“I was the girl, always in trouble for speaking the truth
Bearing the torch, I’m running the show, while I still be spitting it all in the booth
Getting rid of the negativity spewed, so I’m only keeping a few,
Whenever SIRI be dropping a song, they dropping the jaw, Culture fuse”
It’s difficult to slot ace rapper, the 27-year-old Bengaluru-based Siri Narayan, who recently launched a new single called MY JAM. She has learned Carnatic music. She can play the veena. And she can rap in Kannada, Telugu, Hindi and English. Musicians seek liberation of the spirit, and Narayan found it in hip-hop. For a female singer to rap her way up to the top of the competitive, male-dominated and mostly Hindi-speaking space was an experiment with experiences.
How did it start? In college, she stumbled upon ‘Out of My Mind’ by B.o.B, featuring Nicki Minaj, which she performed at a college function. “Hip-hop was an instant crush from then on. There are no rules to it.” she says.
The new song is a fierce representation of her style and about creating a niche for herself. She wanted to make music that made people (and herself) dance, while also giving some a piece of her mind.
Narayan is acutely aware of her mixed audience and plans to build bridges connecting diverse listeners. The content of her songs is constant across languages, but the rhythm changes according to phonetics.
Even while her content remains similar across languages, her delivery changes with phonetics. Though a powerful female voice in a relatively small space, Narayan cannot be stereotyped as a feminist: her collaborative track with Girliyapa, one of India’s leading women-centric entertainment channels, garnered over 3.3 million views and won her the Best Electronica Artist and Best Indie Collaboration awards at the Radio City Freedom Awards 2019.
Promoting MY JAM is her current priority—like all artists the rapper knows the power of social media; she was on JioSaavn’s Anywhere Live series of concerts on Instagram and Facebook. The single has been released by Artist Originals (AO), JioSaavn’s independent label for South Asian artists and produced by Sez On The Beat, known as the man behind the beat of Indian hip-hop. Currently, the irreverent rapper is busy with fresh music. And fresh recipes in the kitchen when she’s in the mood. What’s cooking next?