Raja Kumari on the importance of inclusivity, authenticity and fitness
"The moment you feel included, it automatically boosts your self-confidence and self-worth," says Raja Kumari
Grammy-nominated rapper Raja Kumari has become music royalty both in East and West. But, her success wouldn’t have been possible without undulating faith in her creative instincts as she infused hip hop with Indian sensibilities. Her music, thus, has always empowered her audiences and nudged them to embrace themselves unapologetically. In an interview, she talks about her roots, the role fitness plays in her life, and how inclusive sizing can boost a woman’s confidence.
Excerpts from the interview:
ELLE: As a musician, what role does fitness play in your life?
Raja Kumari: I workout regularly, it is extremely important for not just a musician, but everyone to stay fit and healthy with the kind of lifestyle we deal with.
ELLE: When did you realise just how important the right fitness gear and the right sports bra is, for workouts?
RK: During my workouts, I realised that having the right gear is extremely important to give you unlimited access to the movement, to focus and also boost your confidence. The right sports bra is extremely important for workouts as it provides support, confidence and also protects you from ligament injuries.
ELLE: You’ve always been unapologetically yourself in your music, with your identity and in the way you present yourself. How important is authenticity to you?
RK: Even though I have grown up [in L.A.] far away from India, I have never forgotten my roots. I have always believed in myself and did what I wanted to. I believe that we can be many versions and have dualities but still be ourselves and stick to our roots.
ELLE: What are your thoughts on the importance of inclusivity?
RK: I think inclusivity is important in all aspects of life, not just fashion. It is important for sports, education, apparel sizing or opportunities I believe that every individual irrespective of their size, colour, shape, religion or gender should have equal rights. Women have been shamed and called names for their body types which is just not fair. A lot of brands like Nike believe in inclusive sizing and plus size apparels.
ELLE: How do you think does inclusivity changes a woman’s perception of herself?
RK: The moment you feel included, it automatically boosts your self-confidence and self-worth. We have seen situations from early on where inclusivity in society is extremely important to mould one’s thought process to be confident about oneself.
ELLE: Like so many women, did you also battle body image issues at some point? How did you deal with it?
RK: I think everyone, at some point, deals with body image issues. No matter what your body type is, you feel insecure at times. The most important thing is to understand to be kind to yourself and not get bogged down by these thoughts. I just try to remain fit, healthy, and have peace of mind, as that is all that matters.
ELLE: How do you think women can own who they are and be confident in their skin?
RK: To be great and confident, you need to be fearless and courageous.
Photographs: Instagram / Raja Kumari