A la fois productrice autodidacte, chanteuse et artiste visuelle, Alewya a été reconnue dès la sortie de son premier titre, « Sweating », streamé plus de 4 millions de fois. Ethiopienne, égyptienne et foncièrement londonienne, la jeune femme se retrouve à la croisée du grunge et de la soul. Elle a notamment secoué la scène groove anglaise avec son titre « The Code » (2021) – composé avec le phénoménal batteur et producteur Moses Boyd, un des piliers de la communauté jazz londonienne. En novembre 2021, l’artiste a sorti son EP Panther in Mode. On y retrouve notamment le titre « Jagna » (2021), pour lequel la sensibilité de la jeune artiste nous subjugue : « Jagna est mon âme, Jagna est ma rage, Jagna est ma leçon, mon désespoir, ma frustration, mon abandon, ma vulnérabilité, mon acceptation et mon existence sur cette planète » a-t-elle dit. En amharique, « Jagna » signifie « guerrier » ou « combattant ». Y figure également « Spirit_X » (2021), morceau qui s’accompagne d’un clip futuriste rendant hommage aux raves-parties.
Born in Saudi Arabia from an Egyptian father who was raised in Sudan and an Ethiopian mother, Alewya describes feeling settled, surrounded by the diasporic immigrant communities of west London after moving from Saudi to temporary housing in London for much of her formative life. It was here, in the house she grew up in that provided an initial musical education.
It was a fortuitous meeting in west London where she was working as a waitress at a local cafe (between shifts at Waitrose) that she was asked to be in a film as a dancer that led her to being model scouted, and later, a period in New York modelling for four years which she calls a ‘whirlwind’ that left her feeling liberated to make visual art and occasionally post music to a SoundCloud. Being away from home in New York allowed her to unlock what she calls ‘creative pockets’ in herself and challenge the idea of one kind of rigid identity. “I realised that I wasn’t just ‘one’ thing” she calmly states. “I spent my whole life fighting for who I was and trying so hard to blend in and not be noticed. But it’s impossible”.
She started making music later in life, and it was the heartbreak following a break-up with a girlfriend that provided the inspiration for her early songs – staying inside and finding her voice by allowing herself to meditate into long trances. “I just got obsessed with that and started painting first, then progressed to animation which then moved to making beats on GarageBand and the iPad. I was in a cocoon for a while. I left some of it in the slow flow periods of it where it’s just sounds like gibberish, sounding nearly like a language. Most of my songs were about that. Just raw feelings.” The period saw her writing and painting, and return to London with a fresh outlook on music as art.
Alewya’s work has been recognized since the release of her first single, « Sweating », streamed over 4 million times. She finds herself at the crossroads of grunge and soul. With her song « The Code » (2021)– composed with phenomenal drummer and producer Moses Boyd, one of the pillars of the London jazz community, she’ve shook the English groove scene. In her single « Jagna » (2021), the sensibility of this young artist captivates us: « Jagna is my soul, Jagna is my rage, Jagna is my lesson, my despair, my frustration, my abandonment, my vulnerability, my acceptance and my existence on this planet, » she said. In Amharic, “Jagna” means “warrior” or “combatant”. Her latest release, the transcendent single « Spirit_X », is accompanied by a futuristic clip paying tribute to rave parties.