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Melburnian singer-songwriter Ashwarya on the music she had on repeat in 2020

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

Her favourite bops of the year.

Despite being an unbelievably terrible year (or perhaps because of it?), 2020 has been packed with excellent music. So much of it, in fact, that I’m sure there are albums, singles and music videos that have entirely passed you by.

I know there have been for me, and that’s why I’m asking some of Australia’s most innovative and talented artists to tell me about the music they couldn’t stop listening to this year. Because who better to ask than people who literally make music for a living?

First up is Melbourne-based pop singer Ashwarya, who’s been described as one of the most exciting new talents to come out of Australia. Her brand of dark, brooding pop combines hip-hop and electronica with traditional Indian music to startling effect, and has earnt her comparisons to experimental popstars like Billie Eilish and Charli XCX.

Her latest single, ‘Comin@Me’ is about the cycle of a toxic relationship and combines bhangra-influenced drumming with irreverent rap, and trust me when I say that it’s incredibly addictive. Below are Ashwarya’s top picks of the year. Enjoy.

Benee – hey u x album 

This album is so endearing and playful yet sincere. I love the quirky lyrics and the way Benee navigates her feelings through each track especially ‘Happen To Me’. I don’t usually listen to albums in the car, but this album is just too good not to.

The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’ music video 

The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ is a killer song which almost feels timeless with such a cinematic music video. It made me want to dive right into his world. I’m a sucker for drama and cars… oh and The Weeknd too.

SZA – ‘Hit Different’ 

I loved this track and in particular, SZA’s vocals in the song were like WOAH. SZA somehow makes a song about heartbreak feel calming and sensual and so damn smooth. She a wizard.

Sycco – ‘Dribble’ 

Undeniably catchy and such a bop. When that chorus kicked in, I couldn’t get enough!

Foushee – ‘Deep End’ 

I discovered this song on TikTok after it went viral and rightly so. It’s addictive AF. And those vocals by Foushee – just as irresistible as the melody. I catch myself singing this song way too often.

Rosalia. Feat Travis Scott – ‘TKN’ 

Rosalia and Travis Scott coming together on an album was the perfect badass pairing in 2020. Both are artists that I love, so being able to hear them on a track together was the perfect hybrid of sounds.

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia album 

Dua Lipa brought disco to 2020 and I am living for it. It was the perfect opportunity for an iso dance party through tough the times this year, but also such an ambitious and fun album.

Head here to listen to Ashwarya’s new single, ‘Comin@Me’. 

@ashwaryahhh 

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