SGaWD | 5 Minutes With

In her highly anticipated sophomore EP ‘Tha GaWD – Side A,’ Miami-based Nigerian rap sensation SGaWD continues to push the boundaries of her musical expression, blending rap, house, electronica, and afropop into a distinctive and intoxicating mix. Following the critical success of her debut EP ‘Savage Bitch Juice,’ SGaWD’s latest project reflects her artistic growth and personal journey, navigating the complexities of the music industry with resilience and authenticity. Collaborating with talents like Moliy and GRAMMY-nominated producer GMK, SGaWD crafts a sound that is both innovative and deeply personal, showcasing her versatility and unwavering commitment to her artistic vision.

In this exclusive Q&A with Noctis Magazine, SGaWD delves into the creative process behind ‘Tha GaWD – Side A,’ sharing insights on her genre-blending approach, the challenges of maintaining her unique sound, and the personal experiences that shaped the EP. From the empowering anthem ‘Money Prayer’ to the liberating ‘Dump All Your Worries On The Dance Floor,’ SGaWD’s music resonates with themes of resilience, joy, and empowerment. As she continues to carve out a distinctive lane in the global music scene, SGaWD remains dedicated to supporting female artists and creating music that uplifts and inspires her listeners.

Your new EP ‘Tha GaWD – Side A’ showcases a blend of diverse genres. How has your musical style evolved since your debut EP ‘Savage Bitch Juice’?

I think following up my first project, which was more straightforward rap, I was trying to figure out where I wanted to take my sound. Spending time in London and feeling the house & electronic vibes out there was definitely an influence but I think the inspiration really came from within. I know the music I like and gravitate to, and wanted to reflect that with my own spin on it.

You blend various genres like rap, house, electronica, and afropop. What challenges do you face while merging these different styles, and how do you maintain your unique sound?

I maintain my sound by staying true to myself and what I enjoy listening to. I make music that feels good to me and I want it to make whoever is listening feel good. I approach these genres from my own experiences and perspective and that’s what keeps it authentic.

Can you describe your creative process for developing the tracks on ‘Tha GaWD – Side A’? What was it like working with collaborators like Moliy and GMK?

Developing the tracks was a gradual experience. The tracks I did with GMK came a lot earlier in the process of the EP and we recorded together between London and Lagos. He really understood what I was trying to do with branching out into house and electronic sounds, but he’s also an amazing producer with his own unique style and bounce so working with him was a great process. Moliy’s verse on the other hand was one of the final pieces of the EP. Her voice is so sexy and special and I thought she would be a perfect fit on Juicebox and she matched my energy 100%. The whole process of this EP was me trusting myself and my ability to merge sounds in a way that felt true to me and I’m glad I could work with people that helped me achieve my vision.

‘Tha GaWD – Side A’ reflects your growth as an artist and a woman. Can you share a bit about the personal journeys that influenced the writing and production of this EP? 

It’s really just the story of me growing as an artist. Doing music independently is really hard but even in that struggle you still find time for joy, love, laughter, and I want to bottle those feelings and put them in music. I’ve had people make promises to me and break them, I’ve had people lie on my name or deny me opportunities because I’m not interested in them romantically/sexually but I can’t let that stop me. I had a vision in my mind with this project and nothing was going to stop me.

The track ‘Money Prayer’ seems to carry a strong message of resilience and faith. What inspired this song, and what do you hope listeners take away from it? 

Well ‘Money Prayer’ is inspired by my journey in the music game and the struggles I’ve seen but also my fire to persevere. I’ve been doing this thing independently with my manager and a small team but we’re still making things happen. I want people to feel inspired when they hear that, because it’s a declaration of my faith and belief in the plan God has for me.

You have a strong focus on creating supportive environments for female artists. How does this mission influence your music and your choices in the industry? 

I am always creating music for women and I really love working with other female artists, and having them on my songs and vice versa. I’ve been privileged to work with amazing female artists, makeup artists, photographers, and more. I always want to support the girls because we all need each other. Last year in Lagos as well I threw a show called The Aquarium and made an emphasis to have women as DJs and guest artists. It’s all about using whatever platform you have to create opportunities.

As a female artist in a competitive industry, what unique obstacles have you encountered, and how have they shaped your approach to music and business? 

I don’t know if my obstacles are necessarily unique and that’s the problem. In Nigeria, it can be hard just to get people to listen to your music as a female artist so that’s the biggest issue. Then you have to deal with misogyny, sexual advances, people downplaying your art etc These aren’t unique to me unfortunately but I handle them by sticking with my team and not letting those obstacles sidetrack me. I prefer working with women in many aspects as well so I try to always have women involved in my projects. I’m quick to put a situation to the side and move forward.

With such a dynamic start to your career, where do you see yourself heading next? Are there any new musical or artistic directions you’re eager to explore? 

Honestly only time will tell! I do see more singing though but who knows what form it’ll come in.

How do you feel your music, especially songs like ‘Dump All Your Worries On The Dance Floor’, resonates with your listeners and what feedback do you cherish the most? 

Like I said, I try to make feel good music so when people tell me how the songs affect their feelings and moods, positively, that’s the best feedback for me. Music is so powerful and can pull you out of negative situations and really give you a positive feeling so I strive to make music that is going to have people feeling uplifted and empowered.

What kind of legacy do you aim to build with your music, and how do you want your work to impact the global music scene? 

I’m still in the process of developing that legacy but I want to do work that is going to help other women in the long run. Whether it’s through my music, my media company, or other avenues. I want to impact the global music scene by showing them what other sounds and styles are coming from Nigeria! We have so much happening here and I want to be a part of showing that to the world.

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Photographer: Wuraola Ajeigbe