Rhea Raj has had a busy year. If she isn’t dropping singles like “Devil In a Dress” to go viral on TikTok or having her statement music video featured in this month's Vogue India, then she must be putting on a virtual performance in the metaverse for Viviene Tam’s New York Fashion Week after party.
She’s not slowing down. Her newest single, “Taste That (Mwah)” premieres today, along with another show-stopping music video. “Taste That (Mwah)” is a bouncy production fit for dancing coupled with catchy lyrics (“Say you like ‘em bad, well I’m the baddest/ Once I got you, I become a habit”) and smoky vocal delivery.
In the video, Raj is sultry, bronze and fierce, not dissimilar to her songs. In the singer’s own words, “Taste That (Mwah)” is a "fearless declaration of self-love, confidence and sexuality."
“Growing up as an Asian girl in the US, I felt like society wanted me to tame all of those things and this song challenges that by framing myself as the object of desire,” Raj says of the track. “Feeling hot and powerful is all about your state of mind, and I want anyone who listens to this song and watches its music video to feel empowered to feel that way too, and express themselves unapologetically.”
The New York City native’s music is influenced by the Bollywood beats she grew upon. She got her start in music at her mother’s studio learning both Bollywood and classical Indian dance from a young age. A 2000s baby at heart, she pairs one familiar genre of music with another, incorporating futuristic pop elements à la Britney Spears into her sound. From the global influence of her songs to the labels worn in her videos, Raj is intentional when it comes to her artistry.
“The music video is boldly Pop. I wanted it to feel like a fashion show, with futuristic- meets- 2000s-inspired glam looks and statement pieces by ManMadeSkins, LaQuan Smith and Michael Ngo. It’s a performance visual directed by Hector Toro and David Fernandez, with jazz-funk dance sequences choreographed by Hero J Thomas,” Raj added.
Watch the PAPER premiere of the "Taste That (Mwah)" music video below.
Photo courtesy of Rhea Raj