Halima – Awaken


Halima announces her new EP EXU (pronounced Eshu) due May 24th via drink sum wtr. Alongside the announcement, she shares her first offering from the project with a new single and visualizer, “Awaken,” which contrasts rolling drum patterns against Halima’s astute lyricism. “Awaken” is introduced by the gentle plucks of a bass, reflecting on the pain and confusion of a relationship’s end and guided by Halima’s deep layered vocals. Halima will also be performing a string of dates with Elliot Moss through Washington D.C., New York, and Boston this April.

Halima shares, “‘Awaken’ is the aftermath of a breakup, when I finally come back to myself and I’m alone. I fear all that’s left is my ego and pride. And I have to deal with the discomfort. But the end of the song ‘omi-o mo’ is a Yoruba salutation. I’m using it as a calling. Something like ‘the water in me honors the water in you.’ That after everything, my soul still bonded with yours and we see each other, that’s infinite.”

Raised between Lagos and London – and now based in Brooklyn – Halima draws from a tri-continental story that started as a student exploring the worlds of folk, jazz, and theater. Following her 2021 EP XYZ, her forthcoming EXU EP will be her label debut and first project with drink sum wtr. Throughout the forthcoming project, Halima’s vocals resonate with powerful clarity weaving in as another layer of the beat. The title and concept of the project come from Halima’s Nigerian heritage. Exu (Eshu) is the Yoruba deity of ‘crossroads,’ the great mediator between the forces of life and the messenger between humans and gods. “They are known for being the God of change, chaos, and unpredictability, so they are often misunderstood,” Halima explains. “But they are present in our lives to bring us to better versions of ourselves. This project is about facing Exu and resisting it. Then succumbing and realizing Exu is within you.”

Adding about the video for “Awaken” Halima notes, “‘Awaken’ is the portal into the world of EXU. The front door to chaos, change and unpredictability Exu is known to bring. I wanted to explore African mythology with a warmth and intimacy that I feel is honest to the Yoruba deity (Eshu). ‘Awaken’ is surreal and futuristic but with a texture and colour that portrays the spirit of Exu through light rather than darkness. I wanted to portray Exu more positively than how they have been represented in the past.”