Singer-songwriter Mya Mehmi is the first ever trans woman to be featured on the BBC’s Asian Network music playlist with her song Panivaar (Interlude).
“I wrote the song in 2020 after the death of my Thaya [uncle] for my cousin and my dad,” she said.
“It was heartbreaking watching everyone mourn the death by themselves so this was my attempt to comfort them the best way I know how.”
Mya, who began her transition in 2020, also expressed a wish that the British Asian community could be more welcoming towards the LGBTQ+ community.
“If you really love someone and they come out as trans, you need to do the work by researching and asking questions,” she said.
“Some of my family members still misgender to make themselves feel more comfortable.
“If they truly love me they should be happy that I am finally living in a state of peace.”
She said that it was an honour to be the first trans artist to be played on the BBC’s Asian network, but added, “”I know so many incredibly talented trans South Asian artists, so I am shocked. “I appreciate this title, but I take it with a pinch of salt. For all we know there could have been artists in the playlist before that are transgender, but didn’t have the support to come out.”
Listen to the BBC Asian Network Presents here