Just last year, Priya Ragu quit her day job. She had been working as a technical purchaser for an airline until just a few months before she released her debut mixtape, Damnshestamil, last fall. Named on BBC's Sound of 2022 list, the Tamil-Swiss artist surprised audiences with the force of her creative vision and her style, which combines Western and South Asian influences. She calls the eclectic sound she's developed with her brother, Japhna Gold, "Raguwavy'': a unique blend of R&B, soul and the traditional Tamil beats they heard in their household growing up.
Her newest single, "Illuminous," is an upbeat anthem where Ragu revels in her breakout success despite the barriers she's faced as a 35-year-old South Asian woman in the music industry. The music video leans into alternate visions of hero archetypes as we see Ragu "glowed up" as a knight in shining armor riding a motorcycle and flexing as a bodybuilder. Her lyrics flow effortlessly, buoyed by a chorus of voices, bright trumpets and an irresistible dancing beat. Ragu's joy is contagious as she proclaims to naysayers: "If you didn't see me then / Bet see me now".