- Words Notion Staff
Ahead of his upcoming double EP, "A Space Between Orange & Blue", Renao curates ten tracks from trailblazing South Asian artists.
Bangalore-raised, London-based artist Renao’s finally making the music he always wanted to make. Breaking away from the expected samples of Bollywood or sitar flourishes – as he explains it, his sound leans into a polished pop sound. He blends his honed pop with hints of indie-folk, alt R&B and soul, and tops with his oft-longing-tinged lyrics.
“A Space Between Orange & Blue” is his latest project – a double EP which explores the nuances of his relationship with India and the UK. Three of the tracks are already out, “BLIND”, “LIFELINE” and “BREAK IT DOWN”, and they’ve gone down a hit with fans. Out 12th June, it’s one to watch out for this summer.
Ahead of the release, Renao runs us through ten of his top tracks by South Asian artists.
"retrograde" by dhruv
It’s hard to choose my favourite track from Dhruv, but he has one of my favourite voices and this song is a great example why. Dhruv is one the main South Asian artists pushing the South Asian music community forward and I am so lucky to call him a friend. He’s dropping new music soon!
"Petal" by Raveena
Raveena has the voice of an angel, a very crucial part of the diaspora in America. Her voice can make me forget about the rest of the world and the first time I heard this song I don’t think I could stop listening to it over and over again. She’s also one of the few Indians that have played Coachella.
"ANECDOTE" by Rahul
Another brown artist from America, Rahul (we share first names) has the best of both world - visual and sonics. Someone recommended to check out the video for this song and that was all I needed. An artist comfortably in the left and connecting to a huge audience in India, Rahul is next up.
"Pears" by Weston Estate
Can’t be a list without a boyband, there’s luckily a South Asian-American one, and I love them! Weston Estate is kind of like the brown Brockhampton or Frank Ocean. I’ve loved all their music and their visuals too and they are filling a gap within the South Asian Industry.
"Amber" by The F16s
First artist from India (my home) is a band called The F16s. I discovered their music last year and sonically it’s so pretty. Very synth based and charming vocals. An Indian indie band is very much what we all need and this song is a great gateway into their catalog.
"Want It All" by Jai Wolf, Evalyn
Jai is an electronic artist and played Coachella this year. He has been a huge influence early in my electronic music era. I would try and remix his songs and make songs exactly like him. I love that he is trying to fit for the next generation as he was the only Bangladeshi in most rooms during his career.
"JOHNNY" by Ray Laurél
I first met Ray before he had any music out and heard a few demos that never came out and we made music together. Ray's sound feels very true to himself and you can hear that across all the songs he has out. Being from London he draws a lot from Jai Paul. This song is one of my favourite songs off his last EP. Vulnerable and effortlessly him, I love this song.
"He" by Jai Paul
I mean Jai performing at Coachella this year was insane. He’s had the entire industry in a chokehold and it’s not every day that a brown person does that. He’s paved the way for so many young brown kids trying to make left-field pop music and and inspired a wider generation sonically.
"cold/mess" by Prateek Kuhad
Going back to artists from India, Prateek was one of the very few artists back when I was growing up that was putting English music out. He has now built an audience across the world and also has songs in both Hindi and English. Prateek is one of the biggest artists in that space in India at the moment and I don’t see him slowing down.
"Floated By" by Peter Cat Recording Co
Last on the list also from India is Peter Cat Recording Co. A lot of jazz influences across their music. Peter Cat is a band from Delhi who are making waves in the Western world and I can’t wait for more people to experience their music.