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 of her brother.
The Saudi-born, Ethiopian-Sudanese, British-based artist’s name translates from Arabic to English into “most high” or “the highest,” and interestingly enough, her work thematically concerns itself 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 challenging 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. The rising London-based quickly followed that up with “Spirit_X.” Centered around a forward-thinking production featuring skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling beats and arpeggiated beats “Spirit_ X” is indebted to classic drum ‘n’ bass while seeing the rising British artist alternating between spitting fiery bars and sultry crooning.
Alewya capped off a big 2021 with the release of her critically applauded debut EP Panther In Mode last month through Because London Records. The EP features the aforementioned “Sweating, “Spirit_X,” “Jagwa,” and the sultry and defiantly feminist anthem “Play.”
“Channel High” Panther in Mode‘s fifth and latest single is a slick synthesis of grime, contemporary R&B, dancehall, electro pop and Afrobeats that’s roomy enough for the rising British artist to pull out another incredibly self-assured, Lauryn Hill-like performance. Much like its predecessors, “Channel High” is politically charged, calling for music to bring about a much-needed paradigm shift.
Directed by Alewya, Simon Lane and Lee Trigg, the recently released video follows the JOVM mainstay biking through an abandoned industrial zone while performing the song.