Next Wave #1138: Safiyyah

"You must always stay true to yourself..."

Safiyyah, a West London based singer-songwriter whose serene sound braids both her Portuguese and Moroccan roots together, recently shared her latest EP ‘Motions’. If you are tapped in with London’s soundscape, then you’ve probably stumbled across the songwriter before. What was once a dream for a young girl, has become a career of fulfilment through turning the odds in her favour. “Growing up I’ve always lived in social housing with my family and siblings. I’ve always loved performing; I was that one child that had to get up in front of the whole family and entertain them! When I was in Primary School I was involved in plays and choirs and would try recording myself singing anytime I could”, she explains. 

It wasn’t until years later when dropping out of university that Safiyyah decided to take her love for music to the next level. Steering away from the temptations of commercial glory Safiyyah’s authentic approach has built a cult-like following. Championing her heritage at the forefront of her artistry, staying true to herself means more than numerical success; “It means a lot more to me than getting on the charts and receiving certain recognition. You must always stay true to yourself. The main reason why I make music is for myself, I write for myself. It’s a release. It’s not always going to be mainstream; I’ve always stuck to what I love because that’s why I did it in the first place.”

Celebrating the release of her latest EP ‘Motions’, listeners are graced with four tracks that all differ in sound. Exploring the rollercoaster of emotions that come with a relationship, Safiyyah guides us with her dulcet tones and irresistible melodies for just under ten minutes long, “All the tracks represent different emotional aspects of a relationship. One day you might be sad about it, the next you might feel hopeful, or another day you might wake up and think eff this!” she comments.

Posing as her first project since 2020, personal growth was always inevitable but when comparing the two. “This EP is a bit shorter in comparison to my previous projects, but the feel of this project is different. There are different elements, for example ‘No Pressure’ not only has R&B and drill elements but also has a feature from an American artist”, Safiyyah explains. If you picture yourself on a summer’s day, driving in a 1965 convertible Ford Mustang down a country lane with the sun beaming, that’ll give you an idea as to what the opening track ‘Der Sommer’ sounds like. Something so seamless yet so chic was an effortless freestyle of words that came to mind when the producer hit record. Admitting her creative process is primarily off the dome, if this doesn’t emphasise her dedication to the art then I don’t know what does – not everyone is made for that! Now aiming towards an album alongside exploring the trending vibrations of amapiano, Safiyyah is a name you should look out for. 

Words: Elle Evans

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