In four years of releasing music, Wafia has built up a strong discography, dropping two EPs and working with everyone from Ta-Ku to Louis The Child. She's always been careful with her releases, choosing quantity over quality. While most drop a steady flow of music in the streaming-era, Wafia has taken her time. Each release ushers in a new era.
She's just dropped her new track, Pick Me, written alongside Caroline Ailin (who's worked with Dua Lipa, Rachel Platten and more), John Hill and Chong The Nomad. It's an earworm so we thought we'd track through her essential releases to date getting her to this point.
Heartburn was the one that kicked it all off for Wafia. She had featured on Japanese Wallpaper's Breath In before but Heartburn defined what she could be as an artist. It was a warm, wafting introduction that put all the focus on those caramel vocals. It was produced by Ta-Ku beginning a fruitful musical collaboration that has brought out the best in both of them.
Window Seat (W/ Thomston)
Wafia joint forces with Kiwi pop force Thomston for a future pop ballad that essentially turned a prime position in an aircraft into a loving metaphor. The two voices were perfectly matched, blending on a bed of swirling electronics that swayed back and forth. It was one of the centrepieces of Thomston's debut album Topograph.
Meet Me In The Middle
The collaboration for Wafia and Ta-Ku was so magnetic that they collaborated on an entire EP (m)edian. Meet Me In The Middle saw Ta-Ku flex his vocals in a rare showing while Wafia showed the growing confidence she was developing as a vocalist. It was another mid-tempo scorcher that went back-and-forth with maturity.
Bodies was a breakthrough moment for Wafia in many regards. It was a bold, daring pop song that gave us one of the first anthemic choruses of her career. It also delicately dealt with the situation in Syria. Wafia's mother is Syrian and the refugee crisis struck a chord. Co-writer Ben Abraham and Wafia dealt with the subject powerfully and poignantly.
After Bodies it was clear that Wafia had reached a new height in her songwriting. She was dealing with subjects that were broad and complex. On Only Love, she went back to relationships with a new honesty and depth. Only Love's lyrics are simple at hear but that's the point of it. Lyrics like, "everybody needs somebody to hold on to," hits the heart right in the centre.
Better Not (W/ Louis The Child)
Wafia and US production duo Louis The Child's Better Not currently has over 100 million streams on Spotify and it's still rising. It took over the US festival season and saw Wafia take to the stage at Coachella. It's an effortless pop/dance track that combines melodic sensibility with fragility. A smash in every sense of the word.
With her big pop moment under her belt, Wafia came out with her boldest single to date. I'm Good is a carefree hair flick that seemed to resonate widely. It came it at number 14 on the Hottest 100 (her highest position yet) and basically soundtracked every summer house party. Even a year after its initial release, it still bangs hard.
After the massive success that was Better Not with Chicago-based duo Louis The Child, we were happy to see Wafia team up once again with the EDM champs and add fellow Chicago producer Whethan to the mix as well. Hurts may not be as full of child-like wonder as Better Not, but it's honest and infectious with a throbbing energy that juxtaposes her otherworldly vocals in the nicest way possible.
Flowers & Superpowers
We've never heard Wafia like this before - sickly sweet, but warped and twisted at the same time. The song is about being super high while on edibles one time, so we're loving its inspiration as well as its ultimate end result. It's confident and poised, yet knows how to have a good time as well.
On Pick Me, Wafia tells the story of a break-up - from the perspective of the person breaking it off. Backed by a piano hook, Wafia reminds evetyone that it's important to choose your independence, and not give that up. If someone's asking you to sacrifice who you are, don't do it. It's the first taste of music we've heard from Wafia in 2020 - but it doesn't look like it'll be the last.