If the eight songs on HAWA’s debut EP each sound completely unrooted from any genre or setting, that may have something to do with the nineteen-year-old’s unique upbringing. Born in Berlin to West African parents, she moved to New York City where she became one of the youngest-ever composers for the New York Philharmonic.
Yet HAWA wasn’t cut out for the conservatism of the world of classical music, as is made completely transparent on her debut experimental rap EP the ONE. Comprised of intimate details about the complexity of sex and relationships, the EP features mind-bending beats from the likes of Tony Seltzer, Cadenza, and Oscar Key Sung, all of which HAWA seamlessly blends with her serpentine Auto-Tuned vocals. With the full EP below—clocking in at under twenty minutes—stream along and read what HAWA had to say about where the seeds for each song came from.
the ONE is out today via b4 Sounds—you can order it here.
I really wanted this project to resemble love—or at least the type of love that I’ve experienced. The first track is about seduction. When we first meet someone we find intriguing we try to seduce them. That’s exactly what I’m doing, but with music. I’m trying to seduce the audience.
2. “AROUND ME”
“AROUND ME” is about finding that one person who supports and uplifts you in every aspect in life. Even when others don’t, or when niggas wanna hate. That person can make you so crazy in love to a point where you would be willing to do anything to keep them.
3. “MY LOVE”
“MY LOVE” is really about how these two lovers met online and how their love blossomed into this beautiful thing while still being toxic.
“FRICK” is about a cocky motherfucker who can get anyone and anything they want.
“OFF” is really two stories in one. The first part is about a person with trust issues. They end up treating the people they’re with like shit. They could really give a rat’s ass about how people feel until they actually try to love. Now that’s when we get to the second part of the story. This time they actually fall in love just to see that being in love isn’t as easy as it seems, and ironically all the things they were doing to others get done to them.
6. “GET FAMOUS”
“GET FAMOUS” is about a rich nigga who’s tired of being used by the women that they fall in love with, while at the same time they themself don’t know what love really is.
“IPHONE” is about a person trying to make that special person stay in love with them, but due to their ignorance they actually end up making things worse. As they try to make their lover happy, they start to see the love that person had for them dwindling away.
“OUTRO” is about a relationship ending. When we break up with someone we love, we know that they’re not good for us, but there’s still that feeling of not being able to let that special person go. With “OUTRO,” that was the emotion I was trying to portray—that emotion of being happy to finally be out of a fucked up relationship, but still not being able to fully accept it.