Over the past few years performing and writing music, AJA has been asked the question who she is as an artist and where the namesake came about a lot, “I am a pretty confident person and have always felt I know who I am,” AJA tells CelebMix at the top of our chat. “I’ve just been growing up. “I think my confidence comes out in my music and my lyrics. Music has always been a big part of me.”
AJA has been singing, harmonizing, and creating music most of her life. It keeps her happy and balanced. AJA is the type of artist who shares her personal experiences through her music. I guess you could say it is her form of therapy.
I am named after the Steely Dan album AJA. It is pronounced like the continent. (ASIA)
AJA on her namesake
“I’m not going to lie, it has been a bit tough here in Toronto,” AJA says. “I am so thankful I have been busy making music and releasing Red Button.”
It has been such a strange time to create music, but AJA has somehow managed to create some of her greatest work. At this point, she has written about 20 songs during the pandemic. “I’ve done a ton of zoom sessions,” AJA continues. “I can’t wait for things to open up and to be able to perform live. That has probably been the hardest thing for me.”
Performing live in front of an audience is the thing AJA misses most! In fact, she misses the connection and working on perfecting her live shows. Making sure her vocals are in tip top shape and she hits every high and low note with authenticity.
AJA’s newest single, ‘Red Button’ is a song she finished several months ago, and had been anxiously waiting for the right time to get it out. “I love that people message me that they’ve heard it on the radio and that they love it,” AJA expresses. “Being on the radio has always been a goal of mine and I am so excited that I have been able to achieve that at 16 years old. I have just turned 17 and am constantly updating and adding to my list of goals. Excited for what’s next.”
Red Button is about walking away from someone that isn’t good for you. A toxic relationship. It could be your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, sister, or whoever.
AJA on her newest single, ‘Red Button’
“It’s about literally hitting Red Button when they call,” AJA continues. “For me, it was about an ex-boyfriend who was harassing me and it needed to stop. I feel like it’s a song that everyone can relate to.”
AJA wrote this song with Jimmy McGorman and Rob Vallier. The trio wrote it over zoom. However, earlier, they met through a friend and started writing lyrics to the song during its initial creative process.
“It was great to brainstorm as a team,” AJA states on the creative process. “Rob and Jimmy are amazing to work with. We all threw ideas and words out.”
From there, Jimmy jumped from piano to guitar, AJA was in my home studio making notes, and Rob was in his home studio. After the trio wrote Red Button, AJA tracked vocals in Toronto at Noble Studios with Kibwe Thomas and Trevor Anderson, he was the engineer. Vocals got sent back to Jimmy McGorman and he and Dan Braunstein mixed and mastered it.
“If you know me, I’m pretty sure you will be able to guess who my songs are about,” AJA says. “I may end up offending people! My life is completely intertwined in my music and my lyrics. As I mentioned, I use songwriting as a source of therapy.”
This is the type of song where AJA wants her listeners to feel empowered. Empowered to walk away from situations and people that don’t work for them.
2021 is an exciting time for AJA, all things considered, as she is planning on releasing a song she wrote with Scott Storch back in January. “I’m really excited about it,” she says. “I’ve got a bunch of other songs I’ve written and am continuously writing. I know my next few releases and am really excited about them. They showcase me as an artist and a vocalist. Songs I’m really proud of.”