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Move Over K-pop. India’s All-girl Pop Group W.i.S.H. is Aiming to Take Over the World of Music

Move Over K-pop. India’s All-girl Pop Group W.i.S.H. is Aiming to Take Over the World of Music

  • Created by music producer Mikey McCleary under Sony Music Entertainment, World inka Stage Hai represents a new chapter in India’s music industry.

A group of four Indian girls is aiming to take over the world with their music, and by spreading the positive message of sisterhood and female empowerment. They call their pop group W.i.S.H., an acronym for ‘World inka Stage Hai,’ or “the world is their stage.” W.i.S.H is made up of Ri (Riya Duggal), Sim (Simran Duggal), Zo (Zoe Siddharth), and Suchi (Suchita Shirke), who each bring their unique flavor to the group. 

Created by music producer Mikey McCleary under Sony Music Entertainment, it represents a new chapter in India’s music industry, catering to a young and passionate audience. Ever since their first single “Lazeez” was launched earlier this month, the girls have been performing at various venues and creating a storm in the country’s music scene. 

Rolling Stone India calls their first single “an attempt to redefine and reclaim female autonomy, independent of any external gaze or stereotype.” Zo told BBC Asian Network that “Lazeez celebrates the modern woman and encourages self-love,” adding that the song is “special” for the four of them. Ri told the news outlet that she has been “overwhelmed” by the positive feedback from fans. “It hadn’t even been a day since our song had released, and we already had a ton of fan pages.” It was then that the group realized “how much India really wanted this and was waiting for this.”

Ri, Sim, Zo, and Suchi have “distinct, yet cohesive, personalities,” Rolling Stone India says, adding that the girls “project confidence and likeability, with the singing and dancing competencies to back it up.” 

Three members of the group have individually tasted success and fame, Suchi is a newcomer. Sisters Ri and Sim, were originally part of the duo ‘Simetri’, while Zo, recently accompanied the musician Aadya Rao on guest vocals on stage during his debut Lollapalooza India 2024 performance. She’s the one who “engages online with her fans,” the Rolling Stone report says, adding that she is obsessed with K-culture and gaming. The group’s leader Ri, “evokes a level of fashionableness,” Rolling Stone says, and has the “‘it-girl’ quotient that glues the group’s styles together.” Her younger sister Sim, is “fiery and rebellious” and “likes to do things her own way.” Although Suchi is “the new and the youngest member of the girl group, she carries with her a significant arsenal of vocal abilities,” Rolling Stone India says.

Much like some of the famous Western girl groups they have been studying, they told BBC Asian Network they “want to follow their lead by embracing each member’s individuality.” Sim, who described herself as “the sassy one,” described her group mates to the network. “Zo is really calm and sweet, Suchi is naughty and fiery, Ri is the boss, the leader, and the mama bear.”

The group wants to “get to the top by spreading a positive message of sisterhood and female empowerment,” Zo told BBC Asian Network. “We like to build each other up not only as artists but as people,” she said. “We are in this journey together, and I’m so thankful for that.” She also believes W.i.S.H. can help I-pop reach an international audience. “We are ready to travel across the globe and perform our songs everywhere.” 

Along with the excitement of being India’s girl band and a trendsetter, Zo told BBC Asian Network that they still feel the pressure. “We have to now set the new standard, so there are a lot of expectations for us,” she said.  They also understand their roles as role models. “If young girls see us and then decide to be pop stars, that is amazing,” Ri said. “You can do whatever you want. The world is your stage, it’s your oyster. You just have to believe in yourself.”

See Also

W.i. S.H. comes 22 years after Viva — India’s first girl group that was launched in the early 2000s. Pratichee Mohapatra, Neha Bhasin, Mahua Kamat, Anushka Manchanda, and Seema Ramchandani together formed Viva, which was often described as a desi avatar of Spice Girls or Destiny’s Child. The girls were the winners of Channel [V]’s Coke V Popstar – the official Indian version of the British reality TV show ‘Popstars’– and were put together into a band by the show’s judges.

Another popular girl group is the Nooran Sisters, the Sufi singing duo of Jyoti and Sultana, but they “haven’t broken through in the same way,” as W.i.S.H, as the BBC noted. 

(Photos, Zoe Siddharth/Facebook)

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