Islington People: Archway singer set to record with rap star Sway

The latest singer to come out of Archway �– after Ms Dynamite and X Factor finalist Sophie Habibis – has clinched a prestigious new music gong and is set to record with UK rap star Sway.

Singer-songwriter Juliyaa, real name Julia Suit, scooped the best new act honours at the Ghana UK-based Achievement Awards this month after releasing her debut single The Rhythm in August.

The 23-year-old, of Fairbridge Road, won the chance to collaborate with top hip- hop artist Sway – which she hopes could propel her to stardom.

She said: “We’re just in talks on how that’s going to play out but to collaborate with someone such as Sway would be a fantastic opportunity for me and hopefully give me a big leg-up. He really is a fantastic rapper.”

Juliyaa, who went to Mount Carmel College for Girls in Duncombe Road, Archway, was handed the award at a ceremony before a celebrity audience including footballer Anton Ferdinand and BBC Radio 1 DJ Ras Kwame.

“It was a big shock when I heard my name,” she said. “I thought there must be another Julia in the room! I convinced myself I hadn’t won so I wouldn’t be too disappointed. To be recognised for my music is a real honour.”

The singer describes her sound – which she has christened “rhythmic soul” – as a fusion of the gospel, soul and R’n’B records her Ghanaian and Welsh parents weaned her on. It also draws on the complex rhythms of Ghanaian “highlife” music.

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She plans to release an album next year and since launching her single has racked up more than 4,000 plays online.

“The response has been overwhelming – with so many downloads and views – and I’ve been gigging all over, at places likes the Jazz Caf� and Roundhouse in Camden. It really is an exciting time.”

n Visit to hear her music.