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On The DL Vol. 3

April 17, 2023

Hey, Hey Hey! Welcome back to On the DL Vol.3, I don’t know about you guys but between the weather and finals coming up, doing school work is the last thing I want to do right now. So, to take your mind off of the impending week of finals, I give you the third installment of On the DL, today I’m highlighting the artist REHMA. REHMA is a Pakistani-American singer whose dreamy and velvety vocals, jazz and R&B inspired beats and lyrics written about personal experiences combine to create the experience that is REHMA and her music. I first came across REHMA during freshman year through her collaboration with artist Shreea Kaul on the song “Ladke”, which is the REHMA’s most streamed track. The song Ladke, which is the Urdu/Punjabi word  for men, took a fusion approach in combining English and Urdu. The choice to not only include different languages, but also Bollywood inspired rhythms was something that I really connected with. It reminded me of the car rides with my mom as a kid where the music would switch between 2000s pop and then bollywood hits. The inclusion of different languages added depth to the song and led me to listen to the other music that she had made. 

On August 20,2020 REHMA released her first EP titled Mercy which encapsulates the R&B vibe that REHMA does so well. Mercy explores the emotions of love and loss, with soft harmonies that remind you of sitting in the sun while music plays softly in the background. Or the emotions in the song allow you to relate to the push and pull of relationships. 

My favorite song that REHMA has put out is titled “Daylight” which was released as part of a duo titled “Desire/Daylight” which was released on April 29, 2022. “Desire/Daylight ” strays from REHMA’s typical R&B rhythms to a slow pop tune. “Daylight” explains the feelings that REHMA has regarding her lover, specifically the transformation of her feelings. The beginning of the song REHMA narrates that her time with her lover may be up, correlating their relationship with the rise and set of the sun. However, she also recognizes the fact that there are factors in her relationship that make REHMA want to walk away from everything and accept the loss of her relationship. At the end of the song, REHMA is faced with the fact that she can’t let her relationship go with the lines “can’t get over you/no matter what you do/there’s nothing left to lose” here REHMA accepts that while the relationship was never the best, there is something about it that she can’t let go and is willing to stay in the relationship and ignore the consequences. 

REHMA views the two songs “Desire/Daylight” as transformative pieces, they stray away from the pressure to feel at peace. The music is a homage to love, freedom and rebellion which allows REHMA to construct a dream world for herself and her listeners, inspired by 90’s pop queens Mariah Carey and Aaliyah while also drawing on the 70’s punk of Cher and Prince. To me, “Daylight” is the perfect song to listen to while doing homework while sitting outside, or even enjoying the sunlight with friends on the quad.

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