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

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

by Juliette Eleuterio
7 min

Ever wondered how a pop star finds the perfect fit? We got singer-songwriter Priya Ragu a boatload of clobber from Emporio Armani’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection and let her loose with fellow pop star Pablo Brooks

Brooks is the Dua Lipa and Joni Mitchell-loving singer behind hits like “Not Like The Movies,” which tells the slap-in-the-face story of leaving childhood behind. Catchy indie-pop isn’t all he’s got in his locker, either. He can throw a fit together like the back of his hand, with traditional menswear and workwear regularly on rotation. 

Presented by Emporio Armani, watch Priya Ragu riffle through the brand’s Spring/Summer 2024 offering as we put her to the test to make Pablo Brooks look his best. Ragu chose an almost all-black look for Pablo, giving him a taste of her own aesthetic whilst adding a fun pop of colour with a red-and-white sweater. A vegan leather jacket adds a nod of Berlin to the look, prepping Brooks for his heady nights out.

Check out the result of our Style Swap below, and get to know what makes Pablo Brooks tick below. 

What inspires your music?

What inspires my music most is probably musicians and other musicians and people I listen to. I get a lot of inspiration from just literally sitting in my room or in the studio, just like soaking up music, because it’s what I do all day. Just seeing what other people are doing [and] going to shows. [I like to] see what music does in different environments and spaces inspires me the most to think outside of my own little box.

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What inspired you to pursue a career in music?

I grew up listening to a lot of music, and I was taking so much music in. [I] watched a lot of Hannah Montana as a kid and was always really intrigued in how to get out of a little hometown with my big ambitions and dreams. So I’ve been working away in my home studio basement since I was like 12. I wanted to make stuff that resonates with me and the people around me.

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

I’m always trying to push towards the sort of very pop-driven sound. Something that can be classified as pop music. Something that moves people [and] gets people dancing. [I’m into what] has a narrative and a story to tell, but also takes in a lot of influence from other types of music like dance music, folk music, songwriter music, indie music. I grew up as a Disney, Miley Cyrus kind of kid, so I’ve always been trying to be little Hannah Montana. 

I’m also just a really annoying kind of music nerd sort of person. I feel like there’s no way for me to actually just go like, ‘I’m gonna write a pop song.’ There always needs to be a little nuance and a little sort of edge to it.

What record can you listen to over and over again?

Oof. If you ask any musician this question, there’s like 100 answers you could probably give. I have two; the record that changed my life forever was Melodrama by Lorde. That was a record that I listened to and I was like, ‘oh, okay, I know exactly what I want to do. I want to make pop music that feels so vulnerable, and exposing that it actually takes you with it.’

I also grew up listening to “Hejira” by Joni Mitchell, which is like a sort of jazz-folk masterpiece. Whenever I listen to that, it just takes me like a journey to literally wherever she was going when she was writing it. They’re very, very different records, but love them both to death couldn’t do without [either of them].

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Who’s your style icon?

This kind of an abstract answer, but I think literally the queer community. Especially in Berlin, which is where I live, [it’s] crazy. You go out on a Friday night, you’re on the train and you see a group of queer kids coming into the train, and they all have this crazy confidence about them. I feel like it’s the most boundary-pushing and forward-thinking group of people. You see them and you’re just like, ‘Fuck, I want to be that self-confident.’ I want to have whatever energy they’ve just poured into this space. Whenever I go to a queer party, or just any sort of environment where queer people are, I leave that space inspired. I want to be where they are.

Do you have any specific goals or milestones to hit in your career?

Like I said before, the goal is always to [have] a little Hannah Montana moment. The only thing I’m actually aiming for is [to be] a complete world domination superstar. 

No, but in general, it’s reaching people [who] really resonate with what I do. There’s been a lot of queer kids that have discovered my music. I get so many messages throughout the day being like, ‘Yo, I’m 14, and I’m queer. I’m in this little hometown, and no one understands who I am. But I found your music and I found this community that you represent’. And that means so much to me. So I just [want to] keep finding these people that resonate with the music would be amazing. A Grammy would be nice, too.

How important is fashion and style in your own personal brand as a musician?

I feel like a lot of musicians, myself [included], are these introverted, sort of weird artists-type of personas. So we’ll usually go to the studio in a sweatpants kind of fit, and I won’t really be thinking about who I actually am. 

As soon as I put on a look or I put on an outfit for a show, or a music video, or a shoot, I sort of go into this persona. It gives me that confidence to really be this vessel for whatever story I’m trying to tell, or to represent the music a little bit better. As soon as you put on a look or as soon as you feel good about yourself, you feel like you’re turning a look. I feel like it gives a visual nuance to the music that you usually wouldn’t get if I was just standing here in the sweatpants that I actually write the music in.

Can you share any memorable experiences from any performances you’ve done?

I remember a really big one – it’s actually a cute one. I wish I could say something funny, but I remember I played my first show outside of Germany, in Amsterdam. I woke up that morning and I was a little hungover – very hungover. 

I walked into the venue and there were like 300 kids standing there. They had all made bracelets to trade with each other. So they traded bracelets with each other, and then also gave me a bunch of bracelets that just set the cutest sh*t on them, like song names of mine and little affirmations. At the end of the show, everyone had these bracelets that they had made and traded throughout the night. It was really, really cute. 

I still keep one of these ones that doesn’t have an affirmation on it, but they made [it] in the colours of my record. I still keep it on.

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

Main image credit: Culted ©

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