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A chat with AYLA at Red Deer Festival

If you haven’t been a total hermit for the last year, you’ll have found yourself humming along to one of AYLA‘s soulful indie pop numbers. Picked up for her song-writing prowess at only 16, the now 19-year-old has been sharing stages with some hella impressive acts and drawing a besotted crowd to her own headline shows. We got chatting at Red Deer Music Festival about the upcoming EP, musical influence, and jungle-themed outfits.

Anna: I’ve heard an EP is in the works. What can we expect from that?

AYLA: The three songs I’ve already released, they’re gonna be on it, plus another two. It’s going to be out on the 6th November. I’m pretty excited. One [of the new songs] is a bit similar to the three that I’ve released but I guess a bit more upbeat, because the three I’ve released so far have been pretty dark. Especially the last one, it’s called When The World Ends and it’s a bit dark, lyrically. This one’s a bit happier, I guess. And there’s another one which is less produced and slower.

I guess you take influence from whatever you hear in a little way – you take it all on board subconsciously and bring up reflections of what you’ve heard.

Anna: I hear a lot of different influences in your sound, especially the really expressive vocals and intense lyricism. Who inspires you? 

AYLA: I guess you take influence from whatever you hear in a little way – you take it all on board subconsciously and bring up reflections of what you’ve heard – but I do love vocalists like Florence Welch, Sia, Sarah Blasko, and Norah Jones. And I really like John Mayer because I think he’s such a good all-rounder in that he’s got a great voice, writes great songs, and he’s also fantastic at his instrument.

Anna: You were quite young when you got picked up from the International Songwriting Competition. Do you think that affects how you approach your music? 

AYLA: I hadn’t really thought about that. I don’t think so, because I’ve just always been writing songs since I was really young, and I think that I always will be writing songs. But I suppose different things do affect the way that I think about going at a song, just talking to different people about the way they write and taking those things on board. Getting into the finals of the International Songwriting Competition and having that is a really nice way of saying “keep doing what you’re doing, Ayla!”

Anna: What’s your favourite part of the musical process?

AYLA: I love writing the songs and being on stage performing them.

Anna: Who’s your dream collab? 

AYLA: I think it would be pretty cool to write a song with John Mayer or anyone I’ve just mentioned, like Sarah Blasko. I’d like to do more collaborating in writing songs with more different people, as well as working with producers and seeing how they can affect the songwriting process. But I guess collaborating can be anything, like I could write a song to Johnny Depp acting and that would be pretty cool. Yeah, getting my song in a movie with Johnny Depp in it – that’d be cool.

I’d like to do more collaborating in writing songs with more different people, as well as working with producers and seeing how they can affect the songwriting process.

Anna: How do you see your sound developing or changing in the coming years? 

AYLA: I want to write with different people and see how their perspective on songwriting affects what I do. And really develop what I do in that regard, and record more. [Also] keep playing in a band, keep developing that, and keep touring.

Anna: What’s the best thing about Red Deer festival? 

AYLA: The costumes have been pretty good. I’m looking forward to seeing the fashions in the field.

Anna: Yeah, I’m jealous of people with such cool costumes! I should have dressed up. 

AYLA: You could have had a beak!




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