Juice,” “Colors” and “Love Sick” which represent like the opening of the sacred divine: the feminine side, which is why I got the moon tattoos [Raja shows me her geometrically beautiful tattoo on her arm]. During the pandemic I started realizing that I wasn’t observing how in-sync I was with the universe, how crazy it all is and so those songs are there. I love how the song “Colors” ends because it kind of ‘falls apart’ and “Love Sick” is like the thing I hyper-fixate on which is love. The last chapter is an ascension. This acceptance. It’s almost like facing your fears; then there’s joy & love. It’s an ascension. It’s all the balance of your masculine and feminine sides because it’s when you walk in your power. When I think about the song “Fearless,” in the past when I was a songwriter, I would’ve written that song and been like, “This is the one. I need to give this song to Christina Aguilera or Rihanna or Beyonce..the holy grail..” but now it’s like, “No I wrote this song; I’m going to sing it. It’s my story.” I’ve realized that I can be that person for myself. In some ways, when I used to write really big songs I would think I needed to give it to “American pop artists” and now in some ways, I’m reclaiming that because we can be in these spaces. Look at me literally in this space doing it [laughs]. So yes, the numerology is on purpose. The themes are on purpose, but I can’t just claim to say that I fully planned it all. It was in a way, revealed to me. I’ve gotta show you something really crazy. [Raja gets up to walk over to a small white board hanging on her wall where on the board written is, “THE BRIDGE 2023 —MANIFESTATION IS REAL——–>]. This [referring to white board where ‘THE BRIDGE’ is written in marker] has been on my wall for the two years of the pandemic and I wrote ‘manifestation is real’ [Raja points the same way as the arrow on the white board which points to another wall with framed magazine covers, awards, etc. that she has received] is to remind myself that these really did happen because I was, well we were all, were  tripping during the pandemic because we were all thinking about what we were going to do. So everything was revealed to me and I’m just so thankful. I talked a lot about this album saying ‘it’s coming, it’s coming’ and some of my fans were like, well I released HBIC, and then people were thinking maybe The Bridge was not going to come out. HBIC was these aggressive records and there were features. If you notice, there’s no features on this album. You know when you’re a woman in a male-dominated space, if you’re displaying excellence, that really irks those that are mediocre. They always want to find excuses as to why you are successful. They’ll say it’s because of this guy or this collaboration or because of this. The new album was very meaningful but it wasn’t even on purpose. “Run It Up” was supposed to be on this album featuring Sidhu Moose Wala. The only feature that was supposed to be on this album. Sidhu and I had that collaboration on his final album and it went on to be my first hundred million views. It’s the biggest collaboration I’ve done commercially. We were going to do a verse for verse and were planning on shooting it in June, but it didn’t end up happening. I was going to go to India. I remember when I told him about it saying he was going to be the only feature on the album. He said he felt that it was such a great honor. He’s such a sweet person but when that didn’t happen, I didn’t want to put anyone else on the album. It felt important for me to do it by myself. We ended up putting the song out as a street record. Then the album came.


I feel like what you’re saying happened as it was meant to. I agree and think things should happen organically but there’s happenstance and that can be kismet. The way that things are supposed to align, they are the way they are supposed to align. What I do love about this album is that it does come in chapters and it’s almost like a movie. It starts with “Born To Win” where it expresses for you or anyone to stand their ground and recognize that you are deserving to be a winner. Also showing people your power & strength and embracing your self-expression for individuality. Then you end it with “Fearless,” which feels like the song’s saying for others to get out there and do the same thing. The album’s truly lovely because you’re expressing yourself, but then at the same time, motivating others. It’s seriously like my music “elixir” now [laughs].


