Born in Saudi Arabia with an Egyptian father raised in Sudan and an Ethiopian mother, Alewya grew up in west London surrounded by diasporic immigrant communities. After spending several years in New York City, she returned to her west London community where her ear for music was harnessed: by the exported sounds of Ethiopian and Arabic devotional music from her parents and by the vibrations of ambient alternative rock music felt through the walls of her older brother’s bedroom.
Arabic for “most high” or “the highest,” Alewya’s music and art are deep broodings through euphoria, heartache, melancholy and back again. Today she has released her debut single “Sweating” today via Because London Records, following her recent feature on Little Simz’s track “where’s my lighter.”
“Sweating” is sensual, melodic dance music: 2am in a dingy club with entwined bodies, passion and potent intensity. The melodies on “Sweating” are buoyed by future-facing productions, drawing influence from her African roots and UK club culture. Its sensual melodies implore you to move. For the track, Alewya brought in UK / Ghana-based producer The Busy Twist who makes African-inspired Bass Music that re-joins the dots between Accra and London, and the two come together for a fire-fueled fusion of the deepest club rhythms. Alewya notes, “It’s about feeling chemistry with someone but also about a female who is not afraid of her prowess and power. It’s a mood.”
The hypnotic visuals for the song, directed by Jack Bowden, vibrate with kinetic energy-rich with enthralling rhythms and dancers. In it, Alewya is seen on screen in the video spraying a large canvas hinting at her wide-spanning talents which include illustration, sculpture, and visual art.