B-ahwe: The Rising Leeds Artist Making Neo-Soul Moves

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  • Post last modified:March 23, 2023

The stream of musical talent emerging from Leeds continues to flow. One of our favourite acts to come out of the city’s growing jazz, hip-hop, and neo-soul scene is B-ahwe. Her latest single ‘Rising’ blends trip-hop beats with delicious jazz changes, and haunting vocals.

Check out the video here and read on to learn more about the project, and B-ahwe singer Bethany Herrington’s take on the Leeds music scene.

Watch: Rising – B-ahwe

Tell us about you, Bethany. What’s your story?

I’m from a huge family of singers, I have four sisters and two brothers, which as you can imagine, is very beautiful anarchy. I grew up hearing Kool and the Gang in one room, The Carpenters in another, Whitney being sang in the distance, Jeff Buckley and Bowie coming from upstairs. Singing in the Rain, Sister Act and The Sound of Music are the childhood films we watched on repeat.

You could say I was rather musically confused, singing classical one day and D’Angelo the next, but it made me musically curious, and helped grow a love and appreciation for singing and music. It led me to discover jazz and hip-hop, and build my own way of making music which is still changing a lot. I can’t wait to hear what weirdness comes out of me in the future when I have twenty years of music and experience to pour into it.

What is B-ahwe and how did it come to be?

B-ahwe is the little creature inside us all that makes up our best bits. It’s an open channel spilling out secrets and wishes over a hot pot of hip-hop, trip-hop, and neo-soul sprinkled with jazzy chords, lush vocal textures and, moody, ambient soundscapes.

The project has been in the oven, cooking up and developing in Leeds for a couple of years now. I released my first single ‘Blue Prints’ in late 2017. This last year has been filled with gigs with a live band of beautiful people I met in Leeds, that I played with previously in projects such as Lausse the Cat.

Tell us more about what’s happening in Leeds right now?

Leeds has such an exciting and welcoming music scene. Tight Lines just held their third Salemango festival – I don’t know where else you can find the whole audience involved in moshing and crowd surfing to a big band playing Sun Ra.

There’s always unique events like Stretchy Dance Supply and Cosmic Slop happening. And many mates are dropping exciting releases at the moment. Check out TAMBALA and Nix Ward (The Young Wizard). As well as really exciting projects like Long Legged Creatures and Yaatri.

What are you listening to these days?

Rita Payes (beyond beautiful Spanish singer and trombonist – perfect summer’s day or need-un-stressing music), Eloise (silky smooth singer/songwriter who’ll soon be popping off), TAMBALA (peng, chill highly-seasoned goodness), Lonnie Liston Smith – Visions of a new World (timeless cosmic groove).

What’s next for B-ahwe?

Finishing an EP which will be dropping soon with a line of integrated visuals. Beyond excited to share this with the world – a lot has been poured into this lil capsule of sound and time. There’ll be a tour in October around the UK, so come say hey if it’s your ends! Keep your irises enchanted towards the B-ahwe streams for news and dates over summer and always.

Michael Sandford

Michael is the founding editor of Pink Wafer. He is a life-long musician and a former promoter.

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