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Awil Onuag’s music explores the harsh relationship between urban identities and emotional memories. With musical influences that range from Giuseppe Verdi to Three Six Mafia, Awil feels compelled to create his own vibe. In an effort to separate art from the artist, Awil Onuag normally wears a mask. Awil started making music professionally in 2007. By 2009, Awil found himself recording with a former producer and recording artist under John Legend’s Homeschool Records (now defunct).

After many small projects, shows, and tours under various stage names between 2010-2015, Awil went on a self-induced departure from music to create a nonprofit writing program called the Charles Houston Community Writers. After his two year music hiatus, he decided to get back into the recording studio, adopting his current stage name. Awil describes his eight years of recording and performing between 2007 through 2015 as a “phase of self-discovery as an artist”. Since April 2018, Awil has released eight singles with several of his songs attaining features on Spotify’s Fresh Finds, Beats & Rhymes, Shisha Lounge, Eyescream Magazine, and New Music Friday editorial playlists.

Awil Onuag took another hiatus from music after experiencing temporary hearing loss in both his ears in November 2019. While recovering from hearing loss in 2021, he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Gray Zone Lymphoma. Since 2021, Awil has undergone eight different chemotherapy regiments, three immunotherapy treatments and ten rounds of radiation. As of July 14 2022, the cancer in Awil’s body appears to still be active (STAGE IV) despite many efforts to treat the disease. Awil is scheduled to undergo CAR T-cell therapy and a bone marrow transplant in the near future.

Those who have met this engaging young man won’t be surprised to hear the following quote:

“I’m hopeful despite the circumstances. I had emergency radiation (April and May 2022) to shrink the tumors that were pressing on my trachea and heart. For the first time, I am able to sing and do poetry again. Before, I couldn’t talk without coughing blood. Now that I have the opportunity to speak again, I want to take advantage of this time to create a song. Maybe reflect on life and give something that’s thought provoking for my fans, friends and family. I’m truly am thankful that I’m alive.”

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