"It's a beautiful track that feels slightly 90s-esque"
The UK music scene is booming with a wide range of artists but one thing it has lacked is British Asian female singers.
British Asian artists come through the industry once every few years such as Jay Sean, M.I.A and Zayn Malik.
However, with a wider acceptance of creative industries in British Asian communities, more individuals can follow their musical aspirations.
A vast number of British Asian female singers have emerged in modern times. They all bring a certain style of vocal range, production quality and musical knowledge.
Not to mention, they’re a breath of fresh air in an increasingly diverse landscape.
Most of these artists are beginning to receive the recognition they deserve and have been touted to continue their rise amongst their peers.
But, who are they and what makes them so highly praised? DESIblitz dives further into the British Asian female singers gracing our ears.
South London singer, Pritt, describes her music as “eastern meets western with a sprinkle of Tamil here and there”.
The soulful musician took a while to find her sound but embracing her culture gave way for Pritt’s music to achieve meaningful representation. The driving force of her songs.
In 2021, she was the first Tamil artist on BBC Asian Network’s Future Sounds and has been on a meteoric rise ever since.
Her catalogue is fuelled with classy RnB vocals, Tamil instrumentation and layers of tranquillity.
For example, in her track ‘Identity’ (2020), Pritt battles with people’s expectations and burdens of being in the spotlight as a British Asian.
Speaking on skin lightening, sexuality and relationships, she addresses certain themes with raw emotion and gripping melodies.
This hints at the singer’s fearless nature to speak on topics that many others can relate to.
Her other standout tracks include a cover of ‘Unakkul Naane’ (2021), sung completely in Tamil. With over 1 million streams, her multilingual ability is a trait her fans clearly adore.
Other gorgeous songs include the likes of ‘Top Boy’ (2020), ‘You Love’ (2021) and ‘365’ (2021).
With her distinct voice, clear-cut melodies and experimentation, Pritt is one British Asian female singer to add to your playlist. Listen to more of her here.
When it comes to pushing the boundaries for British Asian female singers, you cannot look past Ava Sehra.
Ava’s voice oozes with the same qualities most comparable to the American singer, Jhené Aiko.
However, upon listening to her songs, you’ll see that whilst she does have the same warmth in her sound, she has a certain reassurance in her voice.
She brings the perfect balance of old-school feels and modern vibes.
Her breakout track ‘W.D.Y.L’ came in 2019 and featured legendary UK rapper Konan (of Krept and Konan). Link Up TV described the song, saying:
“It’s a beautiful track that feels slightly 90s-esque but still remains fresh as Konan adds a slick verse that adds further dimension to the song.”
This co-sign received an immense response and ultimately led to a future link-up between Ava and the rap duo.
Singing on the track ‘Broski’ off their Revenge Is Sweet (2019) album, she performed alongside Krept and Konan at the o2 Area.
So, the singer has no qualms about the big stage and executed the percussive grace in her voice so effortlessly.
She brings this same energy throughout her projects. Tracks like ‘Issues’ (2020) and ‘Rose Tinted Glasses’ (2021) boast Ava’s range and the seamless clarity behind her harmonies.
The singer’s quality is to be admired and she avidly shares her talents on Instagram.
Posting mini studio sessions and singing clips, fans are constantly topped up with their dose of Ava’s artistry. Listen to more of her here.
Emerging as one of the British Asian female singers destined for stardom is Manchester’s Hana Malik.
Whilst it’s still early days for the musically-gifted artist, she displays the prowess and skill of someone who’s been around for decades.
Her catchy hooks, sound depth and precise notes give her songs a very emotional tone.
But, in an industry which can get over-saturated with similar voices, she distinguishes herself by sticking to British-esque vocals.
One can see this clearly when listening to her hit anthem ‘Call On Me’. Let’s put her silky voice to the side for a moment because the beat itself is incredible.
It samples Shreya Ghoshal’s ‘Agar Tum Mil Jao’ (2005) and manipulates the pitch of the classic track.
The Indian sounds taken from the original song provide the foundation for Hana to flow which mixes both singing and minor rapping – perhaps an avenue for her future projects.
Hana performed the hit track on BBC Asian Network’s Future Sounds in 2021 and teased fans with what she is capable of.
Her series of hits since then come in the form of the catchy ‘St Tropez’ (2021) and ‘Nobu’ (2022) which received rave reviews from her ever-growing following.
As she continues to grow her fanbase and grows with each release, Hana is tipped as one of the most promising British Asian female singers.
See more of Hana’s catalogue here.
One of the sultriest British Asian female singers is London native Asha Gold.
Asha wants her music to be a direct reflection of her life, using storytelling qualities and experimental sounds to bring those experiences to life.
Her 2019 smash hit ‘Too Good’ announced Asha onto the scene and has racked up over an impressive 118,000 Spotify streams.
Her debut EP GOLD01 was released in 2020 and gave listeners an insight into how musically gifted Asha is.
‘Faith In You’ lies at the heart of the four-track project and strips away the upbeat sequences associated with the singer’s projects.
Instead, the ballad moves away from the glitz and glamour of the industry to reveal a young starlet with raw natural talent.
Whilst Asha’s catalogue tackles many sub-genres, it’s her diverse vocals that make her so distinct.
For instance, her 2021 track ‘Margarita’ plays with RnB percussion and infuses Asha’s silky tone across the tempo.
However, ‘Up To Me’ (2022) has a more pop and electronic feel to it.
But on both occasions, the singer’s ability to captivate your ears using different instruments, enticing bass and elegant hooks is superb.
Given how skilful Asha is, she stays true to herself as a person which shows in her music. In a 2021 interview, Asha told DESIblitz that:
“People expect me to sound a certain way, or to pay homage to my mixed heritage in a way they’ve seen before.
“I don’t ever want to engage in something in an inauthentic way for the sake of ‘marketability’.”
It’s this authentic nature which has led Asha to monumental successes in her early career.
Perhaps the most iconic milestone of her journey so far has been performing at Glastonbury for BBC Introducing in 2022.
There’s no denying how hypnotic Asha’s voice is and her upwards trajectory will only continue.
Take a look at some more of her work here.
Singer and songwriter, Jasmine Jethwa, is an emerging musician from Crystal Palace, London.
The young artist has been making superb strides within the music industry with her alternative folk songs.
What sets Jasmine apart is her classical dance training in jazz. This different insight into sounds has given her an ear to create passionate and emotive songs.
Likewise, her influences in lyricism come from legends such as Bon Iver, Brandy and James Fauntleroy. This diversity resonates a lot in her projects.
For example, her 2020 release ‘Running Circles’ blends harmonic vocals and a soothing guitar that oozes thought-provoking warmth.
Speaking on the song’s inspiration, she told New Wave Magazine ‘Running Circles’ was:
“Born out of a situation where I felt like I was caught in a cycle of nothing being the right thing or good enough, or what people imagined.
“Writing this song was cathartic and helped me process and move past those feelings.”
This only hints at how skilful Jasmine is to transform her emotions into lyrics and ones that echo with the listener.
Jasmine’s voice is entirely unique and almost reminds one of The Weeknd’s 2012 album The Trilogy.
There’s an eeriness to her work and tracks like ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Turn Off The TV’ off her 2020 EP Hurricane illustrate that.
Her subsequent hit ‘Golden’ (2022) is stripped back to expose how impeccable Jasmine’s voice is.
It’s raw yet polished and the acoustics in her melodies captivate the listener and create a hypnotic listening experience.
Jasmine is surely one musician to keep your eye on. Listen to more of her work here.
These British Asian female singers are redefining the music industry and providing more representation to the scene.
They all bring vibrant qualities to their music and are able to relate to a much wider audience because of their backgrounds.
Likewise, their capabilities as musicians are to not be overlooked and many of them are becoming a staple amongst UK artists.