Ridi Oswal

Ridi Oswal
| Photo Credit: special arrangement

Being multifaceted comes easily to Ridi Oswal. The 19-year-old Indo-European singer-songwriter, making a mark in the global music scene, is currently pursuing chemical engineering in London and is also a co-founder of Stop the B!, an anti-bullying campaign. When we address her as a versatile teenager during a video call , Ridi laughs and quips, “Teenager only for a couple of months!”

New single

‘Merry Go Round’by Ridi Oswal

‘Merry Go Round’by Ridi Oswal
| Photo Credit:
special arrangement

Ridi’s new single ‘Love me until you lose me’which dropped three weeks ago, has Indian and Western influences like her other songs, ‘Top Guy’ (debut single released in 2021), ‘Happier, Aaja Baby’ or the recent ‘Guilty Feet.’

She has carved a niche for herself by creating a unique sound blending two music styles. “I sing raat hi acha tha before an Indian drop happens in it which says sometimes it is better to leave things in the night than through remembering.”

Love for music

Making a mark

Making a mark
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special arrangement

Growing up in Switzerland, Ridi was always interested in music. Though her musical training began when she was four, music became a significant part when she had to switch schools due to bullying. “Ï was going through a lot in high school and didn’t have many people to speak to,” she recalls. Music was an outlet for expression and later an avenue to make a career.

Raising voice

‘Love me until you lose me’

‘Love me until you lose me’
| Photo Credit:
special arrangement

Ridi’s challenging high school phase also served later as an inspiration to launch Stop The B!, an anti-bullying initiative, with her sister Vasundhara. Recalling the racism and harassment experienced in a boarding school, she says, “Switzerland doesn’t have a huge Indian population. The harassment became big but nobody understood it.” Even the school didn’t want to take the issue forward and I was expelled for being vocal. Being Indian and Punjabi, I will not hold back what I think.”

In switching schools, Ridi found solace and comfort in her sister, her lone supporter. While fighting harassment, the sisters also thought of others going through a similar situation. “We realised a safe platform where young people like us can express what they are going through and get support and advice will make a huge difference,” she says on the inspiration behind Stop the B!.

An ardent listener of different types of music, Ridi was a huge fan of Athens-based singer and artist Stella Chronopoulou in her teens. “Her music had many theatrical elements and at the same time felt like a pop field, which was amazing because I grew up watching a lot of theatre. I felt amazed when I went to Broadway and I love different types of theatre pieces. The opera is still theatre, and one of my favorites.”

Her singles also highlight issues that resonate with her. For instance, the song ‘Guilty Feet’ talks about how ‘women are made tosuppress their pleasures and desires.’

An interest in music and academics

An interest in music and academics
| Photo Credit:
special arrangement

Her next single, ‘Make it all make sense’, a Western song with a Sanskrit slogan, talks about embracing the confusion and uncertainty and being a girl boss through it all, she is excited about the song ‘I could be your daddy.’ She is not sure of its release date but hopes young girls and adults resonate with this fun song, I Could Be Your Daddy’ talks about how women, especially in Asian societies, sometimes are forced to take a back seat in a patriarchal household. The song says, ‘nay, I’m gonna be the man. And, you know, I could be your daddy.”

Balancing academics and music is tough but she follows no schedule. Describing her creative process as being all over the place, Ridi says, “When an idea comes to me, I record and work on music when I have time. I can never plan as one can never guess when something feels right. Likewise, sometimes I stay up till 5:30 in the morning trying to complete an essay. It’s not easy as I’m continuously playing with my sleep schedule, but it works out and I’m still living and so happy.”

With plans to make Stop the B! an NGO, Ridi hopes to continue the journey. “I will not choose but take both paths (music and chemical engineering). When women can do it all, why should we be forced to choose one?”



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