Kiwi Samoan-Indian soul singer Aaradhna says her new song Brown Girl is about the racism she experienced growing up in New Zealand.
The singer whose full name is Aaradhna Patel, says her title song from her fourth album is about the labels she was given growing up as an Indian and Samoan New Zealander.
“I’ve seen and witnessed others including myself being automatically labelled for what we look like, what we wore, the way we spoke, where we resided,” she told her fans on social media.
“I’ve been called a curry muncher, a dumb coconut, all kinds of names in the book while growing up and I’ve always felt like I was looked down on.”
She says Brown Girl is about racism and she is not going to pretend it doesn't happen in her world because it does.
She said the song expresses that she is made up of many complicated layers and should not be put in a box.
“It’s frustrating that a simple label can take all that I am away, every single piece that makes me me. “
The song includes lines like, “I’m more than the colour of my skin, I’m a girl that likes to sing, and, “All I know is what’s within, I’m not just a brown girl in the ring.”
Aaradhna said she had stayed quiet because she is quite shy and maybe an introvert, but wanted to finally share her experiences with her fans.
“Brown Girl is a collection of songs about love, heartbreak and dealing with life in general. To me it represents growth. Brown Girl represents how far I've come from a girl to a woman.”
Aaradhna was won best female solo artist, album of the year, best urban/hip-hop album and best Pacific music album at the NZ Music Awards in 2013 for her last album Treble & Reverb.
She made her debut in 2004 featuring on the single Getting Stronger with the group Adeaze. The single peaked at number one on the NZ charts.
Her debut album I Love You entered the top 20 charts and included songs like They Don’t Know. Her next album Sweet Soul Music comprised old soul classics while her third studio album Treble & Reverb was released in 2012.