In this editon of “Arcane Meets” we are introduced to the Iranian-Swedish R&B Vocalist, Ayelle. Most known for her soft vocals and melodic cadences, Ayelle has been the artist to watch for the last five years. The electronic-r&b artist, who is currently based in the UK, made time to talk to Arcane about her introduction to music, the hardships she has faced since being thrust into stardom and much more!
Enjoy the interview.
“I’ve always been able to adapt quickly and pick myself back up…”
Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself?
A: Sure! I’m Ayelle, I’m 24 years old and I make electronic r&b/pop. I’m half Swedish/Iranian and I grew up in Sweden and Spain but now live in the UK.
I personally know you to be an R&B artist, but with the amount of music you’ve released since debuting in 2015, some may consider you an Electronic-R&B, and some don’t even label you. I’m curious to know what genre you consider your general sound to be? (if you even affiliate with one)
A: Yep, I would also call it electronic r&b/pop haha. Genres are getting so ambiguous these days though so you can never be sure of what you’re actually making, people will always have a different idea of what it is to them. I just like to experiment with my voice and quirky sounds.
Growing up in London, I’m curious to know what type of music influenced you. Who were some of the artists you gravitated towards in your youth? Are there any in particular you can pinpoint that influence your personal sound?
A: I’m a 90s baby so I grew up listening to Britney, Shakira and Beyonce haha. Beyonce was definitely a huge early influence on me as well as this Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston CD that my mom and I would sing along to religiously. Since my dad’s Iranian there was also a lot of persian music in the house growing up which I feel had more of a subconscious influence on my singing techniques and oriental influences.
As I mentioned earlier, you debuted in 2015, but it wasn’t until 2016 that audiences discovered Ayelle, the artist with your debut project Machine. Can you remember some of the emotions, thoughts, etc. that you felt while creating the project?
A: It was both a very overwhelming and somewhat underwhelming process for me. Overwhelming in the sense that I didn’t have a specific producer I was working with so all of the songs were randomly pieced together with demos and different producers and I worked really hard at still trying to create something cohesive.
I definitely had very unrealistic expectations at that time since it was early days for me, so the release felt underwhelming when those expectations weren’t met. But I’ve always been able to adapt quickly and pick myself back up so that’s what I did and just carried on. I’m still proud of that early project though and I learnt so many valuable lessons from that.
Because this was your first project, did you have any goals that you wanted to meet?
A: The goals I had set for the project were different from what I actually got out of it, which I think were some very important lessons about how the industry works. It equipped me with knowledge that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to attain. I also got my first big blog premiere and playlist placement on Spotify which was definitely a good step in the right direction.
“The whole reason I started making music in the first place was to be able to process my own feelings…”
Your lead single “Machine” quickly gained success surpassing over 30,000 plays (on SoundCloud alone); with this being your first project, did you hope for a response like this; and was it somewhat gratifying to know that this many people enjoyed your music?
A: As I mentioned before, I had very unrealistic expectations about the project and although it made me super happy that people were listening to and enjoying the music, I didn’t realise just how much work there was still to be done, that it was only the beginning.
Looking back on the time between Machine’s release and right now, what part of being an artist has been the most gratifying (thus far)?
A: Being able to support myself off music is honestly such a huge blessing. It allows me to focus on making the best art I can possibly make and to navigate this industry with a healthy mindset and lifestyle, something which was very hard to do whilst I was still working a dayjob. Of course the core of why I do this and the most gratifying experience of all is when people reach out and let you know how a song has touched them or helped them through something. I love how music can help people process their feelings.
The whole reason I started making music in the first place was to be able to process my own feelings, so the fact that the songs can do that for others too feels incredible.
Within a month of release your debut project, you had already begun releasing singles and collaborations; songs like “Reclaim” and “Take Your Time” (prod. Osmo) quickly gaining popularity. With every song that you’ve released, has it ever gotten to a point where it’s hard to remain creative (influenced)? If so, how do you normally get through those times?
A: I’ve been blessed with a constant flow of inspiration in my life so I’ve luckily never had writers block. I don’t think my way to my songs, I kind of let them write themselves. I call it “subconscious writing” because often I don’t know what I’m writing about when I start a new song and as I explore my feelings further the meaning of the song unfolds.
By 2017, you had released a ton of collaborations with producers and solo work, but if I’m correct you also released your first song with a featuring artist: “Rush”, featuring Nakala. How did this collaboration come about?
A: I had heard Nakala’s song ‘Paris’ and fell in love with it so I reached out. She works out of a studio in Portsmouth with a producer called Brad Baker so I started going there a lot and working with them, we all get on really well and love working together 🙂
Even in 2019, Nakala remains the only singer-songwriter you’ve brought into your world of music. Are there any other musicians you think would mesh with your sound?
A: Yes, this year I’ve got upcoming collaborations with Akacia, Naji and Mothica and hopefully lots more to come!
“I think who I am as an artist is ever evolving…”
As of 2019, you’ve released two projects, two joint projects, countless singles and features. I’m curious to know what some of your goals for the year are?
A: I’m releasing a single every month and putting together some visuals and just focusing on creating consistent high quality music and content.
You recently released two singles “NBDY” and “Obvious” could we potentially hear these songs on a project later in the year?; and for those who have yet to hear, can you briefly explain what both songs are about?
A: They won’t be going on a project as they’re part of the 12 singles I’m releasing this year. Next year however I do have a 10 track EP on the horizon!
The recent singles are quite different as one is about more recent events in my life and the other one draws inspiration from events that happened quite long ago now but that still hurt nonetheless. Obvious is about being in a long distance relationship and wanting to make sure you both remember how much you love each other. NBDY is about domestic abuse and the patterns of both mental and physical abuse which break down your sense of self worth.
With every song you create, do you come closer to knowing who you want to be as an artist, and knowing how you would like your music to affect people?
A: I think who I am as an artist is ever evolving, every time I think I’ve come close I start changing again haha. All i know is that I wanna make music that speaks to people on various levels and is able to help people process their emotions and grow.
As I mentioned, 2019 marks four years under your belt, do you think you’ve grown (creatively, musically). Are there any words of wisdom you can give up and coming musicians?
A: Yeah absolutely. It can’t be compared haha. My advice would be to educate yourself about all aspects of the industry, through asking questions and always being an active part of your artist project even when you have a team around you. It’s invaluable to understanding the choices you’re making and the consequences.
Lastly, is there something you would like to tell your supporters?
A: remember to self care ❤
If you enjoyed this interview and would like to learn more about Ayelle, be sure to follow her on her social media platforms, Instagram and Twitter. For those interested in hearing more music from Ayelle, including songs mentioned in the interview, make sure to support her on SoundCloud, Spotify, and all streaming platforms available!