Singer/songwriter Raja Kumari was honored at the 2016 BMI Pop Awards for co-writing “Centuries” with Fall Out Boy.
She also co-wrote Gwen Stefani’s “Red Flag” from her latest album This Is What the Truth Feels Like. Kumari recently signed to L.A. Reid’s Epic Records and her album The Come Up is coming soon.
Tell me about your music and being here at the BMI awards.
Raja Kumari: It’s really exciting to be here and being honored today by my peers. Songwriting is such a gift to be able to do it as a career, so just to be here and to celebrate with these musicians and great artists, it’s a really exciting night. I’m just happy to be here and talk about my new project coming out, it’s called, The Come Up and I’m on Epic Sony, so you know L.A. Reid fully supports the project. He’s about to put out the first Indian Pop song in America, so I’m looking forward to that.
What does this honor mean to you?
Raja Kumari: It’s a really, really great milestone. Also for my family, we come from a family of all doctors, my brother is a Neurosurgeon, so this is like, “Hey, mom it’s really working, I’m doing something.” And everybody in here, like Jason Evigan is right there, I mean he’s one of the best songwriters I know. It’s just great to be honored amongst them and it’s really inspiring, makes me push forward to be here every year.
What do you do to keep your nerves under wrap?
Raja Kumari: Just going with the flow and enjoying it because we work so hard and a lot of times we spend behind closed doors and booths and a lot of people don’t know all the time that is put into the music. These are the moments we get to share and really celebrate what it is to be songwriters and musicians.
What do you listen to in your free time?
Raja Kumari: I’m into a lot of different things, recently I’ve been listening to a lot of trap music. We were listening to some Skepta earlier which is a U.K. grime artist. I love a lot of reggae, Machel Montano, soca. I stay on the world music, just to kind of bring those sounds into American Pop music, I feel like that’s kind of my goal as a song writer is to bring different cultures into the western mainstream.
Jules Joy contributed reporting.