Following a letter to fans about her new album and the racism she's dealt with in her life, Aaradhna has opened up further about her personal struggles.

In an interview with The Spinoff, the singer spoke about what prompted her to write that letter, the worst encounter she's had, and dealing with mental health both within herself and her family.

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Aaradhna told The Spinoff she was picked on at school because of her ethnicity and always felt that "if they're mocking me, they're mocking my parents".


Though she is New Zealand-born, with a Samoan mother and an Indian father, Aaradhna had racism coming from all sides.

"I would be judged by Samoans, they'd be backstabbing me in Samoan and I can understand what they're saying. They're saying: "this egg here, this Indian..." you know, or I'll go to a dairy and it felt like I was getting the double-stare, like I was going to steal something," she said.

Then there was the time she boarded a plane and took her seat in first class, only to be told by an air hostess - who hadn't even checked her ticket yet - to "get out" because she was in the "wrong place".

But by far the worst moment for her was at the 2013 New Zealand Music Awards, at which she picked up awards for best female solo artist, album of the year, best urban/hip-hop album and best Pacific music album for her last album, Treble & Reverb.

She had friends and family in the audience - it should have been a great day. But one of her friends heard someone shout out "f*** off back to India" when she went up to accept her first award.

He continued to shout racist comments and boo the singer on the second award, and when Aaradhna's friend told him to be quiet because they were with her, he said: "I don't give a f***".

It was that event which pushed her to write Brown Girl.

Aaradhna also spoke about her anxiety and depression, and her relationship with ex-Breakers player Leon Henry, which broke up and rekindled during the course of writing her latest album.

But more importantly, she spoke about her mother's struggle with schizophrenia and about how her father looks after her - which is why the racist attacks hurt so much.

"Our ethnicity and stuff, that's what my Mum and Dad are and that's what I am, and if you're trying to mock me you're mocking my parents, and that hurts," she said.

Still, she's trying to stay positive, reminding herself of her achievements and surrounding herself with positive people.

Her new album Brown Girl is out now.