17th June 2022, London – Today, West London-born, Moroccan-Sudanese newcomer Areej unveils her debut EP G.B.O.F. A formal introduction to her artistry and sound, its title stands for Guided By Our Fears, a habit which Areej has been trying to shake for as long as she can remember. Detailing her battles with pain, suffering and betrayal, Areej’s unique sonic identity becomes a ladder through which she can escape the darkness.

Featuring her acclaimed first releases “Guided” and “Bloodshed”, which have been praised by the likes of BBC Radio 1, Dork, Hypebeast, Wonderland, The Line of Best Fit, and The Observer among many other tastemakers in the UK and beyond, it arrives led by unflinching new single “Hostage”.

Areej’s far-reaching influences are explored in great detail through the sweeping soundscapes and striking beauty of “Hostage”; however, this sonic dreamland masks menacing undertones which are clawing to be heard as the track contorts and warps into something altogether more sinister.

Mirrored by the track’s music video which even features Areej wrapped in grey cloth, as if ready to be buried, “Hostage” sees our star smothered by an all-consuming dark force only to emerge into the light before sinking back into the void, once again.

Remembering her headspace at the time of writing the EP, Areej recalls “I’d lost complete hope in humanity and all things in life. I naively let the wrong people in which evidently led to my ship being sunk. Trying to get back up to what seems like forever, this EP depicts a time where I was drowning and still fighting for my freedom, as I’d encountered someone who preyed on nothing except my demise.”

“Hostage” in particular came from a place of feeling both physically and mentally like a prisoner. Areej explains; “You won’t know what freedom is until you experience what feeling imprisoned is.
My EP G.B.O.F (Guided By Our Fears) is a constant reminder that sometimes in life it is the very things we are afraid of the most, that tend to be the exact things that fuel our desires, growth, and ultimately keep us centered. While at times life may hold you, hostage both emotionally and physically, it is the bloodshed and suffering which leads you to be Guided. Freedom is a luxury that not many get to experience in its truest form. G.B.O.F narrates the lack of it whilst also highlighting its value. My fear of not being free is what constantly powers my tenacity to attain it. G.B.O.F depicts a capsulated moment of darkness with a poignant message that light will always eventually shed. Your weaknesses will turn to strengths providing protection and clarity, for as long as you operate from your purest self; Love. There is always a lesson to be learned just like there is always something to be grateful for.”

Growing up the home was filled with music and culture, classical Arabic music played as much a part in her artistic development as the R&B classics her father blasted through the house. From haunting sax riffs to spectral percussion and chilling vocals, every additional layer becomes another portal into Areej’s carefully constructed world.

Naming legends Nina Simone and Etta James as musical references, it’s multi-hyphenate and transcendent talent Erykah Badu who has been one of Areej’s biggest inspirations. Complimenting her unique tone and commanding presence, Areej’s voice is distinctive and laced with a rich soulfulness which interlocks perfectly with her masterful storytelling.

A singular talent, Areej walks hand-in-hand with her demons inviting you along so she can offer resolution as she documents her fight for independence. This bold opening statement sees Areej carve out a future everyone will be waiting to hear what’s next.

Areej has the depth and breadth to her artistry to quickly emerge as one of the most exciting artists to surface in 2022