Still, being the first prominent South Asian woman in mainstream music – and, 15 years later, still the only one – is a unique burden to bear.
. “I tried to write a song about it recently,” she says, “but it felt wrong.” She raps the following bars:
Can’t give me credit
Can’t admit it
Get with the fact that a brown girl can get it .
“But it’s not about ego, and questioning why you’re the only one. I say that all the time – if you have a problem with me, fine, let another ten through. And I’ve tried to have that conversation but it doesn’t happen, so after 15 years I’ve given up. You just have to do it, you know? Even if you think, Oh you’re a brown girl, like, even within that thing...” .
.Being Tamil means you’re even more marginalised, right? I offer.
. “Exactly, because I’m totally different to Priyanka Chopra, do you know what I mean? She’s a beauty queen, Miss Universe or whatever. And then she’s a Bollywood actress, and even that – it’s nothing to do with my world. Just having gone through the washing machine of you’re a terrorist, you’re a this, you’re a that, and all the history, the politics that India and Sri Lanka have, that the Tamil and Sri Lanka have – it’s not that simple.”