London, via Los Angeles, CA, Registry Aiyana Lee recently unveiled their impressive debut solo EP, Wednesday’s Child (side A) through Hitco. The budding star began her musical journey when she was two years old.
Signed by industry impresario LA Reid, 21-year-old Aiyana-Lee, whose uncle was the late David Ruffin [The Temptations] and revered soul singer grandfather Jimmy Ruffin, is definitely destined for equal greatness. With a solid team behind her, only time will tell how big of a star she becomes.
We recently caught up with the singer to talk about the recent release, and more. Check out Aiyana-Lee’s full interview below.
Spoken Mag: Let’s talk about your beginnings in music. When did you first become interested in it? And how did it all start for Aiyana-Lee?
Aiyana Lee: My mother; (Nicole Daciana Anderson) my inspiration and partner! She is a talented 17x Platinum singer-songwriter and has always had musicians at home in her locution recording studio. I was so inspired and at (age) 2 decided it was time to jump on the mic and explore this world. It was a calling.
Spoken Mag: You grew up in London, tell me, besides your mother, who do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
Aiyana Lee: Growing up, I had a broad look at different cultures and sounds. My mother also always had a variety of different music and genres played throughout the house; by Christina Aguilera, Queen, Alicia Keys, Whitney, Brian McKnight, Bruno Mars, etc.
Spoken Mag: Of course, your uncle is the late great David Ruffin of The Temptations and your grandfather is Jimmy Ruffin. How important was the overall impact of their respective careers on your choice to do what you do today?
Aiyana Lee: I think that really inspired me. They paved the way and gave me an understanding of musicality; opening the door for me to then experiment with genres, not being limited or afraid to bring some old school magic to the sound we’ve now cultivated and merged on this project 🙂
Spoken Mag: That said, what were the biggest lessons you learned from their legacy?
Aiyana Lee: I learned a lot from their legacy and their mistakes. Just the way they put everything into their performances; unbalanced and fearless, it’s incredibly inspiring.
Spoken Mag: That said, how do you classify your sound and style in general?
Aiyana Lee: Fluid. Haha! It has a bit of everything; from Pop to Soul via R&B and even Rock! We really weren’t afraid to include everything. It’s all my story at the end of the day in different fonts, so it’s consistent that way… basically it’s all me.
Spoken Mag: What particular series of events led you to initially link up with LA Reid and eventually HITCO?
Aiyana Lee: I was in Miami, and I ran into him by chance at the studio! He played some of my music, he listened to me sing live and had to sign me! It was a musical match made in heaven.
Spoken Mag: Now your latest single/video is called “Gangster of Love”. Tell me about this track in particular? How did that even materialize?
Aiyana Lee: It’s a different version of a love song. Conceptually, I thought it was so awesome and really showcased that you can have boundaries in a relationship and not get lost in the sauce! It’s so important not to lose who you are in these situations.
Spoken Mag: The single comes courtesy of your just unleashed Wednesday’s Child (side A) EP — Conceptually, what does this title represent both for you and for you?
Aiyana Lee: As you may have guessed, her EP is called Wednesday’s Child because she was born on a Wednesday…wrong! I was born on a Thursday! You see, the term Wednesday child comes from a poem created in the 1800s in which he states that all other days of the week were good omens except, you guessed it, Wednesday! They would say a Wednesday kid is full of bad luck, to lead a life of bad luck and give them this preconception/preconceived notion of what their life was supposed to be like. That’s how I felt at school, being bullied, with all the people around me trying to dim my light…but instead I decided to take that title and do it come out of the darkness. It resonated so deeply with me and as this project dissects and exposes my story, I thought the title fit.
Spoken Mag: From a songwriting perspective, when you sit down to write your lyrics, where do you get inspiration from?
Aiyana Lee: Books, life, just talking. I think most of the writing for this project was just me talking to my team. Literally, I open up about my life to the point where we literally take the things I say and put them into the song. It became easy on this project because all I had to do was tell the truth.
Spoken Mag: Thinking about what’s to come, what do you think will continue to sustain you in music?
Aiyana Lee: My authenticity, my voice, what I have to say as an artist and, of course, most importantly, the incredible community that supports me. Kudos to the Aleengang!
Spoken Mag: What do you want people to take away from your music?
Aiyana Lee: I want everyone who listens to feel less alone, to discover that by listening to my stories, they can reflect and feel heard for themselves.
Spoken Mag: Do you have other external aspirations, completely distant from music?
Aiyana Lee: I love to read, write and act! I am a homebody and love to learn and be creative in any way possible.
Spoken Mag: What has been your greatest career moment to date?
Aiyana Lee: Be Billboard R&B Top 10 with “Gangster of Love!” This is definitely a big moment for me. But I consider each day as a great moment. You have to enjoy the trip. Every day should be an achievement and a celebration. I am grateful.
Spoken Mag: One of your songs that you think defines you and why?
Aiyana Lee: I don’t think one thing can ever define you haha! It really depends on the day. Sometimes it’s “Love You Later”, sometimes it’s “Table For Three”, “Make You Love Me”, even “Miserable”!
Spoken Mag: Finally, what’s next for Aiyana-Lee?
Aiyana Lee: I would love to play and really get the chance to see people and feel the energy in person. I love the exchange of energy, and when it comes to music and feeling that connection collectively; it’s pure magic.
Spoken Mag: Any “closing” thoughts for our readers?
Aiyana Lee: Stay true to who you are, romanticize the relationship with yourself, and try not to #### because the only lens you live your life through is your own; make every day special 🙂
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