Suthasini Rajenderan on Infusing Indian Music With R&B and Hip Hop Elements

The Vasantham Star 2011 winner also shares her wish for Singapore's music scene.
Published: June 20, 2024
Rhythm of a Nation: Top Local Music Acts To Know
Suthasini Rajenderan, 34

There’s no denying the amount of musical talent we have on our shores. But for a truly Singapore-centric playlist, these names—spanning Malay-English rap and chugging guitar riffs, to dulcet, undulating Tamil R&B and Jungle beats—are who you should be bobbing your head to.

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Who did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to Indian musicians like AR Rahman and Vidyasagar. I sang many of their songs for competitions and learned how to express different emotions vocally through many iconic singers. As a teenager, I was very obsessed with R&B and hip-hop, which grew me into the singer I am today. Artistes like Mary J Blige, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Toni Braxton, Ciara and Aaliyah inspired me a lot. Nicki Minaj has been my favourite rapper since I was 18; I like her word play and exceptional writing skills.

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How would you describe your music?

Experimental. I infuse Indian music with R&B and hip-hop touches. I also focus on the message behind the music I write. My music has always been relatable and thought-provoking.

What sets you apart from other music acts?

I am unapologetically myself. I present my flaws as they are and even made music out of hate remarks directed at me—it went viral.

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What is one thing you wish for Singapore’s music scene?

I wish for our music to be as equally supported and welcomed as K-pop and American music. Only when our people support us can we grow as big and influential as mainstream musicians.

What local music acts would you recommend?

Support all Singaporean artistes—that will really make a difference.

What’s next?

I am working on an EP that involves a mix of genres that has not been worked on before in Indian music. No release date yet as it’s still a work in progress.

Photographed by JAYA KHIDIR
Hairstylist GREGO
Make-up Artist RINA SIM using Lancôme

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