Overcoming disempowering emotions with R&B singer Anais Aida

Anais Aida is a French alternative/R&B singer whose voice is hauntingly beautiful. She’s been gathering a load of media attention, and even rapper Mac Miller reposted her latest track ‘Waterfall.’ Aida’s resonates with water, instead of fighting the current, her music, her soul, is more focused on going with the flow. This emotive singer will pull onto your heart-strings, especially with her latest track ‘Waterfall,’ which will feature in Aida's upcoming EP ‘Out In The Waves’ slated for a February 2015 release.

We chat to Aida about how it felt to have Mac Miller share her latest track, why it was important for her to ‘stop fighting the current’ and what we can expect from her upcoming EP. Margaret Tra writes.   

First of all, how did you start your musical journey?

I began learning music theory and the violin at the age of four in France, but the vocal instrument is what stuck with me throughout my travels in Ireland, Senegal, and in the US. I ended up giving up playing the violin by the age of 13. I began songwriting in middle school, right before attending Oakland School of the Arts and that developed further through my education at NYU’s Clive Davis dept. of Recorded Music.

You just released Waterfall recently, tell us about the track?

This track was a collaboration with two great friends of mine, John Record and Jon Weinman. I have a lot of admiration for their work! I decided to do this song because it was a challenge for me. I’d spent too much time in my comfort zone, both in my vocal register, but also in my genre. I wanted to step out of that and see what I was capable of. When John presented the song to me I was initially moved and intrigued. It was a process trying to get the right production around the song but I think this song emotes a really great emotion.

You are getting a lot of recognition with even Mac Miller reposting your track, how does it make you feel?

It was awesome to see that he was inclined to share it with his fans, it was nice to get the reactions of people who may not have necessarily stumbled upon my music.

You are set to release your EP in Feb next year, what can we expect?

A young artist trying to find her sound. Each song is different, they are very heartfelt and intimate. I think fear is a topic that recurs quite a bit in the EP. Living in fear held me back, insecurities and doubts are the biggest killers of dreams, so this EP both discusses that but is also the tangible outcome of me overcoming these disempowering emotions.  

I noticed your music involves water, (waterfalls +waves) is there something about water you resonate with?

The time I spent making this EP were challenging, I eventually was able to overcome the obstacles because I realized that I was somewhat rigid. Always having been a very determined person who knew exactly how she wants things done, I struggled with my artistry because of a lack of fluidity. A friend last year told me to “stop fighting the current,” it was a huge realisation for me. Being goal oriented, and focused is great, but it can become a handicap if you don’t allow for life to take it’s natural course. Water, is just that. Water moves, it has a flow, constant motion which for me represents growth, but also to allow for nature to take its course.

Are you currently working on any other projects? Live shows?

I am currently working on an LP. About ten songs deep now, keeping my eyes and ears open for the right producer. I am planning to perform very soon, so look out for that!

What stimulates your soul?

Right now I have to say “Black Messiah” is definitely stimulating my soul! In general just great art, I’ve been listening to Kwabs a lot, going to a lot of art exhibitions, reading and feeding my mind with empowering knowledge everyday as I try to find my path as a woman and as an artist.