Alibi is the brand new EP from Ms Mohammed. Dripping in soca beats, the EP is an intoxicating blend of cultural influences to create a ground breaking sound.

‘Stay in your lane’. It’s a familiar barb, a warning to would-be rebels to let the status quo stand. But what if defiance is your calling? What if there is no lane for a queer, Fender-commanding Trinidadian femme of south Asian descent? And what if, like MIA, Grace Jones and PJ Harvey before her, Ms. Mohammed means to blaze her own, unique path?

After a brief stint in side projects that saw her appearing at Reading Festival and on Later…with Jools Holland, the London-based artist released a self-titled LP of attitudinal alt-blues as Dana Jade in 2012, earning strong reviews and support slots with the likes of PJ Harvey collaborator, John Parish.

Ms. Mohammed - Alibi

But major changes have occurred in the intervening years. With LGBTQ and feminist progress has come a conservative backlash: austerity, Brexit, Trump, the #MuslimBan and Far Right fukry across the globe. And as life for marginalised voices becomes increasingly fraught, it feels increasingly important to own and value our otherness. Hence the name-change:

“Continuing under my Dana Jade [middle name] moniker didn’t feel right anymore. That title was too Anglicised, too safe; it avoided the weight of my government surname, Mohammed.  Many of my loved ones are facing a lot of hate right now and I want to stand with them, to be counted.”

That gritty, resolute sense of purpose can be felt throughout her debut EP, Alibi, as Ms. Mohammed. “Before I made these songs, I asked myself: what can I bring to the table? My only goal was to make music I hadn’t already heard. I think I managed that.” The sound she’s crafted is a sultry, blistering alt-fusion of indie guitars, south Asian percussion and tropical riddims: island-punk, or rock & dhol, if you will.

Dive in and you’ll discover dhol drums and rapso on the seething protest groove of title track Alibi; soca beats and jab jab riddim on the intoxicating, jouvert morning-inspired rush.

If there’s a unifying theme on Alibi, its passion and protest as a way of life: the belief that otherness, desire and the freedom to switch lanes aren’t just worth fighting for, but celebrating, too.