Aisha Badru The Singer Letting her Words Speak for Themselves.
Before her first headline show at the Oslo in Hackney. We caught up with Aisha Badru an up and coming American songstress who released her debut album Pendulum earlier this year. The songstress who hails from New York is all about the words when it comes to her music she doesn’t let production get in the way of what she is trying to say and let’s the words of the song tell the message. We caught up with the singer to talk about everything from her inspiration her new album and everything in between.
Hailing from New York where Aisha grew up in a low-income urban community this had an influence on the music she would go on to make. Having witnessed a lot of disparity that she feels shaped the songs and the music she makes. Growing up in those circumstances made Aisha more aware of the things that are not right the world and she chandelled that into her music.
Before pursuing a career as a singer, after dropping out of college and teaching herself the guitar by watching YouTube videos. Aisha was a regular girl who always liked performing and entertaining her family from a young age, but probably never would’ve pursued music as a career due to the fact that she used to be incredibly shy and had major stage fright. However, after dropping out of University that’s when she cultivated her self-confidence and started making music professionally.
Without putting her musical style into a box, Aisha describes it as a mixture of various sounds that she has molded into the music you hear. “I have alot of influences from folk music, however over time I have been able to adapt it to my own style. There are also nuances of pop in my music and different genres of music that have molded my sound”
This is as a result of the music that helped inspired and shaped her sound which also comes from a diverse range of musical genres. From pop, R&B, hip-hop, alternative all these have blended and infused what has become the sound of Aisha’s music.
When you listen to any of her songs it is very clear that the subjects that Aisha tackles are very personal to her experiences that she has had in her life. Speaking on this and the inspiration behind her music a lot of it is actually pain. “Mostly what inspires me is pain. I think that pain causes you to become introspective and a lot of the tough things that I went through, particularly relationships with other people has been where I have gotten the majority of my inspiration from.”
Much of this is clear and apparent when you listen to the songs that appear on her debut album Pendulum. However, what also is apparent is the journey that she has been on which is what she has put into the album. “The album is a full spectrum of what I have been through for the past few years. It starts off being heartbroken and more of a victim and as you continue on to progress through the album there are more themes of taking accountability for the way that you feel and being empowered instead of being a victim.”
The process and the approach that Aisha has when it comes to her music is different to other artists, for her it is not just something that can just happen in terms of just sitting down and writing. It tends to be a more spiritual process. “I can never plan to write a song, it just sort of falls out of the sky whenever the time comes. It usually starts with an image in my head that I try and interpret into words.
When it actually tends to the songs that she makes in terms of the melodies and the sounds you hear a lot of it has minimal production which is intentional. Aisha tends to think of herself more of a writer than a musician and so wants the listener to pay attention to the words.
And in terms of the message that she wants to give people who listen to her music the main message is pain, healing and moving forward. “The main thing that I want to get across to the audience is the importance of not just wallowing in our pain and reflecting in our pain. But moving forward from it through healing ourselves so I think that is the most important message is that healing must take place because we can become fully free and fully happy.”
Words: Seneo Mwamba
Images: Zev Smichtz