BMA single review by Vince Leigh
Australian R&B artist Prema Smith has released a track whose lyric sharply reflects the artist’s past experiences of prejudice and racism.
Prema has thoughtfully and skilfully merged R&B undertones with a chiefly pop-fuelled focus and created a highly accessible track. He has collaborated with Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Jackie’s Boy (Justin Bieber, Madonna, David Guetta) on This Is Me, and delivered a crossover record with a fair amount of dynamism and the requisite chorus pop hook. Through this form, Prema unleashes his message, which is considerable, utilising his vocal prowess and, perhaps most significantly, his background to tell the tale.
Prema, adopted from Sri Lanka and raised in Tasmania, faced cultural adversities that shaped his music. Prema’s music emphasizes positivity and emotional connection, leading him to establish Self Appreciation Day – a day to focus on loving and appreciating who you are while advocating for mental health awareness amongst communities. Positivity is shared across Prema’s music, encouraging a deeper emotional connection with his listeners, and incorporating positive mindfulness (Prema refers to this as ‘a good food for thought’).
This Is Me is minimalist in its approach, keeping instrumentation at a distance, yet amping it up a notch when it’s called for, as when the chorus kicks in, full-bodied and groove centred. Alongside these melodic inventions, Prema sounds committed, which is not surprising considering his mantra: ‘I’m going to be as authentic [and] genuine as possible.’
Although one might think the title gives away the game, there are a few surprises here, particularly when it comes to the melodic inventions, but the core of the track relates to the lyric; as Prema explains, ‘This Is Me derives from a deeper truth of my tenacious upbringing. This song is about all my struggles and failures that I have endured.’
You can hear this track very soon on Spotify or Apple Music