In Conversation: Sharifa
Sharifa, an 18-year-old talented musician, producer, artist, and DJ, possesses the ability to fuse diverse genres into something entirely unique. With a passion for alternative rap, pop, and R&B, Sharifa effortlessly intertwines sounds from various instruments, infusing his music with an enchanting energy that captivates listeners. Originally hailing from a town in the East Midlands, Sharifa now lives in London, where he continually pushes boundaries and refines his craft. He draws inspiration from his daily life and emotional struggles, channeling these experiences into his work to create music that resonates with listeners. His latest release, 'WEIRD,' is out now, accompanied by a music video that conveys the song's deeper lyrics and meaning. With his unmistakably unique style and undeniable potential, Sharifa has established himself as an artist to keep an eye on.
Where did the vision start and how did it progress?
I think it started when I was around 5 and I saw the Michael Jackson “You Are Not Alone” video. We had it on DVD and I loved the atmosphere he created with it and I really connected with it. I started piano when I was 9 and from there started learning my favourite songs. When I was 12 I started writing original music and that somehow takes me to where I am today.
Describe your sound in three words?
Dark, thought-provoking, atmospheric.
Can you tell us about your latest release, WEIRD, and what inspired the lyrics and
I wrote this song back in 2019. I was heavily influenced by Travis Scott at the time and I think you can really hear that in the song. I was writing about trying to find myself and discussing some of the things I’d gone through at the time and my way of dealing with it. I worked on the song for a long time and ended up changing the beat to the more cinematic sound that it is now. I had some ideas for the video being a
floaty and surreal vibe because that's how the song made me feel and I love the way it turned out.
How has your background and life experiences influenced your music?
I feel like I went through quite a lot of things when I was really young that opened me up to maturer topics as a child. I think a lot of people might relate to that. It affected my mental state massively and how I perceived the world but music was something that was always there and made me feel amazing and took me away from reality. I think it mostly began as a way of expressing things I felt like I had to keep to myself and I used it as an outlet for those things.
We’re all about new music discovery– who is an artist that you think everybody
should be listening to right now?
Brakence. He’s way too underrated.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far and why?
When I started writing music like the stuff I do now, my biggest influence was Juice WRLD and he still is definitely high in my list. I really like the rawness and realness to his music and lyrics and I love the way it connected with me and other people. I really strive for that.
Is there a certain place where you feel the most creative?
I think for me it's more a mindset than a specific place. I think times where I’m feeling a strong emotion is a great time for me to transfer it to my work. I do really like nature walks though, I love to brainstorm stuf then.
How do you approach writing lyrics and what themes do you like to explore?
It's so weird to explain but I feel like I'm not actively there when writing my lyrics haha. It's like I go into a trance and my subconscious takes control and writes the things on my mind without me thinking too much about it. It's strange cause it doesn't feel like I'm actively writing the lyrics but I am. I always look back like “did I really write that”? But sometimes I think that's the best thing about it because I'm not overthinking it and it's literally just me pouring my mind out into my lyrics and giving the most vulnerable version of myself.
What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I really hope people connect with it and feel what I'm saying. I feel like that's what I also seek when listening to music, something where I can feel the other person's state of mind and connect or relate with it and feel less alone through a journey I may be going through. It's always nice to hear people say it “sounds cool” but having someone really hear what benign said and potentially relate and say it helped them is so much better.
What can we expect from you next?
I’m so excited about the music I've been working on recently. And I can't wait to share it. Doing everything I can to make them as amazing as I can and to reach as many people as I can with them because I think people will really feel it and that we can come together and create a community.