Ms Marvel: bringing South Asian music to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In case you ain't heard or seen it, the Marvel Cinematic Universe now has its first on-screen Muslim superhero:16-year-old Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel.
Played by newcomer Iman Vellani, Kamala Khan is an aspiring artist working on superhero fan fiction, who becomes a superhero herself when she finds a magical bangle that allows her to harness cosmic energy. (Interestingly, it seems she’s able to channel the trauma of Partition and the spirit of her great-grandmother, who went missing at the time, through the bangle.)
The first episode of this much-anticipated series dropped this week and it’s already melting hearts everywhere. Not only does it provide much-needed representation onscreen and in the superhero genre, Ms Marvel puts Kamala’s South Asian heritage front and centre.
From SP Balasubramaniam, AR Rahman and Ahmed Rushdi to Ishq Bector, Raja Kumari, and Ritviz, there are plenty of South Asian artists on the Ms Marvel soundtrack and it looks like audiences couldn’t be happier.
As if that wasn’t enough, initial reviews for the show have been largely positive, praising the representation of South Asian Americans and Vellani’s acting debut in particular.
Some of the other songs to keep an eye (and ear) out for in Ms Marvel is “Rozi”, rapped entirely in Urdu by are Pakistani hip-hop artist Eva B and “Disco Gully” by Angus Campbell, Kully Bhamra, and Ishq Bector (of 2008’s “Aye Hip Hopper” fame). And it’s only episode one!