The Zimbabwean rapper AWA is considered one of the most interesting female voices in African hip hop. With unprecedented speed and using her native click language as rhythmic elements, she lifts hip-hop to the next level. A.W.A. is not only the short form of Awakhiwe, but also an acronym for African Woman Arise. The 24-year-old raps about violence against women, teenage pregnancies and the high HIV rate in townships.
Despite, or perhaps because of, this reality, her pieces are always danceable and remind us that life can also be good. Currently, she is in the studio with producer Ghanaian Stallion from Megaloh to record her latest album, which is due to be released on the Munich-based Outhere label in 2018.
AWA is also part of the Refutronic Choir GRRRL – a bespoke electronic and vocal collaboration between 8 women of colour, revolutionary female vocalists from Manchester and Zimbabwe coming together to tell their collective stories of life, conflict, inequality and change through music. The project features an inspirational line up of emerging and established vocalists including Zimbabwe’s Rap Queen AWA – African Women Arise, Sufi singer/songwriter Sarah Yaseen, Manchester based soul singer Tsana Osbourne, cultural activist and lead singer of Family Ranks Ruby Ann Patterson, founder of Amani Creatives Emmanuela Yogolelo, 18 year old Eritrean singer Neda Naser, Zambian singer Yolanta Johnston and Syrian singer Sham. The project was funded by PRS Foundation and Arts Council England, is the organization’s most ambitious production effort to date, uniting a number of diverse cultures and languages through music. Ruth Daniels from In Place of War will be here during WMW and will speak about this project!
A.W.A. will be performing at ACUD on Saturday, November 11th, 2017.