6 Questions With Aisha Badru
Welcome to “6 Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so it has become a permanent fixture here on Indie Minded. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay the same. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is New York-based urban-folk singer-songwriter Aisha Badru. We have not had the privilege of featuring Aisha here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. Sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
I grew up in Yonkers, New York on the not-so-nice side of town. I’ve always loved writing and singing, but I used to be incredibly shy which steered me away from taking music seriously. Growing up I was always an honor student, I even got offered two full-ride scholarships after graduating high school, but during my third year in college, I dropped my classes and took time off to really figure out what I was doing with my life and if I was happy. I was far from happy; I actually didn’t even feel like I was really living. Shortly after, I bought a guitar and started learning how to play by watching tutorials online and eventually I wrote my first song. Somehow, a very fortunate string of events led to my song being used in a Volkswagen commercial and I am now anticipating the release of my debut album, Pendulum. The music I play isn’t easy to categorize; sometimes it’s folky, sometimes it pop-y, and sometimes it’s none of those things. Overall, I think the sound I am creating is fresh and fluid and I am quite alright with avoiding putting myself into a box.
In which ways do you enjoy interacting with fans (i.e.: social media, backstage, on the street), and do you find that this is an important piece of your career?
I love chatting with fans through direct messaging online. Being a musician is usually a one-way exchange between yourself and the listener. I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know the people who are listening to my music because no matter where they come from in the world, they have gravitated towards my songs because we have a connection and it is really cool to discover the common ground that you share with people from many different walks of life. Music has a way of bringing people together and showing them that they are not so different after all. There are so many people I have engaged with online that I would love to meet in person some day; many have already become people that I call my friends.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
I find that the biggest struggle is breaking onto the scene as a new artist, especially when you don’t have major label backing you. You can have the most amazing song online, but if nobody knows who you are, how will they ever find it? Luckily, we are living in the age of the internet. The internet is such a powerful tool that is accessible to anyone to utilize to get the word out about anything, really. It is also a great way for you to reach your target audience directly. Starting at 0 followers has been challenging, but the lack of exposure has made me twice as diligent and has pushed me to be creative in coming up with ways to reach a broader audience. It’s been a fun adventure and I have never felt discouraged.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
If I could only play one song of mine for the rest of my career, I would play “Navy Blues.” “Navy Blues” is about a very painful experience that I went through and the song is a little dark…. but the song is also about trumping that darkness and reaching the light that was on the other side of it. I think this adage can be applied to many aspects of all of our lives. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in our pain and not only do we forget that it is temporary, we forget that it is in these dark moments where we gain our strength, compassion, and humility.
What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?
I don’t believe there are any limits to what I can achieve as an artist. With that being said, I hope to reach billions of people with my music. I would love to hear my music played on the radio, in films, and on television and I would love to tour around the world. But, my aim is not to reach people to validate that my music is enjoyable, instead, I want to reach people because I have a message that I want to share with the world. The message is that we are all connected despite the extensive amount of propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with that leads us to believe that we are separate.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I like to spend time alone plunging deep down into myself in attempts to understand my existence and to understand the world around me. I also enjoy traveling in order to step out of myself to get a better view from a wider perspective. This past year I have been to Nigeria, Peru, and Indonesia. At times I spend long periods isolated or wandering around, only to re-emerge back on the scene with many stories to share and with the opening of my heart bigger than ever.