Written by Sophie Wyatt
Photo by Ella Niles
Since releasing her debut album ‘Third Eye‘ back in May 2020, London-based songstress Safiyyah’s fan base has continued to grow considerably. We got the chance to speak with the flourishing young artist in the run up to her single release, ‘Free‘ featuring fellow singer-songwriter RADA.
Listening to Safiyyah’s music, you can hear that she has experienced and been influenced by a lot of different artists and genres, and from this has been able to develop her own unique sound, telling us that ‘My music is me, not a genre just me‘. So it comes as no surprise that her love for music started from a very early age. However, it wasn’t until much later that she decided that she wanted to pursue her passion as a career. Remembering her first musical memories, Safiyyah took us down memory lane.
‘My first memories of music would have to be when i was around 3/4 years old, I actually have old tapes of me dancing around to 50 cent and old school hip hop/r’n’b thanks to my mother. I participated in a choir when I was in secondary school and several plays. I always loved to perform in some way creatively whether that was dance, acting or singing. But I only realised I wanted to pursue music about 2 years ago now. I didn’t really believe i could actually do it, it took confidence in myself to recognise my abilities and form a career from a childhood passion of mine.’
Coming from a Moroccan-Portugese heritage has meant that Safiyyah has experienced a lot of different cultures while she has grown and developed, not only as a musician, but as a person. She told us that while she is incorporating Portugese influences into her work, she is still developing her knowledge of Moroccan music.
‘I think it definitely does. I have incorporated Portuguese into my music, which I can speak. Unfortunately moroccan I’m not that great with however I have been really interested in putting my culture into what I do, I was looking into moroccan instruments and sounds and trying to put that into my future projects.’
In the wake of the global pandemic, our beloved live music events were stopped for the foreseeable future. And it is with a heavy heart that we wait for them to return. This has also meant that creatives have had to transition from live shows, to live streams. Safiyyah went into a bit more detail of how lockdown has affected her and some of the obstacles she has had to overcome.
Photo by Ella Niles
‘I think the main obstacles during this pandemic has been not being able to perform live and connect with your audience. I miss that and the feeling of everyone having a good time. Although it has helped connect digitally and even gain more support due to connecting on social media it also is an advantage because it helps get more creative with adapting online whether that be live streaming or just being a whole lot more interactive. Live shows are just way better, the feeling and vibing with the crowd is what I miss. Compared to live shows, I can’t really. However it’s great to still be able to get up and sing unreleased songs and people can watch on their sofa at home.’
Since starting to release her own music in 2019, Safiyyah has released an album and several singles. However, she explained to us that each song writing process differs. Like any true creative, Safiyyah is constantly taking inspiration from experiences going on around her, and this means that her work comes together in many different ways.
‘My songwriting varies, sometimes I come up with a melody first or sometimes I’ll have an instrumental and words will flow with how I’m feeling. I like to have a nice structure but at the same time when it comes to making a song I don’t think there are rules on which way it should be. Sometimes when I travel I like to just write random things and thoughts and words and put them into a story.’
For her latest release, Safiyyah teamed up with fellow London songstress RADA to create ‘Free’, a track to remind everyone that has lost themselves in love that they are in fact all they need. Self-love and freedom resonate throughout the whole song and bring a sense of instant confidence and fearless love for yourself. Safiyyah gave us a little insight into the work that went into the track.
‘The process for making ‘Free’ was great. It is produced by Solarris who has worked with me on previous tracks, I love RADA and her music, we met at a charity event and vibed instantly. This track is about being ruthless and free and letting yourself feel like a bad b. To all the girls out ther
While the future is still very much unknown for the creative industry, amazing creatives like Safiyyah are getting us through this strange time with the promise of more of their amazing work. While she left us on somewhat of a cliff hanger, we wait with baited breath for future tunes.
‘I’m super excited for my future music. I am always evolving and trying different things, I really am looking forward to hooking people into my story, my life and my journey. Just prepare for pure vibes.’