Style Swap: We got Pablo Brooks to style Priya Ragu in Emporio Armani

Style Swap: We got Pablo Brooks to style Priya Ragu in Emporio Armani

by Ollie Cox
5 min

What happens when you put two artists in a room with a load of Emporio Armani niceness? We took that challenge on in this episode of Style Swap with Priya Ragu and Pablo Brooks to let them style one another, and the result is quite something.

In case you didn’t know, Priya Ragu is the artist whose sound is a multi-cultural convergence of tradition and modernity – think Tamil music meets Lauryn Hill. Her interest in music started from a young age, like the true bedroom pop princess that she is, sneaking behind her parents’ backs to watch MTV music videos. 

Fast-forward to today, and Ragu stands in the studio with us, ready for Pablo Brooks to style her. The result takes Ragu out of her comfort zone, adding some Emporio Armani shine and sparkle to her wardrobe, while keeping in touch with her preferred layered aesthetic. Judging by the smile on her face, Brooks passed this challenge with flying colours. 

Check out the result of our Style Swap below, as well as our chat with Ragu on all things music, inspirations and aspirations.

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How would you describe your style?

I would say my style is very bold [and] casual. I love to layer and work with different fabrics. On stage or in my music videos, I love to layer. But in private, I’m super casual. It’s just jeans and t-shirts. Comfort over crazy looks. I love trench coats, actually. Not the fitted ones, but the more oversized ones.

Do you prefer wearing heels or trainers?

I love heels combined with socks. But [I] also love good trainers. Heels, I would wear at parties, events, dates. But not on stage, because that’s a tough one. Trainers are everyday, [for] sports, [at the] studio.

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How would you describe your musical style and the influences that shape it?

My musical style comes from Tamil music. I grew up with a lot of Kollywood music, music from A. R. Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja. At the same time, I was listening to a lot of new soul, R&B [and] hip hop. As soon as I saw Lauryn Hill, something within me moved. I felt like I wanted to do the same thing.

We used to have a lot of jam sessions at home. The biggest influence for me is my dad, because he introduced me to so much music. I’m kind of living his dream right now.

My dad is a musician. He plays the tabla and he’s also a singer. He also picked up the first instrument for me, which is the violin. I played [it] for seven years, but I couldn’t use it now, in [my] live performances.

What record can you listen to over and over again?

I really love BGM music, like [the] score music for Creed by Ludwig Goransson. It takes me to a different dimension or planet – to be specific, Mars. I love music without vocals, just strings.

Do you find yourself freestyling over those scores?

Yeah, sometimes melodies just come up, or ideas. I get a lot of inspiration from listening to BGM.

Who is your style icon?

I don’t have one, but I really love artists that can embrace their individuality, [who] are not afraid to push boundaries in fashion style. To name a few, A$AP Rocky, Ye, and Saul Nash. 

Are there any specific goals or milestones you’re aiming for in your career?

If I can be honest, I don’t have any goals. I just live day-by-day and create the days as [they] come.

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We saw your COLORS performance, which was amazing by the way. What’s the next thing for you?

The next thing would be Tiny Desk. I had it on my vision board in 2020, COLORS and Tiny Desk. And after that, I’m good. I don’t want to have any [more] goals [or] wishes. So let’s see when that happens. 

What’s a memorable experience you’ve had on tour or at a live performance?

I had this crazy experience when I went on stage at Rough Trade. There was a huge intro, the band was playing. They were announcing me, right, and everybody was screaming. I went on stage and started singing and the mic didn’t work for the longest time, until [halfway through] the song. 

I didn’t know what to do. I was sweating. I tried to encourage the audience to sing along but the lyrics were in Tamil. But then eventually [in] the middle of a song, the sound came up again, and everybody was screaming. So it was a moment. 

Make sure to check out Priya Ragu’s Emporio Armani styling venture with Pablo Brooks here.

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