A Spotlight Interview With Aisyah
A fresh single from Aisyah brings a crisp groove and tonality in the form of an R&B and pop cross over that feels cinematic and impactful as it clearly came from someplace real and genuine, and it shows with every note.
"All 2 You" has a bit of a youthful energy but a mature songwriting style and performance as it comes through passionate and soulful as guitars pluck, beats grow, and the song builds in intensity.
This single does an amazing job of pulling you right it with smooth and silky vocals up front and floating through the background as the song sort of swims around you and lets you get washed away with it all.
The soundscape is absolutely lush and full-bodied as instrumentation grows and the song sways and swells with emotional drive.
Aisyah has a great capability to create melodies that grab at you and hold on tight. The song blends such an old school vibe with a current tonality, and it works like a charm.
This release was beautifully woven and tracked. There certainly was attention to detail and it didn't affect the passion and realness of the whole thing.
The song is clearly a message to someone, and we can all relate to it. This is part of why it's so addictive in the first place. You get it and only wish you could portray the feelings that come with it in song like she does.
Even though you likely can't, let's not dwell on that.
With the release of such a gorgeous single, we wanted to have a talk with Aisyah to find out where this all really came from and what may be next for the artist.
Here's what happened.
And here are my answers to your questions:
RAG: Okay so let's start with "All 2 You". This song has an edgy and stylish pop feel to it! Where did this single come from?
Thank you! I wrote and produced this record myself and recorded it in my home country, Brunei, where I'm currently based. I then invited some of my talented friends and long-time collaborators to remotely record their instruments on the single – Luke Okerlund (Maynard, MA) on guitars, Thomas Mariano (Rochester, NY) on keys, and Elisha Tiga (Brunei) on bass. After everything was recorded and produced, I then sent the track to SPHMRE, who's based in New Jersey, for mixing and mastering. He has also been the mix/master engineer for a lot of my previous projects!
RAG: So how did this all begin for you? When did you fall in love with music?
Music has always been a part of my life since I was really young, so I don't think there was a definitive period in my life where I thought "wow, I really love music! This is where it begins!" It was already a natural instinct for me because of my upbringing. My family is very musical – everyone plays one or more instruments – and I remember hearing all kinds of music being blasted around the house. Even my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents would gather for karaoke or jam sessions every now and then – I loved these events growing up, it was so lively! Because of this upbringing, I've always had it at the back of my mind to pursue music as a career and as a life purpose.
RAG: Who is in your headphones right now?
I was just listening to Samara Joy's "Linger Awhile" album! I love her tone and her musicality.
RAG: This song is about mental wellness and health for sure. How did you get into this?
Mental health is something I'm extremely passionate about because it's something we all experience. A couple of years ago, I was horrible with work-life balance and setting healthy boundaries for myself, because I feared I'd disappoint people or miss an opportunity to grow in my career. I especially brought the stresses of work home with me every day to the point where home didn't feel like a space to rest anymore. I even stopped scheduling time for myself, because back then I truly believed I “couldn't afford the time”. I eventually started experiencing extreme anxiety attacks (waking up in the middle of the night with cold sweats, constantly shaking throughout the day, loss of appetite, hyperventilating, vomiting, and always feeling scared for some reason). It affected my performance at work and the way I interacted with the people around me in a very negative way. At the time, I kept telling myself that I may just be suffering from an extreme stomach flu and that these symptoms will eventually pass. Until one very late night, I woke up feeling like I couldn't breathe. I was sent straight to the nearest hospital for emergency care, and had the doctors run a bunch of medical tests so they could figure out what was wrong with me. After a couple of hours, one of the doctors eventually came back and assured me that I was physically healthy, and that all the tests came back fine, but he and his team could see that I was going through extreme panic attacks at that moment. When I heard this, I felt a sense of relief knowing that I was ultimately physically fine. But that feeling was soon replaced with sadness, as I was confronted with the realization that I had neglected my mental health so much, to the point where it had a significant impact on my quality of life. The night I got admitted to the Emergency Room was a kick in the butt for me to wake up and realize I need to invest in myself more. I'm very thankful that we have technology and platforms to speak out about mental health issues so that we can bring more awareness to it, but for some reason it's still seen as a taboo topic. Perhaps it's the pressures we put on ourselves, or neglecting the need to put ourselves first, or certain cultures shying away and avoiding the topic... but I hope to use my music and my platform to help people, to assure them they're not alone, and to show them that they have a community that will support them through their self-care and mental health journey. We all go through days/periods that feel overwhelming and stressful, so it's especially important that we prioritize ourselves, set boundaries, and have healthy outlets to cope with the stress. How can we do our best and be there for others if we're not feeling our best, right?
RAG: Was the goal for this single to reach people to become more aware of mental health?
It's more of a reminder to never lose sight of our self-worth, and to not sacrifice our wellbeing to please others. Everyone deserves to prioritize and uplift themselves without having to feel guilty about it, or think it's selfish to do. This is why I wrote and produced "ALL 2 YOU" – I initially wrote it as a love letter to myself to say "I got you, let me take care of you.” If we aren't making time for ourselves, it can lead to burnout and mental exhaustion, which will lead to a decline in our mental as well as physical health.
RAG: What other parts do you play in terms of mental health awareness?
I like using my platform to talk about mental health awareness, and I especially like being real with my followers. I hope that by sharing my experiences with mental health (my decline and how I cope with it in a healthy way), it could inspire others or let others know that they are not alone. Beyond creating music and performing, I want to create a safe space that supports people on their mental health journey and create a positive impact in the world in that way. RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this record. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Thank you so much! Some of my biggest inspirations are Snoh Aalegra, Solange, Victoria Monét, H.E.R, ChloexHalle, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Beyoncé. RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I record voice-overs on the side! This was something I picked up during the start of the pandemic when I wasn't getting enough music projects to sustain my income. I've recorded for video games, trailers, advertisements, radio, and short films. It's been a blast so far, as I get to act and nurture that side of me. Other than that, you can find me at the beach, at a hiking trail or out taking photos with my film camera! RAG: Would you say live performances are a big part of what you do?
It definitely has been most recently! When the Pandemic started in 2020, my plans to do more live shows were scratched, as with a lot of other artists. Before that, I've always been producing, recording, doing music tech type of work, and generally spending most of my time in the studio. But lately, I've been able to get into the groove of doing more live performances and it's been a blast so far. There's something about being able to connect with an audience in person that makes the musical experience so much more special, and I've definitely been missing that feeling for the past few years. RAG: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
I'd love to put out a full-length album one day when I'm ready. I'm still working on it, and I know it's gonna take some time because I want to make sure it's as great as it can be. RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of your music?
Thank you, guys, so much for your support! If you haven't yet, please check out my new single "All 2 You" – I can't wait to share more music with you all soon. :)