London-native Safiyyah released her much-anticipated EP, Motions. The four-song collection effortlessly blends R&B, neo-soul, and contemporary jazz to craft narratives on community, nostalgia, and relationships. Raised in Ladbroke Grove, the rising artist is quickly establishing herself as one of the most promising voices in the UK’s music scene.
Released on Sept. 22, Motions is a reflection of a tumultuous period in Safiyyah’s life, characterized by a rollercoaster of emotions surrounding love and intimacy. The offering includes well-received singles “Saturdaze” and “Lisbon,” alongside brand new tracks “Der Sommer” and “No Pressure.” Each record tells a story, illustrating the highs of falling in love, the lows of losing it, and the healing that follows.
Particularly, “No Pressure” stands out, signifying the point of moving forward, a reminder of the hopeful end at the close of a heart-wrenching chapter. As Safiyyah explains, “It might seem to not fit in, but that’s exactly the point. Motions summarizes love — falling in love, losing it, and getting over it.”
With Portuguese and Moroccan heritage influencing her artistry, Safiyyah cultivated a unique sound that has already caught the attention of key names in the music industry. She brings a rich and energetic musicality to her work, with a promising future echoing through her heartfelt lyrics and soul-soothing cadence.
Below, we spoke to the musician about Motions, her songwriting process, London Fashion Week, and more. Read on for our conversation!
To anyone not familiar with your music, can you tell us what made you want to become an artist?
Since I was little, I always wanted to be a singer. I grew up being the child that was always performing in front of the family. My parents are really big lovers of music and different genres, so I became influenced from them. I didn’t really know or believe until recently that I could actually become an artist with platforms that emerged like Spotify and Apple Music, and how technology just came around, I realized it was actually possible. In 2019, I was encouraged by friends and family to release music, so I took the leap.
Motions is your first project since 2020’s Third Eye. Both musically and professionally, how much has changed since then?
Since releasing Third Eye, a lot has definitely changed. Personally, just through growth throughout the years, learning more about myself, and finding out what I really love and don’t love. And musically through my sounds, and my versatility, and my knowledge and growth of all things related to music, the theory behind it.
On the new project, there are two previously unheard tracks titled “Der Sommer” and “No Pressure.” What can you tell us about them?
“Der Sommer” is the summer in German. The German aspect came from my being in the studio with my friends. One of them is half German, and the aspect of that song is like an interlude: summer is ending, summer is over, that romance and just that uplifting yet melancholic vibe. It was a freestyle and just bounced off my emotions at the time.
And “No Pressure” gives that different energy more drill elements to it with a feature from an American artist called Doov, who I connected with. This song is about when I was feeling someone, and I just didn’t know how to act kind of like you don’t want to give too much, but at the same time, you want to be yourself.
Continuing with the behind-the-scenes talk, was there anything that surprised you about the writing and recording process with the new project?
Something that surprised me while making this project was definitely the writing process, which was mostly completely freestyle. I’ve come to love just vibing to sound and just flowing with that sound. I had so much fun.
On Instagram, you often share footage of you doing festivals and shows. How would you describe the emotions and thoughts that go through your head during those moments?
Yes, when I post performances of festivals or shows, I feel amazing. I feel proud and honored to show my art to people. When I perform, I feel so many things, but I always feel elated and accomplished after I’ve finished performing and hearing people’s feedback.
What’s exciting you right now, whether that’s music-related, beauty, or fashion? Is there anything outside of what you’re doing right now that’s giving you inspiration?
What is exciting me right would probably have to be Cleo Sol’s album that came out. I love her, and everything she writes is beautiful. Other than what I’m doing right now, is definitely just nature and my surroundings. My travels.
London Fashion Week is taking place over the next few days — if you had the chance to play your songs on a few runways, what brands would you want to work with and why?
Hmm, this is so hard. I’d probably say Prada, Jacquemus, and Acne Studios because I love all of them, and I think my songs would suit the looks they may have as well.