Music is often nothing without meaning, and no one understands that better than Wafia. In three short years, the 24-year-old singer and musician has already amassed an impressive collection of expressive electronic pop that traverses the emotional spectrum—from heartache to new sensations, fractured familial experiences to societal and political alienation. Her second solo EP, VIII, saw release through Australia's hot-to-trot Future Classic label earlier this year, and its lovely, complicated moods—along with her collaboration with Louis the Child, the summer smash “Better Not” and now her latest in ‘I’m Good’ —are but only a hint of what's to come.
Wafia was born in the Netherlands to Syrian and Iraqi parents, traveling around Europe for most of her childhood in what she refers to as a "nomadic" life before her family eventually pulled up roots in Brisbane, Australia. She was raised largely on European pop and R&B, but Wafia found true inspiration when discovering Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. "It completely changed my life," Wafia gushes. "I didn't know that kind of music existed." Traditional Arabic music also played a role in her musical upbringing: "I incorporate it subconsciously—it runs through my veins," she explains. "So much of that lives in me."
And as Wafia continues to log studio sessions while working on her next project, that dichotomy—of simultaneously speaking freely and giving the world-weary a chance to lose themselves in the music, if only for a moment—continues to be essential to her artistry. "I want to be honest and genuine—above all else," she proclaims. "I never want to lose myself, and I want to make sure that I'm creating a good space for other people to be in. Sometimes when I go to shows, there aren't people who look like me, and I want other people to feel like this is their place. We don't have those spaces, but they can take up as much space as they want here."