Healing, Power, Atlanta

Born and raised in Sweden to parents of Swedish, Gambian and Senegalese origins, Fatima is one of the hottest artists based in London these days. When she's not lighting up an open mic night or performing at her favorite clubs, Fatima is busy with her colorful aesthetics and intricate musical releases. Born Fatima Bramme Sey, the singer, songwriter moved to the UK around 2006 and very quickly fell in with the right crowd. Dancing, doing shows and performing at clubs, like the tragically closed Plastic People, is how she met Alexander Nut, label manager for Eglo Records, co-founded with producer and composer Floating Points.

Fatima's music, especially on her newest release, And Yet It's All Love, is a modern yet tasteful take on lyrical soul singing. It is a compelling project, filled with heart that really packs a punch for the listeners, in part because of the pleading, crooning delivery that Fatima adopts all over the project.

But messing with conventions of sound is not the only place that Fatima is challenging expectations. The album cover art is a painting by Monica Kim Garza, Atlanta-based painter and visual artist, that caught Fatima’s eye. Garza's work centers around the idea of relaxation, the characters from her paintings are typically enjoying a tropical setting or drinking amongst themselves. The figures lounge and dance and hike in the nude, allow their bodies to be seen, with an attitude that doesn't concern itself with the onlookers opinion. For Garza, the idea of a femme relaxing in a way that does not prioritize the outside gaze or the necessity for artifice, though everyday in its circumstance, is magnificent in its implications.

Fatima, seeing herself as a messenger of similar ethos, licensed Garza’s painting for the album cover and decided to transform it into an installation, with herself as subject and performer. Originally created to be part of the vinyl cover - with the idea of making the world of the painting become real, Fatima immersed in it once you open the cover, the photos were used for promotion instead. Through the efforts and vision of Swedish visual artist Jonna Dreiman, the installation focuses on a Fatima in repose, backdrop of pink walls, eating cookies and sushi. The priority of comfort, emblematic of Garza’s work, is highlighted in a way that is anti- the typical branding of female musicians. Especially in the space of R&B and Hip Hop where Fatima is attempting to become a major player. Fatima makes it clear that she dances to her own drums and, in so doing, she is a model for her viewers, arguing that staying true to oneself is the only thing that matters. Her design backed by the honesty of her lyrics, she will continue speaking directly from the heart on the first in, what we hope will be, many releases to come.

Statement by Omar El-Sabrout

More from Fatima
fatima.bandcamp.com ↗︎


Music & Album: Fatima
Courtesy of EGLO Records

Original Artwork: Monica Kim Garza
Installation and Photography: Jonna Dreiman
Video filmed and edited by Jonna Dreiman