Singer & Songwriter Pharoah Swami's New Single 'Warcry' Is Highly Personal

By Dan Ahwa
Pharaoh's latest single 'Warcry' is out from today. Photo / Myles Taylor.

He's one of the country's brightest musical stars, and for 28-year-old Mez Tekeste aka Pharaoh Swami, his latest single entitled 'Warcry' is a personal look at his life so far and how he's overcome obstacles to get to where is today.

The song, which is available to listen on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes and Apple Music has been engineered by Grammy-nominated producer Mike Snell who has worked with a range fo top acts including Teyana Taylor, Quavo and Erykah Badu.

The song begins with the emotional lines "I'm begging you please you're breaking my heart, I know that your hurting but this gon' tear us apart" before going into an uptempo sad banger, bearing an emotional weight that combines anger and defeat.

“As a refugee born in war-torn Sudan to parents who were fleeing political war in Ethiopia,” he explained in a recent interview, “I’ve always had a me-against-the-world mentality. War, not-belonging and just trying to find my peace, isn’t unfamiliar territory."

"As I grew into adulthood, I encountered many wars both internally and externally. Struggling with self-love, overwhelming guilt, anger and shame from various experiences involving friends, workplaces and lovers. This broke me as a human.”

Pharoah, who features in our new Viva Volume One magazine out now as part of a rising collective of young, Black, and gifted creatives changing the narrative of the Black experience in Aotearoa, was a pivotal leader in instigating the Black Lives Matter protests in Auckland earlier this year.

Also a breath-work and healing facilitator, Pharoah's dedication to harnessing the power of oxygenation is something he is interested in helping others deal with trauma. In fact, a year and a half ago, he embarked on a journey of healing to address his own trauma, one that found him moving away from his fiance and into a tent on a friend's farm.

“This was a crazy experience of detachment, and I was so alone, scared and defeated. I had no other way to express how I felt other than to write a song.”

Listen to Warcry here.

Share this article: