MIA, Elsz, Navz, Pritt & Other Independent Sri Lankan Tamil Artists You Must Listen To Now



If you’re new to the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora music scene, we’ve created a starter list for you with song recommendations.

If you like Tamil indie music, thanks to “Enjoy Enjaami” by Arivu and Dhee which has already become the anthem of 2021, the time has come for you to also discover a whole world of independent Tamil musicians from the Sri Tamil diaspora. Lankan. Their style is distinct, very similar to the Sri Lankan Tamil language itself. Coming from a space loaded with intercultural influences, the music of these women of color stands out from Western pop and rap.

While it’s hard to cover them under one style, these young women have their own wrestling stories packed into the music they create, delivering it soulful and at the same time drawing attention to the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. .

From identity politics to bullying, love and war, their music encompasses a wide range of subjects. If you are not familiar with the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora music scene, we have made a starter list for you with brilliant female musicians and song recommendations.


It’s inconceivable that this list will begin without Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, known by her stage names Mathangi, Maya, and MIA. It is undoubtedly the explosion of the music scene which has given way to many more to come. MIA is not just the average musician with headlining songs, but a sensation who pioneered indie music in this part of the world at the start of the Internet age, a fashion icon and a visual artist with an eclectic style. She is also an activist who has drawn the world’s attention to Sri Lanka, her homeland.

MIA rose to fame with the release of her debut album “Arular” in 2005. Through her work, MIA has tackled a wide range of topics from political violence to identity politics to the dangers of the digital age. . There is a lot to discuss about MIA’s music and its activism, but we’ll keep it short. In a 2018 interview with Atlantic, MIA had spoken about his art, his politics and his activism. “It’s a luxury not to be political in your work. If I lived in marshmallow land with flying unicorns, this is what my art would be. But unfortunately what I know is what I know. And that’s what I work for, ”she had noticed.

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Elsz’s music can be described as transcendent. Singer-songwriter and harpist, who grew up between Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Sydney (Australia), Elsz describes his music as falling between “pre-pop soul and experimental R&B (Rhythm and Blues)”. She delivered very deep music, the most recent being “Your Rage is Necessary Pt 1”. Writing about what happened in the creation of the song in an article, she said: “’Your Rage is Necessary, Pt 1′ arose out of a conversation I had with a close friend – Alok Vaid -Menon, around healing from ancestral trauma and breaking cycles that perpetuate violence. This song is about the tectonic and seismic swells of rage that must be felt and expressed to heal and bring about change. As a survivor and queer woman of color, this song is both a protest and a prayer, this song is a way to remind my own body and other bodies like mine that our rage is valid and necessary.

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Navz 47

This Tamil-Canadian singer chooses to make her music in Tamil, although she is fluent in English and French. Naveeni Athanasious Philip aka Navz 47 makes music that is fresh and with a distinct flavor, combining the Tamil language with pop and rap elements. The singer has spoken of her rebellious side in interviews, referring to her slogan “don’t be like Naveeni akka”.

Navz has, for the short span of his career, been openly engaged in the subject of bullying. In an interview with EdexLive, Navz said, “Since I was unlike any of them, I was bullied a lot in school and faced a lot of racism growing up. Music became my favorite. greatest weapon to combat harassment. “

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The south London artist recently released his second EP titled “Transparency” in July 2020, which features six songs. The young singer who mixes a bit of Carnatic into her music, has tracks titled “Amma’s Advice” and “Appa’s Blessing” in the EP with recordings of her parents’ vocals leading the song. Pritt’s music stands out for its earthy tone that has a bit of Rihanna vibe. The singer also released an anthem shortly after International Women’s Day last year with punchy lyrics that compare how a society treats its men and women.

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Rolex Rasathy

While she might only have one album, Rolex Rasathy comes with all the suave and flair that her name calls for. Rolex Rasathy is a classically trained Carnatic musician who then discovered her independent style quite recently. Born and raised in New York City, Rolex Rasathy released her first experimental EP (Extended Play) titled “Vellavattai” after her first visit to Sri Lanka in 2016. Her music has Carnatic influences in addition to jazz, R&B and hip hop . woven into it.

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Rebel Pearl

Rebel is another young artist who must be on your radar. The Sri Lankan Tamil artist is an aspiring rapper with a zing in her voice. Collaborating with artists like Sophia Akkara, Rolex Rasathy, Daniel Yogathas and Sajeev and Julian Nobox, Rebelle manages to grab your attention with her artistic style.

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