Making Waves With Sharifa

Noctis enjoys discovering new talent, new sounds, and new sonic perspectives. Primarily the constant quest searches for authenticity, unique genre blends, and individual style. London-based newcomer Sharifa ticks all the boxes, making waves since 2020.

Sharifa’s creed works on tunnel-vision goal-setting innovative systems. Producing his own unique blend of rap, pop, R&B, and alternative elements, the multi-instrumentalist avoids any rule book or standard categorical practices. The 18-year-old musician, producer, artist, and DJ stands high, paving his lane aspiring for greatness but not leaving anything to chance.

In previous releases, ‘TOO MUCH‘ and ‘COME AND HELP ME,’ Sharifa evinces mature emotional intelligence and inward-looking storytelling subconsciously based on his life experiences and struggles.

The young visionary Sharifa chats to Noctis about his work ethic, creative aesthetics, and stepping out of being a rapper and more of a multi-faceted artist. If you read until the end, Sharifa reveals new music might be coming sooner than you think.

We’re already in April, what were your goals for this year, and what are you doing to achieve them?

I’m definitely on the path that my goals set out for me, but they’re always changing so I’m just trying to keep developing with a vision in mind.

What or who made you want to make music?

Just me. There were artists that helped me realise the love I had for music but I really just wanted to make it myself. That was just how I felt.

Can you name your top 5 best rappers of all time?

I wouldn’t say “rappers’, but artists. JID, Juice WRLD, Kanye, Lauryn Hill and Travis Scott are some of my favourites.

When and why did you move to London?

I moved here in 2021 to pursue music. I think the environment and opportunities for creatives are way better here than where I was from.

As an 18-year-old aspiring rapper, what would you say are the biggest advantages and biggest obstacles of making it as a musician in 2023?

I think the biggest advantage is that if you put the work in you can get really far on your own because of all the resources we have now. My biggest obstacle would probably be that because of that, a lot of people are doing it and it can be really hard to find where you fit as an individual.

You’ve shared that your music and lyrics are influenced by your daily life and emotional struggles, could you elaborate?

I guess I just take situations that I go through and write about them. I don’t always actively do it, but sometimes I’ll subconsciously write about certain moments in my life that are on my mind even if i dont realise it. I’ll listen back to it and envision the memories or even story that it’s about and the emotion that’s tied to it.

What are your latest singles ‘TOO MUCH’ and ‘COME AND HELP ME’ about?

COME AND HELP ME is a song that I go back to a lot. I connect with it the most currently. I wrote in 2020 when I was going through a dark mental period and felt trapped in my own mind. I was writing for someone to “come and help me”. TOO MUCH was a 2am emotional writing session in my room. I heard the beat which I immediately connected with. I pretty much freestyled the lyrics because the emotion was so raw at the time. That track has some pretty depressing and self-explanatory lyrics

Who do you collaborate with for your music videos?

It’s different each time. I just come up with a rough idea and try to find people that fit it best and where we can actually come together and create something. It’s way better when it’s a collaboration. I would love to work with some of the people I’ve done stuff with again in the future though.

What is your dream aesthetic and creative direction for your brand as a rapper?

Just being me really. That’s how most of my aesthetic and visuals come from at the moment and it works really well. I like creating art that steps out of the norm and is quite isolated even though when I do it, that principle is not on my mind. I like to make things without rules and just follow what I want to do. I think I’m already doing things that are quite unique, so it’s hard to compare it to an end vision that I can’t really show and that’s ever-changing. I would say that I make music and art that steps out of being a “rapper” though.

What are you planning next? (New single WEIRD and beyond)

I’ve got a single called “WEIRD” releasing next month which I’m really excited about. The plans for this one are crazy and I’m ready to reveal the next wave!

Follow Sharifa On Instagram

Photography: Ben Bradish-Ellames

Styling: Daniel Tyson

Grooming: Leanne Millar

Words: Karolina Kramplova