RK: I’m so happy to hear that because there was so much vibrational work put into the recording of it. This album is very different from everything else I’ve made. Everything else I’ve made would be hodge-podge recorded here with these people on this experience. This was the first time in my life that I had time and I was just locked away with four people. There’s only four people on every song. There’s one or two songs where we had a friend come in to open up our covid bubble, but otherwise it was just the four of us. It really-really allowed me to be so intimate and deep on this album. I felt like I really needed me to tell myself those things. When I’m adding actual vocals, I mentally astral project a stage. I have a certain frequency I have on stage that I feel I can feel the people. I even change like I’m Sasha Fierce bro [laughs]. When I’m recording the vocals I imagine I’m on stage so that it has that same intensity. Also I never comp vocals. I mean I do a little bit but I’m saying if I can’t sing it live, I don’t want it in the song because then I can’t accomplish it in reality. All those vocals I’m doing because I want them to feel real. I remember when I was writing “Fearless,” it was January. I got a cabin in Big Bear for my birthday. I love the snow. Most January’s I was in India touring so it was a gift because I hadn’t been in the snow for awhile and I love snowboarding so I rented a cabin in Big Bear. That was a really big part of this album. Just having that freedom. We sat with all the windows open. I remember when I was recording “Fearless,” I was manifesting us being back into the real world. Even though we were in that experimental space that we were all in, you know. It was this social-mental experimental place that we were in. I was like, “We’re going to be back on stage. I’ve seen a vision.” God gave me a vision when I was twelve. I was in my room and I was just sitting there. All of a sudden I had this vision out of my own eyes. I was looking at a sea of people. Eighty-hundred thousands of people. I felt the energy and it went right through me and I was back in my room. I thought, “How do I get there?!” I could see out of my eyes, but I knew I wasn’t a child in that vision. There was power and every moment since that has been pushing towards this goal. I’ve seen big crowds, but I have yet to see that crowd. I haven’t yet reached that specific crowd that I saw, but I have this unbreakable understanding that was given to me for a reason. I remember writing “Fearless” and fearlessly saying the world is going to come back. I was thinking, I’m going to sing this in a stadium. This is going to be where I live my life on a festival stage in the open air. I’m going to sing this song and there’s going to be people. There’s going to be a crowd. I actually performed this song, pre-release in Mumbai. I had a show with John Legend. John Legend and I, in Mumbai, I did it first with a full band. Full musicality. No backing vocals, just me. I was singing and it was the exact same feeling I manifested in the studio and I was like, “Now nobody could tell me sh*t” [laughs]. We were in the depths of pandemic, the dark knight of the soul and we made it out [smiles big]. Anything is possible. That’s why I hope this music has this spirit of perseverance and survival. I went through so many changes. I went fully independent.


With that in mind, so I’m first-generation you’re first-generation and I know you’ve spoken about this before but finding that acceptance within the country that our parents come from while at the same time finding acceptance within the country that we were born in. It is tough for some people to understand that there is sometimes this difficulty in finding one’s identity because of it. Acceptance is just tough for anyone.


RK: I think that’s been the struggle for the past few years. I was just laughing to myself right now thinking, “God I seem to sometimes make things difficult for myself..” I went to India for the first time speaking English without speaking the (native Indian) language properly.  Trying to dominate in a patriarchal world where independent music isn’t real there. They only had Bollywood music but now there’s a full scene there. Now I’m coming to America where I was born as an international artist, but I still have to prove myself. It’s so bizarre how it all happened. You know, it’s been difficult. Everything prior to this album was about how difficult it is and how much things have pulled me from side to side but I think through the pandemic and through the time that I had to reflect, instead of it being a weakness for me I was like, “Wait, I’m the only one capable of straddling this. I need to embrace my foundation..” If I could alchemize these feelings into words, go deeper than just for Indian people, maybe I’m doing more than what’s on the surface because I’m a human being with human emotions. I had this chakra system that was speaking to me so if I could somehow communicate these things, then I can be a bridge from the ancient to the future. These are the ancient concepts that we’re all supposed to know but hopefully if people trust me, then maybe when they listen,  it will help them breathe deeply. It’s those small things. If it’s the west backs the east, I speak English because it’s the vernacular. I was born here for a reason. Ten-thousand generations ago where we were born by the Godavari and now I happen to just be born in Los Angeles California? This is for a purpose. If America can understand me because I’m American [laughs], an L-A kid, then they’ll be able to get that journey back to the east from the west and understand more things. Maybe even get the higher vay out of it and get all the good things from it like the Deepak Chopra’s and spices.. Yes, let’s all just share. The big revelation is that music is the bridge between us and god. There’s a lot of godlessness going on. Like a lot. I was a classical dancer first and the first characters I portrayed in dances were these mythological characters, and these gods, on how they were godly. Those things that they did I can never really take that out of my art. It’s always a performance piece. It’s always an offering in some way for God so that’s where we’re at. We’ve all gotta stay connected.



**For updates and more, follow Raja Kumari on Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok | Facebook

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.