Twenty-three-year-old Wafia’s new song, “Bodies,” isn’t just a very catchy pop song reminiscent of Yuna’s “Lullabies,” it’s also a protest song for her family.
The Netherlands-born, Australia-based singer wrote the track after Donald Trump announced he would enact a Muslim ban once elected, which happened to be the same day her mother’s family was denied entry to Australia after fleeing Syria. “There is always a lot of language in the media that is negative when used to portray the waves of immigrants or refugees. I wrote a song attempting to humanize them and their travels," she tells us. "With that in mind, I never wanted the 'Bodies' video to be literal or only portray my family’s experience. I wanted it to celebrate people’s differences. From there, we created a world where the social divide is a lot more visible than our current day-to-day lives.”
The bodies she sings about are all of us—refugees fleeing their war-ridden countries, Americans protesting in the streets, the masses of people marching for a better tomorrow. Wafia could’ve taken a different approach for the track—songs about politics aren’t usually set to an electro backdrop—but she wanted to make it accessible. “Out of all the arts, [music] is probably the one that’s the most easily consumed on a daily basis,” she says. “But in these particular times, we turn to music because it’s celebratory and joyful. That in itself is beautiful and unifying.”
Watch the video, below, and stay tuned for her new EP, VIII (named after the atomic number for oxygen), which will explore themes of “intangibility, necessity, and transparency," and will be out October 13.