AJA is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter from Toronto. Despite her youth, she’s been writing music since the age of 8 and has already made a dent in the pop world and built up a big following. AJA’s new single Nerve comes with a big step forward sonically and it is definitely the start of a new chapter in her career.
AC: Let’s talk about your new single Nerve. What does this track mean to you?
AJA – This track means so much to me. I have been waiting to release it for a while. Right now, there is so much talk and emphasis on female empowerment. I feel so strongly about standing up for myself and for what I believe in.
AC: In the studio, do you have a fear you’d like to conquer?
AJA – The studio is my happy place, I love being in the studio so much. I guess if I had to pick something that I am fearful of when in the studio, it would be, when I’m working on a vocally challenging song with range, making sure I’m hitting the notes the way I want to. I am my biggest critic and a perfectionist.
AC: What about outside of the studio?
AJA – At the moment, I don’t have any fears. I am excited for what lies ahead.
AC: Where does the creation of a song begin for you?
AJA – When I am creating a song, I always start by brainstorming what I want to write about, making a theme, I then make a track with chords and the melody, then the lyrics. As a 16-year-old, I have tons to write about.
AC: What was it like growing up in Toronto?
AJA – Toronto is a large city with over 5 million people and one of the most, if not the most, multi-cultural city in the world. The Toronto sports and music scenes are thriving. I’ve grown up with lots of music opportunities over the years. It’s been a great city for me to grow up in.
AC: Who do you feel inspired by in the music industry?
AJA – I’ve always loved elite vocalists like Ariana Grande and Beyonce. But stylistically I love Jesse Reyez and Rihanna.
AC: As a music artist, what are you still trying to learn?
AJA – I’m always learning something new in this business. I love pushing myself vocally and experimenting with different styles.
AC: Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours?
AJA – A virtual social app. You put your goggles on and you are with your friends. I just watched the show upload and an app like that would be so cool!
AC: How important is social media to you right now?
AJA – Right now the only way to reach fans is through social media. I think it is so important to keep connected and let your fans know what your up to.
AC: Ahead of a gig, do you have any pre-show rituals?
AJA – I always bring a vocal health kit. Before any live show, I usually take a spoon full of honey and have lots of water. It sounds silly but it works.
AC: What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?
AJA – I would want live shows to be a thing again. I miss touring so much and seeing my fans. It would be nice if climate change could stop.
AC: If you had the chance to put something on billboards worldwide next week, what would it be? Or what would it say?
AJA – Obviously my cover art for Nerve as I’ve just released it. I want the world to hear it.
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES