south london-based artist sabiyha has released a live session version of her anthemic debut single 'choorile'. filmed against the rooftops of the artist's neighbourhood earlier this year, the video perfectly captures the plucky, unflinching spirit of the track and sabiyha herself. watch here:
born and raised in croydon in a large, boisterous family, sabiyha wrote 'choorile' as a tribute to powerful womxn, inspired by her own mother. "you don’t want to get in an argument with my mum! she’s tiny but there’s plenty of fight in her. she’s the person that i was thinking of, writing ‘choorile’.”
'she'd ask me 'are you a leader or are you a follower?'. she was quite hard about that - she didn't want me to just go along with what people were saying, and that's what shaped the way i am.'
'choorile' is a feminist reclamation of a guyanese term originally describing a folkloric, banshee-like creature, but that has come to describe women who are perceived as being too loud, unruly or assertive. this uncompromising reclamation and inhabiting of space is heard in sabiyha's powerful, steady vocals between bars of broken english and elements of south india's carnatic traditions.