THE BREAKDOWN – B-AHWE ‘26% Mixtape’ [@B.AHWE]

THE BREAKDOWN – B-AHWE ‘26% Mixtape’ [@B.AHWE]

Of Polish descent, 27-year-old B-ahwe was born and raised in Nottingham, and she uses music to journey through relatable life experiences and themes of self-worth, mental health, feminism and relationships. She studied Jazz and Popular Music at Leeds Conservatoire, where she met TAMBALA, LAUSSE THE CAT & Nix Northwest, who have been inspirational in her musical journey, encouraging her to produce and helping her to develop her signature sound and style.

Still Growing

This track was a special experience to create and brought about the genre of ‘Drum and Badu’. I’ve wanted to make a DnB tune for a long time but it needed to come about naturally. This track started as a dark soul song. It’s all about when you reach your personally breaking point after being really stuck in your head, against yourself to the point where you can’t get out of bed. And then you snap, you remember you’ve done this before and you will again. I produced this in my bedroom in lockdown…no surprise after that description!

I had a session with my guitarist who brought more dark jazz energy to it and we looked at each other and both said DnB, we knew where it needed to go. It was the perfect switch up to tell the story, reflecting spinning round in your head trying to restart. I took it to TAMBALA who is a genius with merging genres with dance production and he made the drums delicious. It was mad fun building the gospel backing vocals and playing around with chopping up my vocals. The backing vocals voices are me, my sister and best friend, which adds an extra personal touch of telling the story. A reminder that we’re still growing, no matter how rough it is right now, we got this.

In The Morning

Kate Bush has a Hip-Hop moment. This song is very personal to me. I’m really proud of producing this song and the whole sound world I created, it really takes you somewhere. As well as really challenging myself with ditching up the vocals and delivery. My vocals are laced throughout the body as different instruments and percussion. You follow the vocals in and then the synths take you for a deep dive.
This song is reflecting on a mistake I feel a lot of us have made at some point in our lives. It’s about falling for someone but being too scared to say anything. It talks about the confidence we have when the sun goes down, especially if we’ve been drinking. But as soon at the sun returns in the morning it feels impossible to say all the things you longed to say, so you don’t and you never know what could have been.

Restart

This song was a mountain I had to climb. Another one of my self produced pieces on the record, this song unpacks an abusive relationship I was in as a teenager. It took me the longest I’ve ever spent on lyrics to finish the second verse. I didn’t have the words or understanding I needed to say what I wanted to say so kept having to come back month after month. In some ways it was very cathartic, the song made me realise how much I was still running from and made me have to start accepting it. Through the process of finishing that verse I came out a different person with new perspective. I let go of a lot of anger I was still holding.

In a broader way the song is about wishing away the process, wanting to fast forward to the next phase because it’s it too hard dealing with the scars. If anyone else has felt this way then I hope it helps them feel heard and allows themselves some more space and kindness. The process is hard, it’s okay to admit that and wanna run away sometimes.

PercentAge

Age is a percentage , not a deadline. This song sums up the meaning of the tape. Society has put so much pressure on us to be a certain place in our lives by a certain age. Our career to look a certain way, our love lives, our families, our bodies, it’s endless and exhausting! This song is about stepping away from societies pressures to find our own rhythm and space to grow. We’re never too old to grow and it’s never too late. Everything happens at the right time for us uniquely.

It was beautiful to collaborate with two of my favourite people on this song. Brummy producer and multi-instrumentalist Hemai and Australian vocalist Sunny Reyne. They’re both amazing musicians and artists, we all get on so well and I feel you can hear that in the energy of the track. They brought so much to the song , it was amazing creating it together.

Patience

Featuring the hero of Wolverhampton NEONE the Wonderer and Produced by the wonderful Lorenz Okello Osengor. This song is all about allowing ourselves a little more kindness and a little more patience, because we all need it and deserve it. The process is a lot easier when we allow ourselves some space.

I’ve been a huge fan and friend of Lorenz and NEONE from the second I first met them and couldn’t wait to collaborate on this, it all just made so much sense bringing us together, it was seem-less.

This song feels like the perfect song to end the record and leaves you with the warm hug I want the tape to give people. Walking away like you’ve just had the first deep breath of the day and you’re ready to deal with whatever that day brings, with a little patience.

With a sound that spans multiple genres, B-ahwe is ready to share her songs with the world. She has created an authentic and distinctive sonic, using her upbringing and influences to make meaningful music that embodies escapism.

You can listen to her full EP below:

Discover more from GUAP’s Music section here .

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Bethel Haimanot