Ayelle is a London based RnB singer-songwriter from Sweden who not only has a love for music but also has a love for journalism too. Today we are very proud to introduce Flavourmag’s very own freelance writer and rising music artist, Ayelle!
Hi Ayelle, how are you?
Hi, I’m very well thank you!
Introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little about yourself?
I’m a 20-year-old singer/songwriter living in London. I’m originally from Sweden and I’m also half Iranian. I’ve been songwriting for pretty much all my life but I started recording my own material around 15 and haven’t been able to stop since.
I have had the pleasure of listening to your soundcloud and a few covers on youtube. I like your vocal style and tone. How did you get into this style of music and when did you know this was the root for you?
Thank you! I’ve always listened to a lot of RnB and Soul but I only started getting into my current style of music a year or so after moving to London. Before that I lived in Spain and there wasn’t really a market for the type of music that I do now, which is slightly more alternative, “new school” RnB I suppose you could call it. It was here that I first came across artists that I really admire such as Banks, Kelela and SZA whom all have got their own unique sound and that was something that I wanted to create for myself as well.
As a rising singer-songwriter it is important to get your name and music out there as much as you can and for as many people as possible to hear. Tell us a little about your upcoming shows, gigs and events?
I’m excited about playing Ronnie Scott’s for the first time on May the 12th and I Luv Live on June the 1st. I do a lot of smaller gigs and sometimes they’re a bit last-minute so for proper updates I recommend just keeping an eye out on my facebook page or tracking me on http://bandsintown.com/ayelle. I’ve also got another Reload Sessions coming out on the 22nd of April, which is an original song this time rather than a cover so I’m looking forward to that.
You are not only a singer but you are also a songwriter who pens all her own stuff. What is your songwriting process? What comes first, melody or lyrics?
That’s a hard one because I write in a variety of different ways but I guess the most common one is that I’ll get a beat, hum a melody on top of it and then put words into it. I often haven’t got a clue what the song is going to be about when I start writing it but by the time I get to the chorus I’ve figured it out. Sometimes I let my subconscious write the song for me and other times I’ll have ideas prepared that I just need to build on. Another way of writing that I really enjoy is to just sit down with a producer and start something from scratch together, pick a few chords that we can both vibe to and then build the song from there.
If you was to give any new songwriters some advice on how to perfect their craft what would your top ten tips be?
Haha wow that’s a lot of tips. I don’t know if I have that many because I don’t really believe in writing according to someone else’s advice. Everyone’s got their own way of writing and it’s all about finding your own strengths and improving whatever weaknesses you have, which is something that’s completely individual. The most obvious but effective advice that I can give is to practice. Like with most things, experience is key when it comes to songwriting, the more you do it the better you’ll get. Be open to criticism and advice but it’s also important to remember that you are ultimately your own best critique. If you create something that you absolutely love you shouldn’t have to change it just because someone else has a different taste, unless your writing it for someone else that is.
There are many strong songwriters in the music game at the moment, who would be your all time favourite to put pen to paper with?
When writing for myself as an artist I prefer to write alone because I want every song to be a piece of me, honest and vulnerable. But in terms of writing for others, I love writing a good pop tune and Max Martin has managed to create a ridiculous amount of hits so it would definitely be an amazing honour to one day write with someone like him.
If you had to write for an already well-known and established music artist who would your songwriting skills fit perfectly with?
I write a lot of Pop, Dance, and RnB for others so a combination of all those could be Rihanna for example. I would love to write something for Jhene Aiko as I’ve been compared to her on some occasions so I guess that must mean that my songwriting style fits hers to some degree.
You are a London-based RnB singer-songwriter who originates from Sweden. Do your roots influence your music?
I think the fact that Sweden is so heavily influenced by American Media definitely comes into play as I grew up listening to American music and watching American TV shows, hence my American accent which always manages to throw people off. My Iranian heritage is also prevalent in some ways even though I’ve never really noticed it myself; I get a lot of remarks that some of my licks and runs sound Middle Eastern.
Tell us a little about Young Fem London and what you/it stands for?
Young Feminists London is an awareness-raising group for young people to get together and explore Feminism. The reason why we set up the group is because we felt there were three main issues in Feminism in London today; young people felt ignored to a certain extent, men were actively being pushed out and nowhere seemed to be offering unbiased intros into the main conflicting issues. We therefore put on events where men and women can come and learn about Feminism in a safe and inclusive environment and we invite a variety of different speakers, poets and comedians to come and share their takes on different issues. Follow us on twitter @YoungFemLondon for updates about our upcoming events.
Why is it important for you to get this message out there and to put your name to this?
Feminism to me is about equality and dismantling harmful gender stereotypes. We are put into these narrow boxes of “femininity” and “masculinity” from such an early age and I can see the effects it’s had on my life as well as women and men around me. I want women to be able to decide over their own bodies and to be treated equally to their male counterparts in every sphere of life as well as I want to see men being able to talk about their feelings without it somehow “diminishing” their manhood. This is just scratching the surface of course.
Do you think your music reflects and connects with Young Fem London? If so how?
Definitely, I’ve already started and plan on exploring more of the issues related to my work with Young Fem London in my music as well. If you listen to the track “Maybe” on my EP for example, it’s about how some of the gender stereotypes I mentioned have affected me while growing up and to a certain extent taught me that my primary value as a woman is whether I’m desirable to a man or not. It’s important to me that I share these experiences and help in whatever way and on whatever scale, no matter how small, so that I can help improve conditions for the next generation.
You class yourself as an RnB artist. Which RnB star would you love to duet with?
I want to say Beyonce, but I don’t know if I’d dare! Someone that’s more on my wavelength and definitely an RnB star in my eyes is Banks.
Which new music is on your most played playlist at the moment? Which artist’s are you listening to right now?
I’ve had Shura’s latest single 2Shy on repeat for days! I’ve also been listening a lot to Tinashe’s gorgeous album “Aquarius”. Kwabs and JP Cooper are high on my list as well.
Do you have any plans to drop any new music soon?
I do. I will be releasing my next single “Decide” sometime this spring.
You have covered the likes of Sam Smith, Tinashe and most recently Sia on youtube. Who’s next on your hit list to cover?
I’ve got really fond memories of The Vaccines album “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines” and I do a cover of “All In White” in a lot of my live sets so that’s definitely one that I’d like to get recorded up next.
As I mentioned above you’re not only a singer-songwriter but you’re also a freelance writer for the best online platform in the world, Flavourmag! What topics inspire your pieces and articles?
I’m obviously a music fan, so I enjoy interviewing other artist and writing about up and coming music. Apart from that I write commentaries on a variety of issues, often from a feminist perspective, usually because I just get pissed off so that inspires me I suppose haha.
With many talented young and up and coming journalists/writers in the business at the moment, who’s work have you come across which inspires you in the writing game?
I enjoy reading articles that sound like they’ve been written by a passionate human being as opposed to an objective machine so I admire anyone who will share some of their personal experiences or self reflect in their writing as I believe that this helps the reader reflect and in some instances identify more with the article. Someone who does this very brilliantly would for example be Emer O’Toole who writes for the Guardian.
What does the rest of 2015 hold for Ayelle?
I will be featuring on some exciting tracks with other producers and artists, which is nice as it gives me an opportunity to broaden my horizons a bit. I am also planning on releasing a few music videos, hopefully continuing to do lots of gigs and just trying to get my name out there.
Finally can you give us an Ayelle Flavourmag EXCLUSIVE?
I’ve put my touch on Ella Eyre’s “If I Go” for the Flavourmag Youtube channel