Dubbed “this decade’s triple threat” by Love Magazine, Alewya is a rapidly rising London-based singer/songwriter, producer and visual artist. Born in Saudi Arabia to an Egyptian-Sudanese father and an Ethiopian mother, Alewya has spent her life surrounded and nurtured by diaspora immigrant communities: she grew up in West London and after spending several years in New York. she returned to London. Upon returning home, the rising British artist developed and honed her ear for music through the sounds of the Ethiopian and Arabic music of her parents and the ambient alternative rock albums pop her brother.
The translation of the Saudi-born, Ethiopian-Sudanese, British-based artist’s name from Arabic to English into “most high” or “the highest,” and interestingly enough, her work generally is thematically concerned with transcendence. She sees her music as an accessible space for her and her listeners to connect on a deeply spiritual level — with her work challenge the listener to remember the last time that they felt truly connected to themselves and their emotions. “I want to move people to themselves. I want them to feel the same way that I felt when I had a taste of a higher power and felt there was a presence over me,” Alewya says. “I want people to feel that.”
Last year, Alewya had an attention-grabbing feature on Little Simz‘s “where’s my lighter,” which caught the attention of Because Records, who signed the rising artist and released her The Busy Twist-produced debut single “Sweating,” a forward-thinking Timbaland-like mesh of trap, reggae and electro pop. Since, the release of “Sweating,” the rising British artist has been busy releasing a handful of equally self-assured singles, including her latest single “Spirit_X.” Featuring around skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling beats, arpeggiated synths paired with Alewya’s punchy delivery in which she alternates between fiery bars and sultry crooning. The new single sonically is indebted to the relentless energy of classic drum ‘n’ bass music, and manages to evoke the sensation of getting lost in thumping beats and strobe light.
“I know that the rave can be utilized as ritual and ceremony to transform, uplift and energize a person,” Alewya explains. “I love giving visceral experiences. I love drum and bass for that specific reason. ‘Spirit_X’ encompasses all of the above in my way.”
Directed by the artist and Simon Lane, the recently released video for “Spirit_X” follows Alewya as she wanders a subterranean maze of abandoned tunnels before encountering an underground and extremely communal rave from a dystopian future that seems very familiar — and defiantly pro-Black. Visually, the video references The Prodigy‘s “Firestarter.”
Along with the video, Alewya announced that she’ll b opening for Little Simz on her November and December UK tour. Check out those dates below if you’re in the UK.
Aleywa UK & EU Tour dates
Nov 16 – Pitchfork Festival, Paris
Nov 25 – O2 Institute, Birmingham**
Nov 27 – 02 Academy, Newcastle**
Nov 28 – 02 Academy, Glasgow**
Nov 30 – Academy, Dublin**
Dec 02 – 02 Academy 2 Bristol**
Dec 10 – Brighton Dome, Brighton supporting Little Simz**
Dec 12 – The Great Hall, Cardiff**
Dec 13 – Corn Exchange, Cambridge supporting Little Simz**
Dec 14 – 02 Academy 2, Liverpool**
Dec 16 – 02 Academy Brixton, London**
**notes dates supporting Little Simz