Soulful songstress Etta Bond dropped her new single "Surface" featuring rapper A2 last month, and has since sparked a challenge to her Instagram followers to get them into expression by creating their own versions.

"Surface" was the first single from Bond since 2017, but what has she actually been up to in the past year?

"I’ve been making a lot of new music while i’ve been quiet," says Bond, "but the last year something switched in me, I’ve been so much more active. But yeah, was just a moment, something happened, something switched, something changed, the timing just felt right. You can’t rush things, and I think you just know when it’s the right time.”

The soulful singer has emerged with her hands free, wanting to bring all her supporters and people she's keeping tabs on together.

"I see these new people coming through, and all these new girls that are coming through, I just feel a connection to them just because I feel a genuine love. I feel their love for what they’re doing. I almost feel protective over that energy, because I know how difficult it is making this sort of transition into this world, and it’s a lot more than anyone could ever imagine if you haven’t been in that place before."

While she's been keeping tabs on the likes of Samwise, Denzel Himself, Mahalia, Oscar Worldpeace, slowthai and more, she is enjoying empowering young women beginning to emerge on the music scene.

"I’m really connecting with these young girls, especially Mahalia, she’s sick. We started chatting recently, and it’s just really lovely to feel like you’ve got support of other people, especially women, in this kind of industry. And it’s genuine love and support, not just supporting each other just because we’re women."

With her Surface Challenge drawing to a close this Friday (15 June), she has been bombarded with support as it reaches over 400 entries, to which she will decide the winners and create two official remixes; one for rap and one for singing.

Although the majority are fans and supporters, Mahalia submitted her take on Bond's track.

The soulful singer explained how she's taking it all in, "One thing that’s been going on in my mind since i’ve started this is i’ve had such a feeling of togetherness. I already feel connected to people when I just put music out and people are enjoying it or listening to it. Even that makes me feel connected to them, so to then spin it around and to have them actually putting their own thing onto "Surface" is amazing."

"The "Surface" Challenge was just a really good way to get people to express themselves, and everyone kind of got it as well, everyone’s talking about it and how they feel, so yeah people are actually getting it. I love it, and honestly I’ve even been in tears multiple times over the last few days just in my house, just overwhelmed with just how touching the whole thing is. It’s just so nice, and something that I feel we’re doing together, and exchanging energy, that’s how you stay alive."

Etta Bond's Surface Challenge closes on Friday 15 June, You can get involved by using the "Surface" instrumental to upload your version to socials.