Be Fine / Mountains Of Metal (Version)

Released: 29 Nov 2022

Label: Tru Thoughts

“Be Fine / Mountains Of Metal (Version)” is the latest single from singer, songwriter, and MC Tiawa. Intertwined with their stripped back simplicity, “Be Fine” showcases the development and maturity of Tiawa as a songwriter, while “Mountains Of Metal (Version)” delves into the vault to shine a spotlight on the original version of the track, recorded when Tiawa was 16.

Fusing her soulful vocals with the hardened edge of a rap-styled flow, “Be Fine” is a mantra of reassurance. Written amid a sleepless night, the lyrics offer solace, as the melody rises, falls, and glistens with an increasing sense of hope and optimism. As the vocals layer and Tiawa’s sound becomes fuller, so does the assurance that things will “Be Fine”. “Jack sent the beat, I started humming the melody and the words just flowed”, Tiawa adds speaking of her collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist Jack-Chi.

Shifting from the most recent collaboration between the pair to one of their first, the contrast of “Be Fine” and “Mountains Of Metal (Version)” creates the impression that Tiawa is offering the message of “Be Fine” to her previous self. Inspired by her brother’s induction into manhood – a journey from his hometown to the favelas of Lisbon, Portugal – “Mountains Of Metal (Version)” blends jazz flutes, hip-hop beats and raw storytelling in a softer formation than the one presented on her debut LP ‘Moonlit Train’. Writing “Mountains Of Metal (Version)” when she was just 14, the power and possibilities of Tiawa’s thought provoking lyricism are unavoidable; “I wanted to revolutionise people’s minds”, she muses.

Tiawa’s debut ‘Moonlit Train’ received huge support from the likes of Jamz Supernova (BBC 1Xtra), Robert Elms (BBC Radio London), Cerys Matthews and Huey Morgan, (BBC 6Music), Rob Da Bank, Stereofox and Aaron Byrd (KCRW). ‘Moonlit Train’ is a conceptual record through which Tiawa maps a metaphorical train journey from relationships through to healing and liberation. Gently easing between soul, 90s hip-hop and Latin-folk that harks back to her Portuguese heritage, the inspiration for the LP came from the rebellious spirit of reggae, the pace of lyricism in reggaeton, and the romanticism of doo-wop.

Reflecting on the response to the album, Tiawa reiterates the messages present in “Be Fine / Mountains Of Metal (Version)”, speaking both for her adult and younger self: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the messages from people saying how much my music has helped them. One person said my music “liberated” them. That’s the reason I make music in the first place. I knew I had a message, and that people would be able to relate. I knew it was going to liberate people. You have to start somewhere”.