Working from home during this pandemic has definitely increased how much music I listen to. Desperately in need of new music, I discovered many talented South Asian musicians on TikTok that deserve recognition. I feel that South Asians, especially South Asian women, are underrepresented in the arts and music industries. Growing up, I longed for representation in this field. This is why finding these new artists now means so much to me! As a South Asian woman myself, I am so proud to see the growing representation in this industry. Below is a list of my top five female South Asian artists. I hope you enjoy their music just as much as I do!
Sanjana is an LA-based singer-songwriter who grew up between California and India. Her voice expresses soulful emotion, and her lyrics tell beautiful stories. She describes her sound as one that “unites disparate worlds and soundscapes.” Sanjana is trained in Indian classical music and looks up to artists like John Mayer, Lianne La Havas, and Young the Giant. Two of my favorite songs from her debut EP are “Water, I’ll Grow” and “Why.” Check out her music here and follow her on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
Originally from Chicago, Rehma is a Pakistani-American R&B artist. Growing up in a South Asian household, she explains that influences of Pakistani and Bollywood music can be seen in her vocals and influences from legends like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. She has a confident, seductive, and charming voice. Personally, I love “Hit List” and “Lavender” by Rehma. You can listen to her music here and follow her on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
21-year-old South Asian artist Myra is born in America. Her music portrays her personal experiences, but the lyrics are easily relatable to anyone who listens to her songs. On TikTok, Myra describes her music as “sad girl bops.” Her music is raw and powerful, focusing on “self-discovery, healing, reflection, and growth.” Two of my favorite songs include “Fauji” and “It’s Okay to Grieve.” Find her music on Spotify and follow her TikTok and Instagram accounts.
Easha, a 19-year-old pop singer and songwriter based in New Jersey, has one of the most touching voices I have ever heard. Her use of guitar compliments her music beautifully. Easha also uses her online presence to advocate for important social issues. She has composed music and lyrics for two UNICEF tributes, which include “A Better Day” and “Waves.” On her website, Easha explains that her music is “like if Norah Jones married John Mayer, surprising the audience with an Indian Classical Music background.” Currently, “I Can’t Breathe” is my favorite song by her. Check out her content on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
5. Joy Crookes
22-year-old Joy Crookes is a British neo-soul singer-songwriter. She is of Bangladeshi-Irish descent. Her voice is very unique and versatile, with a rich and regal sound. Joy is not only a talented artist but also has a very down-to-earth and humble personality, which shines through in this interview. Two of my favorite songs are “Mother May I Sleep With Danger” and “Since I Left You.” Check out her music here and follow her on YouTube and Instagram.