Music interview: Saraswati

From a remote village in western Nepal to collaborating with a team of British-based producers who have previously worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears, Saraswati has come a long way.

Music first came into her life at an orphanage in Nepal where she and her younger sister Tasha were left when Saraswati was five years old. “Every Saturday I would watch Bollywood movies and I think ever since then I’ve always had a love for music and dance,” she remembers.

In 1998, around the age of seven, she moved to Yorkshire to join Tasha who had been adopted by a family from Wakefield. “When I came to England I loved listening to the radio, to pop music, and watching music videos,” she says.

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The pair began writing songs but Saraswati didn’t start performing until she got to Wakefield College. “Since my teens I’ve been learning to play the guitar and piano and even learning to produce,” she says. “I do love writing songs that connect to people.”

Her musical inspirations include Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Bob Marley, Gwen Stefani, FKA Twigs, MØ and MIA. R&B, reggae, hip-hop and Indian melodies have all fed their way into her songs.

“I like to write about all sorts,” she says. “It’s usually to do with love or relationships or some kind of feeling which I might have gone through or I fantasise about or I’ve seen other people go through then I’ll elaborate on it or make it up hopefully so other people can relate to it or feel that emotion.”

A home-produced EP caught the ear of The Boombox, a Glasgow-based music company run by John McLaughlin and Jud Mahoney (Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Chris Brown). “I got an opportunity to audition for John McLaughlin at The Boombox studio and he really liked me singing and liked my songs, that’s when he decided to work with me,” Saraswati explains.

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With Natalie DeLucia, whose credits include Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, they’ve produced Saraswati’s first album. At the age of 26 she says she’s learned a lot “about creating a brand and being in your own name” from working with experienced music industry figures. “Also they’ve managed to get me into the Party at the Palace festival near Edinburgh on August 13,” she says. “The headliner is The Proclaimers so I’ll be sharing the same stage. I’m really looking forward to that.”

On June 11 she’s due to play at Hirst’s Yard in Leeds and she hopes to release her album later this year. In the meantime she’s pleased with the radio play she’s been getting. “Alan Raw [of BBC Introducing] played my first single, which was called Bad Habits, and he’s also supporting my new single. Also Amazing Radio and Phoenix Radio FM. I think it’s been played on lots of other radio stations too.”

Sweet Little Bassline is available digitally now. For further information visit

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