Wafia is the forward-thinking pop princess you need to hear.
From the outside, her latest single, ‘Bodies’ is a glossy number to fill dancefloors around the world. With a lush vocal that flows effortlessly, and a silky melody that wraps around it, the upbeat number moves in a sultry nature. Yet, accompanied by the video, the intelligent pop song has a deeper meaning. With the visual, the context is changed and the words become double-edged swords; “we’re just bodies.” Emotively written about her Muslim Arab family, the video has one mission: to remind people that those involved in the Syrian Refugee Crisis are human.
Politically aware and sonically understood, Wafia is forward thinking and a songwriter with deserved pride.
These are the songs that make her, her.
The song that makes me cry…..
“‘One Sweet Day’ by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. I feel so emotional about this combination of vocals but also the lyrics are heartbreaking.”
The song that makes me want to sing on karaoke….
“I’ve never really felt the urge to do karaoke but if I did, I think the song I’d want to bust out would be ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ from the Lion King.”
The song that makes me reminisce….
“‘Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ by Leonard Cohen. I heard this song for the first time after being put on a bus by someone who I loved but didn’t love me back.”
The song that makes me want to dance…
‘1, 2 Step’ by Ciara ft. Missy Elliot. I’m pretty certain that if this song comes on and if you DON’T dance to it, then you’re a cop.”
The song that makes me remember my childhood…
“‘Mambo No.5’ by Lou Bega. I remember sitting in my parent’s car, unsupervised, with my best friend, waiting for this song to go on the radio to tape it onto my cassette player so that we could dance to it later.”
The song that makes me feel differently…
“‘Let Go’ by Frou Frou. This song takes me to a very different place and I tend to listen to it when I’m in transit. It really chills me out.”
The song that makes me feel empowered….
“This changes depending on my mood most days but today it’d have to ‘Weekend’ by SZA.”
The song that makes me listen to the lyrics…
“I listen to most music for the lyrics but the one that sticks out to me the most is ‘Casimir Pulaski Day’ by Sufjan Stevens. His phrasing and choice of words is really interesting to me because it’s not stuff that I would gravitate to but when sung by him, it’s perfect.”
The song that makes me feel instantly happy…
“‘First Day of My Life’ by Bright Eyes. I was first shown this song by my crush at 16yo. They went on to show me a lot of music in a time when I was very impressionable. This song stuck with me. I never really knew what love felt like till many years after but I always thought love would feel like this song and I was right.”
The song that I wish I’d written…
“‘Jealous’ by Labrinth. Chords, lyrics, melody, it’s all these. I maintain the stance that this is one of the best songs ever. It could be released in any era and still be as good. Great songwriting will do that.”
Words by Tanyel Gumushan