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Raveena, 'Rush'

Raveena is a storyteller who weaves healing and spirituality through western pop culture and her Punjabi upbringing. On "Rush," Raveena creates a science-fiction story centered around the character Asha, a Punjabi space princess. Sounds of chirping birds flow into an electric swell of rhythm as Raveena invites us into a floating state of consciousness. The melody's push and pull gives "Rush" tension and longing – it's a reclamation of sensuality, which subverts stereotypes of exoticism that are projected onto South Asian culture: "Heard she's made of music / Ready for your ruin / American fantasy."

In the music video co-directed by Raveena and Munachi Osegbu, Bollywood and queer camp aesthetics intersect with an ensemble of psychedelic aliens and South Asian jewelry. With her magnetic gaze drawing the viewer in, it's difficult to resist dancing to the undercurrent of tabla beats and Raveena's effervescent and soulful voice.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jireh Deng