INTERVIEW: Edgy Alt Femme R&B Pop Aria Jay

Hi Aria, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi there!  I’ve been great!  Thank you for having me!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Growth”?

“Growth” is actually my debut EP!  It was released this past February and includes four full-length tracks and one intro track.  Two tracks off of it (“Soar” and “He Said”) were released as singles prior to the EP release.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Totally.  There was pretty much a different event that inspired each track on “Growth”.  If you listen, you’ll get a good idea of the feeling I was left with after each one.  It’s safe to say, I was going through a challenging time, but it felt different from any sort of growing pain that I had experienced before.  It felt more purposeful.  I wanted things to change, I wanted to be different, and I wanted to really know myself so that I could become a better person.  That caused me to grow more than I ever imagined, hence the title “Growth”.

Can you tell us more about the upcoming video?

YES!  I’m so excited about this video!  We shot “Growth ((the visual album))” at the end of January while I was artist in residence at Holyrad Studio in Brooklyn.  Essentially, we shot a video for every track on the EP.  Each has a wildly different concept, so they’ll be able to stand alone as separate videos, but they are all connected.  I won’t give it away here, but the producer/director (Janet S. Kim) came up with such a clever way to portray that aspect.  The video for my single “Soar” will be out first, and it looks exactly like the world I dream up in my head- pink, gold, glittery fun.  It was SUCH a blast to film, and I hope it gives people that feeling when they see it.

We had previously released a video for my single “He Said” which premiered a couple of months ago, so we didn’t record an entirely new video for it as part of this project, but we found a way to still incorporate it into the story.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing is my favorite part of the process.  For me, it’s the discovery part- where I find there is the most room for exploration.  The recording process is also really exciting to me.  It’s where I get to tap into how those feelings translate into sound, and how I can best express them.  I work with Cam Outlaw on this part.  He’s been producing all of my tracks, and we get together to record piano, synths and vocals, so it’s somewhat collaborative.  I love having his input because he always understands what I’m going for, but also brings his own perspective, and those two things seem to mesh really well together.

What role does Brooklyn plays in your music?

 I’ve always lived in New York.  My great grandparents emigrated from Italy to the Bronx, so we have some pretty deep roots in this city, but Brooklyn specifically has become one of my biggest inspirations.  It has such a unique energy.  “Growth” was entirely written, recorded and inspired by Brooklyn, in Brooklyn.  It’s where I both lost and found myself.  I was living in Greenpoint when “Growth” was born, but since then I’ve moved to another part of the borough, and it feels like a whole new adventure, while still being right at home.

I’m performing for Brooklyn Music Week at the end of this summer, and I couldn’t feel more excited to be representing Brooklyn with my music.

How has your background in Opera has influence your actual musical career?

Honestly, it feels like the training I’ve had has sort of given me my entire career.  I started singing when I was very young, but I didn’t have, I guess, a traditional female voice.  I wasn’t a soprano and I had a husky sound, with a naturally lower range, but I had some talent, so I was given lots of parts to sing that I couldn’t really properly execute, so I ended up hurting myself.  I developed a nodule by the time I was 11, and shortly after started training seriously with Opera master Judy Hages.  She taught me the Art of Bel Canto, and within a year I was cured.  I continued studying with her for many years, and it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  The technique has given me so much flexibility.  I have all the tools I need to pretty much use my voice however I’d like to without causing any damage or having any problems.  And that’s the best comfort I could have moving forward in my career.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?

I am working on a new album!  I’m planning to release the first single from it this fall, followed by an album the next spring.  It’s really in the beginning stages of writing and recording, but this first single is feeling really good to me.  I can’t wait to see what else we come up with this year.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

It’s still too early in the process for me to be able to tell what the title will be, but I’m projecting the release date to be May 2018.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes!  I’m planning to do a short tour this fall, and a larger one in the spring of next year.  I can’t wait to finally bring this music to other cities!

What else is happening next in Aria Jay’s world?

Mostly writing and recording! And of course for me that comes hand in hand with spending a lot of time exploring in Brooklyn…

For More Information on Aria Jay:

Facebook / Website / Twitter / Soundcloud / Instagram

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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