Next Wave #973: Alewya

In Association With Vero True Social

With a predicted heatwave on the way this week, Alewya’s transcendental and hypnotic debut single ‘Sweating’ feels emphatically apt. Drawing influence from her African roots and UK club culture alike, ‘Sweating’ is driven by Alewya’s sublime vocals – there is also a typically on-point Honey Dijon remix available right now.

“It’s a song about feeling chemistry with someone in a club or wherever and just explaining how that feels. And about a female who’s not afraid of her prowess and power,” she says. The idea for ‘Sweating’ came from “feeling sensual and expressing that in song form”.

Alewya has also featured on a track with one of Britain’s biggest rappers, Little Simz – a team up she describes as a casual occurrence. “That just came very organically. I went around to her house and Osiris, ODG, her producer and alsoF one of the guys in her band (were) producing a track when I arrived and it was ‘where’s my lighter’ and I just kind of joined in, did my part and bounced!” Typically relaxed, she says it was a “nice surprise” when she found out she had been featured on Little Simz’ ‘Drop 6’ EP earlier this year.

As for plans for future collaborations, Alewya is open to them but mainly focusing on her own career at the moment. “Honestly, I don’t have that in my mind. If that happens organically, it happens; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’ve got my own thing to do. I’ve got my own explorations that I need to execute in my mind. If it’s part of the plan, it’s part of the plan; if it’s not, it’s not,” she explains.

Alewya doesn’t have any specific musical influences. Instead, she prefers to observe artists’ styles. “I think I just absorb stuff and keep it moving. I like people with attitude: M.I.A., Death Grips, different people. Anyone that’s genuine, authentic and (has) attitude”.

This authenticity and attitude is reflected in Alewya’s own sultry sound. Hailing from West London, Alewya recently spent four years in New York. A true multi-hyphenated talent, she matches interests in visual arts (illustration and sculpture, specifically) against that potent songwriting. Her music focuses on connection and making listeners want to dance – in short, Alewya aims for her music to be emotive.

“I just want (listeners) to be moved, if anything. Any strong reaction is a good reaction for me, so long as it’s not just numbness, and I make you feel something… I’m cool with anything to be honest.”

Words: Narzra Ahmed

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