Upon the release of her new single, “Fireflies”, the artist talks how her darkest moments have fuelled her creativity.

At one point or another during high school, everyone experienced a rough patch – especially socially. And while some people shudder at the memories of their time during high school, others view the highs and lows of the tortured environment as what sculpted them into the person they are today. AJA is a prime example of the latter. Explaining how she had a “pretty rough time” socially during high school, the young artists gets candid on how her darkest moments fuelled her creativity when producing her music. The result: her new single “Fireflies”.

After deferring from university, the artist announced her plans to spend the next year focusing solely on music. Luckily for us, she claims that “Fireflies” is only the beginning of an exciting year ahead. Despite the track’s poignant perspective, it certainly provides inspiration for its listeners. She plans to incorporate her emotions and experiences into her future releases, hoping that she can connect with her audience on a deeper level. Her goal is to motivate people not to get stuck in the moment when life deals its difficult hand.

Upon the release of the exciting new single, we caught up with AJA about the emotion behind the new release and how she looks to other female powerhouses, such as Beyonce and Whitney Houston, for inspiration on finding her voice. To read the full interview and to stream the new single, head below now…

Hey AJA! How are you doing?
I’m great. I just graduated high school and I am moving down to LA. I’ve deferred my offer from University for the year. I am going to spend the year focusing only on music and see how it goes. I feel really good about it.

What would you say have been your peaks and pits for the last year?
I feel like I’ve had no pits professionally. Everything I have done and am doing has been helping me grow. I feel really proud of what I’ve accomplished. Socially, high school has been rough, but I’m done and those experiences have given me lots to write about. I feel like my songs are my own personal diaries. People are going to be pissed when they hear some of my lyrics. I hold nothing back!

Let’s start at the very beginning, how did you first get into music?
I’ve been singing probably before I could speak. My parents put me in musical theatre and I started taking lessons. It helped that I loved to perform in front of everyone and anyone. I was not shy! What really got me started professionally was winning a global singing contest with Perez Hilton for my cover of Sia’s “Chandelier”. From there, I started writing songs and building a social media presence.

Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I really admire big female vocalists like Beyonce, Ariana Grande and Whitney Houston. Stylistically I love any artist who is doing something different. I love being able to listen to an artist and not think they sound like anyone else.

If you had to describe your sound with one word, what would it be?

Congratulations on the release of “Fireflies”! What was your mindset when writing the track?
As mentioned, high school has been pretty rough. I was in a really dark place when I wrote this and I was trying to focus on finding that light at the end of the tunnel. I wrote it with Jimmy McGorman and Rob Vallier. They get me and where I am at emotionally. I love working with them.

How do you resonate with the track personally?
This track is a bit more subdued than my previous tracks. I was feeling a bit melancholy when I wrote it. I love how it turned out and I can’t wait to perform it live.

What do you hope others can take from the track?
I hope others will feel hope. Things get better and you’ve got to look ahead and not get stuck in the moment.

Where do you see your artistry taking you next?
My next bunch of releases are very personal to me. I am sharing some of my most emotionally difficult times with the world. I think I will build a deeper connection and people will really start to understand me. I feel like I’m just getting started even though I’ve been doing this for a while. I guess you could say I’m officially an adult and have really taken control of my sound, my lyrics and my voice.

And what are you most excited for this coming year?
Building my musical catalogue and hopefully getting out and performing live in front of an audience. There is nothing better. I miss performing to a live audience.

Words by
Sophie Arundel

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