One to watch: Aziya

<span>‘Knotty, dramatic takes on relationships’: Aziya.</span><span>Photograph: PR Image</span>
‘Knotty, dramatic takes on relationships’: Aziya.Photograph: PR Image

A good idea or song can circle the world in a second these days, and Aziya has plenty of both. The 24-year-old Londoner gathered a lockdown following via guitar-heavy TikTok covers of PJ Harvey, Santigold and Grimes. Now she writes and produces her own tunes, with excellent EPs We Speak of Tides and Lonely Castles bearing her knotty, dramatic takes on relationships.

Aziya specialises in dimly lit new wave and thrilling pop-rock, music she imagines Blondie and J Dilla would’ve made together. Like Blondie, one of her best songs is called Atomic, but Aziya’s track has a tense angst of its own. “Wanna be your ceremonial lie / Take me to the altar and make me your bride / If it’s not right / We’ll just call it off after midnight,” she promises, seconds before the cathartic chorus. Typically idiosyncratic, her new single, Crush (Tom Verlaine), is about her fear of fancying someone who looks like the Television frontman.

With an English father and Barbadian mother, she grew up listening to a huge variety of music but knows there aren’t enough musicians like her around. After one Manchester gig, a fan told her that she’d never seen someone who looks like Aziya playing these types of songs. “Creating a whole world [with my productions] is the most exciting thing for me,” she says. “I look up to Prince, or Kevin Parker – there are no women doing that.”