Make Way For W.i.S.H, The New I-Pop Girl Group Taking Over Everyone’s Playlist


Talk about everyone’s favourite pastime these days, it has to be scrolling on reels, discovering new things to watch, eat, and listen to. And just like every other Gen Z, I was doing the same. That’s where I tapped on a reel with a song titled Lazeez by this new girl group called W.i.S.H. The song’s tune and beats were new and flirty, yet so peppy, which slowly got stuck in my head for all the good reasons. It’s been a while since an I-Pop artist made its way into my playlist.

When people think of girl groups in India, they go back in time to Viva, who used to be huge in the I-Pop scene in the early 20s. And now, after more than 22 years, Sony Music India has introduced us to W.i.S.H. For those who don’t know, W.i.S.H. is a talented quartet featuring Ri (Riya Duggal), Sim (Simran Duggal), Zo (Zoe Siddharth), and Suchi (Suchita Shirke). They have everything a successful group needs: mesmerising vocals, groovy dance moves and stunning fashion. It’s just a matter of time before they will take over everyone’s jukebox. The girls sat with ELLE to talk about their new song Galti, their music icons, style, and more.

ELLE: The name W.i.S.H. is quite intriguing. Was there a specific concept or story behind choosing this name for the band, and how does it reflect in your music?

W.i.S.H: W.i.S.H. stands for World Inka Stage Hai. We thrive when we’re performing on stage and want to take our music to the world and reach a diverse, global audience. Our songs are fun, free-spirited and confident, and we believe that through our music, we have the opportunity to connect with music lovers. We believe that wishes (pun intended) do come true when you’re focused and not afraid of hard work and challenges.

ELLE: Indian girl bands are still relatively uncommon. What challenges did you face in establishing yourselves in the Indian music scene? And who were your inspirations?

W.i.S.H: Yes, there hasn’t been a mainstream girl band in India for 20 years, but we’re glad that’s changing. Before W.i.S.H., we all experienced challenges in establishing ourselves in the music industry, especially since there is so much talent all around us. We have worked with Mikey McCleary for over two years to put W.i.S.H. together. It’s been a lot of learning and hard work, and we have enjoyed every moment of it. It feels like all the factors are finally coming together. Mikey’s vision and our association with our label have given us the right platform to showcase our talent. We look up to many girl groups and boy bands, like Destiny’s Child, Pussycat Dolls and BlackPink. We also love Little Mix, Backstreet Boys and One Direction whom we grew up listening to.

ELLE: What do you see as the future of Indian pop music, particularly for girl bands?

W.i.S.H: From Diljit’s Coachella performance to Sunidhi Chauhan’s ‘I Am Home’ world tour, Indian pop music is increasingly making its presence felt around the world. Though it’s only been a few months since our launch, the audience response to our music has been so encouraging! Indian audiences have been listening to music by international girl groups and boy bands for so many years, but their overwhelming response to us is a sure-shot sign that Indian pop and girl groups are here to stay.

ELLE: Your music blends catchy pop with traditional Indian influences. What are some specific Indian musical elements or artists that inspire you to create this unique sound?

W.i.S.H: We have grown up in modern-day India, speaking in Hindi and English, and have been influenced by Indian and international artists alike. Three of us have been trained in music from an early age, and all of us really enjoy dancing and performing. Our music reflects who we are, and while each of us has a different tonality, our voices beautifully complement one another. Under Mikey’s expert guidance, we try to create music that is fresh, catchy and playful.

We want to create a distinct Indian pop language with a blend of traditional and contemporary elements and have the privilege to work with Mikey McCleary and his team of producers and composers, who understand music soundscapes and help us create our unique sound. In Lazeez, you will hear a blend of Latin and Spanish beats laid on a pop-sound bed. On the other hand, Galti uses a disco-funk approach to create a new-age sound with strong basslines and arpeggiated synth padding along with swing guitar patterns. One thing that we strive to do is ensure that each of our songs offers a different sonic experience to listeners.

ELLE: Is Gen Z your target audience? How do you make your songs relatable to them?

W.i.S.H: We make music we love and relate to, and through it, we hope to connect with a wider audience. Our songs are playful, free-spirited, unapologetic, and often an expression of self-discovery. Galti and Lazeez are both very upbeat party tracks and every time we have performed them Live on stage, the audience response has been great! All four of us are Gen-Z, so while the youth seemed to vibe with our music effortlessly, we have been pleasantly surprised to see that listeners from across age groups have shown us some love!

ELLE: Fashion seems like a great aspect of your music videos, especially the newly released single Galti. How much do you guys participate in the styling?

W.i.S.H: We have had the privilege of working with a talented team of stylists for our music videos. However, it is always a collaborative effort, and we look forward to brainstorming on our looks together! Each of us has our own fashion preferences and individual styles. Suchi is sporty and loves athleisure; Sim is a diva and loves feminine silhouettes; Ri is more experimental with her style; and Zo loves a pop of colour. Ri and Zo are the fashionistas of the group and usually style the group for our events, photoshoots and shows.

ELLE: Lastly, what are your future plans?

W.i.S.H: We recently shot another music video, and we can’t wait to release our next single. We are always working on creating new music and creative music video ideas whenever we get the time, in between non-stop rehearsals for our live performances! With WISH, we aspire to create a shift in pop culture and Indian pop music that travels across borders, and we are just getting started!

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- Digital Writer


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