|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 163 cm
in meters- 1.63 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 4”
|Debut||Single: Good Love 2.0 (2020)
Mixtape: Damnshestamil (2021)
|Date of Birth||Year, 1986|
|Age (as of 2021)||35 Years|
|Birthplace||St. Gallen, Switzerland|
|Hometown||St. Gallen, Switzerland|
|Religion/Religious Views||In an interview, she revealed that her spiritual parents took her to visit temples during her childhood, especially when they visited India. THE LINE OF BEST FIT As a child, she did not like the visiting temples and referred to it as torturous in an interview. She said,
"As a kid, it was torture. Getting up at 3 AM, taking a cold shower with not only one but fifteen cockroaches staring at us in the bathroom, and then standing in line for hours at the temple entrance."
Her opinion changed after growing up. In an interview, she said, ON THE JUNGLE FLOOR
"Now that we are older and have a better understanding of what it really means to visit those temples, we do it cause we really want to. The other day in Goa, we passed by a temple and my brother and I were like “lets stop and go inside, take the blessings and then go.” this would have never happened 15 years ago."
|Ethnicity||Tamil-Swiss Tamil Guardian Sri Lankan The Guardian|
|Food Habit||Non-Vegetarian Cool Accidents|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Name Not Known (Singer)
Mother- Name Not Known
|Siblings||Brother- Japhna Gold (Singer, Musician, and Priya Ragu's production partner)
|Web series||Insecure (2016)|
|Film||Life of Pi (2012)|
|Song||Mellow My Man by The Roots (1995)
|Singer(s)||American: Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder,
Swedish: Snoh Aalegra
Indian: PB Srinivas, Deva, Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman
|Rapper(s)||Common, Mos Def|
|Band||The Roots (American hip hop band)|
|Restaurant||Ooki, Zürich, Switzerland|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Priya Ragu
- Priya Ragu is a Sri Lankan Tamil-Swiss singer-songwriter who is popular for her songs Good Love 2.0 (2020) and Lighthouse (2021) from her debut mixtape ‘Damnshestamil.’
- In the 1980s, her parents flee their hometown Jaffna, Sri Lanka, amidst the Sri Lankan civil war. Leaving their home and hearth, they migrated to Switzerland.
- Born to refugees parents, she grew up in the Swiss village Bazenheid, St Gallen. She first gained insight into the Sri Lankan culture when she went on a family trip to Toronto, home to numerous Tamil expatriates. The similarities between Sri Lankan and Tamil culture introduced Ragu to her roots. While recalling her trip to Toronto, she said,
There’s way more Tamil there than in Switzerland. Seeing Tamil restaurants, Tamil shops, even the bus driver was Tamil!”
- Although her father wasn’t a trained singer he loved singing since his days in Jaffna. In an interview, while remembering her childhood, she said,
On weekends we had jam sessions at our house, we had family members coming over and friends, my brother would play the keys and people would sing songs from Kollywood movies (Tamil cinema).”
- To ensure that Ragu and Gold remained in touch with their culture and heritage, their parents took them for family trips to South India, particularly Chennai.
- She started playing the violin at the age of seven.
- While growing up she used to listen to Tamil soundtracks, particularly by the composers Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman. Her introduction to western music happened when she listened to songs by the American hip hop group Fugees, comprising of musicians Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras Michel.
- Intrigued by music, she joined her father’s band as a singer at the age of ten. In the band, her father played the Tabla and her brother played the keyboard.
- Her father’s friendship with the owner of an instrument store gave their band access to the store’s rehearsal room, where, once a week, they practiced their songs.
- When Ragu and Gold were young, their father made them sing at Tamil community events and weddings. With the money that they collected via singing at such events, they provided aid to people in Tamil Nadu and Jaffna.
- Her parent’s strict nature led her to become a loner. In an interview, she said,
My parents were very protective. They just wanted the best for us. I wasn’t able to do the things that my schoolmates were able to do…They were able to do sleepovers and I was never allowed to do that, so of course they would leave me out.”
- At the age of sixteen, she came across an opportunity to perform her first stage show, along with her brother’s rap group, but her father prohibited her performance after he read about it in her diary. In an interview, while recalling the incident, she said,
The worst day of my life. From that day on, I decided that I wasn’t going to say anything to them about my music.”
- Her conservative parents interfered with her musical ambitions and did not approve of it as they feared an unstable future for their daughter. Furthermore, they did not allow her to listen and view western music as they believed it to be obscene.
- Consequently, Ragu moved from St. Gallen to the vibrant and one of Switzerland’s largest city Zürich in search of job opportunities. There she started working at Swiss International Air Lines as a technical purchaser buying aircraft parts; meanwhile, performing at open-mic nights and jam sessions.
- At 30, she decided to quit her job and follow her dream to pursue a career in music. In search of time and space to explore her creativity, she moved to New York for six months in 2017. Via Skype calls, she collaborated with her brother and penned ten songs in 2019.
- Her single “Good Love 2.0” was immensely appreciated in the Swiss music industry. Even though the song wasn’t backed by any record label, its popularity led it to play on the BBC radio show ‘Future Sounds’ and on the Indian music channel VH1.
- Thereafter, she released her second chartbuster song titled “Lighthouse.” Shot in India, the music video earned Ragu international recognition, and led her to sign with the record label Warner Records.
- Her debut mixtape ‘Damnshestamil,’ which was released under the label Warner Records, consisted of ten tracks, including the songs Chicken Lemon Rice, Forgot About, Kamali, Lighthouse, and Lockdown.
- In 2021, for the music video of the song “Chicken Lemon Rice,” Ragu was nominated for the ‘Best Wardrobe Styling in a Video’ at UK Music Video Awards.
- Her popularity earned her over 200,000 listeners a month on the music streaming platform Spotify. Additionally, she lent her voice to a soundtrack for Fifa 21, the 28th installment of the popular video game series FIFA.
- Her crowd-puller songs are a blend of R&B (Rhythm and blues) and South Indian beats; therefore, the brother-sister duo calls it “Ragu Wavy.”
- She was included in the “New Musical Express” list of “100 Essential New Artists for 2021.”