A Conversation With London-Based Artist Sharifa

A conversation with London-based artist Sharifa, who returns with genre-bending new single “SOMEONE”

Meet Sharifa, a 19-year-old artist who left his East Midlands hometown for the London music scene in 2021. After spending most of 2023 honing his style, he returns with his genre-bending new single, “SOMEONE”.

The track gets personal, diving into the emotional rollercoaster of feeling lost and yearning for acceptance. “SOMEONE” taps into the realness of craving authentic connections and the sting of relationships that turn out to be less than genuine. Sharifa’s return is not just about the music; it’s an honest reflection of the challenges of being young and seeking authenticity in a world that sometimes falls short.

Impressed by the track, I decided to arrange a Q&A to go along with this feature. Read our conversation below:

Welcome back Sharifa, how have you been?

I’ve been good man, keeping myself busy and making new stuff.

Nice. What have you been doing since your last release “BEDROOM LIGHT”?

Started a new job a few months ago and ventured into a couple other cool things. But as always, hustling with the music and developing my sound and trying new things. Been going to the studio almost every week just working on new music and making the best stuff I can. 

Sounds good. You’ve just dropped your new single “SOMEONE”, talk us through the creative process.

I was in the big studio at HQI where I do my residency, and I’d been going through a rough patch. Loneliness and feeling lost has been a huge thing for me my whole life. I’ve always felt like I have to do everything on my own and it’s a bit scary. I started with a guitar loop and just wrote straight to it, getting everything out. I was inspired by my own emotional state and the song naturally wrote itself. Halfway through the session my boss rang me to tell me I’d been fired from my job haha and I just kept putting things down onto the track after that. I really like the way the writing of the song worked out, it’s a completely different vibe to what I was used to writing at the time. We ended up working on the production for the track after writing it and it turned out sick. I love doing it that way.

That sucks, but you’ve managed to bounce back. The song blends so many genres and does it so well, I can hear folk, hyperpop, pop rock and even punk. Are these genres you’ve always been into? Or is it something you want to tap into?

I haven’t heard anyone mention folk yet, it’s really interesting that you say that. But it’s actually kinda weird because I never really listened to much of that stuff or even had the thought of tapping into it. I actually only really started listening to more of it after making it. I’d been listening to a few artists here and there as I do like to listen to all types of music. But this track felt like it just came out of me. There wasn’t really any upbringing or desire to make something within those genres per say, as I didn’t know too much about them. It just happened. And I’m not mad about it. at all. Those genres are heavily based on emotions, and that’s how they became what they were. And I guess my mind naturally did the same when writing music as those were the emotions I was feeling and naturally it came out in the form of those genres.

And the song has emotional undertones, and really connects with listeners. I can hear the pain. Man, who hurt you? I hope you’re okay now. 

HAHAHA bro I don’t even know. I’ve always been so honest about stuff and know some people think it’s dark or depressing but I’m just a teenager going through shit man. It’s kinda standard at this stage of life I think. Heartbreak, trauma and life just hitting you is difficult and I just pour it into the music. Everyone has experienced it in their own way and if they say they haven’t, they’re lying. I think pain is a universal thing between us.

So true, I understand. Can we expect more music from you this year?

1000% I’ll be around for sure. I ain’t going anywhere this year. 

What else can we expect?

Way more live stuff and more new music, especially the new stuff I’ve been developing. I’m coming back better than ever. 

That’s what we love to hear man. If there’s one artist you’d love to collaborate with, who would it be and why?

It’s hard to say but I’d go with Travis [Scott]. He inspired me a lot when I was first writing my own songs. It would be sick to collaborate with him, make a sick tune and tick off another childhood dream.

Stream “SOMEONE” below:

Connect with Sharifa

Photo Credit: Peter O’Sullivan

Jewel Owusu — happyforyou