FRESH: ‘Love Me Alone’ – Sabiyha

Sabiyha requests you “Love Me Alone”

Emerging talent, South Londoner Sabiyha today releases her new single, “Love Me Alone”. The track follows close on the tail of Sabiyha’s debut release “Choorile”, with both singles produced by Avi Barath out of Dave Okumu’s (The Invisible) studios in Deptford. “Love Me Alone” is co-written and co-produced by close friend Andrew James.

Tracking a period in Sabiyha’s life when toxic relationships were threatening to throw off her sense of self, “Love Me Alone” claps back to, in her own words, “These f**k boys with the worst intentions, who would make me feel it was my fault they were acting shady”. It’s an unapologetic, self-love anthem that backs the co-existence of vulnerability and self-worth, sharing much of the gutsy DNA of Sabiyha’s debut single, a feminist reclamation of a Guyanese folkloric term which has become short-hand for women who are perceived to be too loud or assertive.

An empowerment-driven, two-stranded conversation that counsels both to her own Self and those who are shaking that identity, “Love Me Alone” is driven by a snaking dancehall beat, in part in tribute to Tottenham-based R&B contemporary Miraa May, usually on heavy rotation on Sabiyha’s playlists. Speaking about the experiences which play into “Love Me Alone”, Sabiyha notes; “I’m someone who embraces sexuality, however, that does not give people a free pass to treat me like an object. The behaviour of the men I was meeting made me feel ‘like poison’, assuming I’m someone that I’m not. I was taking that narrative on and near enough shaming myself. I wanted to hear remorse from these guys. This song basically says “I’m over this bullsh*t, I’m not letting this affect my self-worth; I’ll love me”.

“We all have moments where our self esteem waivers, and we question ourselves as people. This doesn’t indicate weakness, but the many shades of light and dark that we experience and how we can work through it”. This push for resilience and self-knowledge, particularly as a woman of colour, was shaped during Sabiyha’s adolescence, born and raised in Croydon, South London amongst a large, extended family, headed up by matriarch ‘Nanny’, formerly relocated from Guyana. Growing up in Sabiyha’s house was never silent, her teenage world sound-tracked by the latest tracks from Choice FM and Channel U, with Grime and soca playing at day-to-night parties round BBQs. It’s a balance which reflects the broader interplay between her cultural heritage, brought into sharper focus by an affecting recent trip to her parents’ former home, and the ease of Croydon’s multicultural dynamic.

For more about Sabiyha, check out her FACEBOOK page and follow her on TWITTER

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So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!