Can you give us some background on yourself… Where are you from? How did your music career get started?
I was born in the DMV and I started writing music in high school. My first love was an amazing battle rapper and we would right love songs/ poetry to each other during class and give them to each other between the periods (laughs) he really deepened my love for the creative writing process which evolved into me writing my own music after I began taking guitar lessons when I was 16. After that, I joined the concert choir in college and recorded my first song. I took some time off from music to really search for truth on who I am and my purpose here and came back around after a couple of tarot readers saw singing was a part of my path.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences overall?
Maxwell hands down is my most major influence. The writing style and sensuality in his music is unmatched. Other major influences would be Sade, Meshell Ndegeocello and Erykah Badu.
What’s your single “Elevate” about?
Elevate is about the toxic space we can’t get enough of with the right person. It’s about the communication breakdowns that lead to tension and finally getting tired of the cycle, but not of the person. It’s really a “get your shit together because I want you but I’m not putting up with your games” type of vibe.
Who directed the music video? How was your experience making it?
Shakka Blem was the director and it was a pretty smooth process. The model in the video was a really good friend of mine and we had a great time with lots of laughs.
What albums are you listening to right now?
Right now I’m hooked on Meshell Ndegeocello’s Bitter Album and FKA Twigs LP1. These two can do no wrong in my eyes. I’m completely obsessed with these two bodies of work.
How did you navigate your career throughout 2020 with the pandemic situation?
So, the double edge sword here is that I’m super new to the scene so I spent most of 2020 recording, mixing and fine tuning my debut project Venus so that worked out. The downside was that we had to find more creative ways to promote my music, so we relied heavily on social media to spread the word of my arrival on the scene to stay safe.
Do you have big plans for 2021?
Of course! I have a few amazing videos that I can’t wait to put out and there may be an EP release coming later in the year as well. I can’t wait to share the next stage of Ayoka with the world.