One to Watch: Hamzaa
Who's this then?
Hamzaa is a musical breath of fresh air. She's a singer, a songwriter and a producer from London whose music is rooted in classic soul and R&B, but with a distinctly modern twist. Her vocals feel effortless, gliding between powerful and mellow to convey emotions and stories you maybe wouldn’t expect capable from somebody who only recently turned 20. Her single Breathing is good indicator of what to expect from her music overall:
What's she been up to lately?
A lot considering we're only six weeks into 2019. Since January, she’s earned a place on the BBC Introducing playlist, collaborated with with Wretch 32 and Ghetts, and had a plug from actual Stormzy himself. It was also recently announced that she will be supporting Ray Blk upcoming London gig at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town on March 28.
On February 6, Hamzaa performed a spotlight session for DJ Target on BBC Radio 1Xtra – if you missed it, you can listen again here.
That's great, but is she any good live?
Extremely. She attended various stage schools growing up, so despite being pretty new to the scene she already knows how to work the stage. Her first headline show at St. Pancras Old Church in November sold out in one day, and similarly, her recent gig at London's Omeara sold out a month in advance.
Oh, and then there's the matter of this recent stand-out performance on Later… With Jools Holland, which earned her a reputation as a vital new star in the making.
Any more fun facts?
Hamzaa is actually a stage name taken from her stepfather’s surname; her real first name is Malika. Also, shortly before her appearance on Jools Holland, she had auditioned for The Voice UK, but changed her mind before filming began.
Check out Hamzaa's EP First Signs Of Me on Spotify, which includes the new version of Breathing featuring Wretch 32 and Ghetts. Tickets for her support slot with Ray Blk are on sale now.