The ocean’s tides, with its fluctuating continuum of brewing and crashing down, is what indie rockstar Aziya compares to the nuances of human interaction. “Just like relationships, tides can be calm one minute but explode into chaos the next,” the 21-year-old says. “They’re unpredictable but always rooted in a familiar cycle that will always rise and fall.
In a deep dive into the complex exploration of what drives connection between the people in her life, Aziya released her debut EP, We Speak of Tides on July 2.
The British musician leans into feelings of frustration and vulnerability in a stunning coming-of-age body of work that displays her fine-tuned talent of creating art. Whether she’s slaying the demons that try and haunt her in stylishly angsty songs like “Slip” or repeating motivating mantras to push herself forward on tracks like “Marathon,” Aziya has put self-discovery on full display for listeners to both relate to and learn from.
“Every track on the EP, in its own way, explores the intricacies, and often frustrations, of trying to get my head around relationships — how we can go from drawing in those we care for one minute to pushing them away from the next.”
Find out more about Aziya’s creative process behind We Speak of Tides, the musicians that inspire her, and what we can expect next from the emerging rockstar in an exclusive interview she had with EUPHORIA.
What inspired you to become a musician? When did you decide that you could truly pursue music professionally?
I think from a young age I was always so inspired by a lot of guitar bands whether it was Jimi, The Doors, or The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I would always sing vocal melody ideas even from when I was very little. I think my parents caught onto this and so I got my first guitar … which I still have! Immediately it was a way of being able to accompany the melodies I was hearing in my head so I could flesh out full songs. I guess from that it started a whirlwind of writing, recording, and producing — to the point where I was in too deep that I couldn’t even imagine doing anything else!
I understand “Blood” had a deeper meaning tied to familial relationships. Talk to me about the presence of family within your music overall?
“Blood” was a super cathartic song for me to write because I actually ended up resolving the situation with this particular person and now we’re closer than ever. My family has played a huge pivotal role in helping me take a hobby into something they believe I can do. Particularly my mum. Especially growing up in a household where there wasn’t any boundaries to the music that was being played from System of a Down on one speaker to Onyx on the other, the idea of pursuing music was never shunned. I think being close with my family means I can explore these relationships in my writing too and know we’ll be OK at the end of the day.
And about your sound, who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Changes all the time but currently it’s June Millington, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Santigold, The Flaming Lips, and Tame Impala.
What advice could you give to girls who look up to you who have similar dreams of becoming rockstars?
Ignore all the boxes and boundaries you might find you’ve been put in. Trust your musical instinct and know it’s right!
What was the creation process like behind We Speak of Tides?
We Speak of Tides lyrically is about my journey of trying to understand human interaction, exploring the gray area of relationships with a lot of self-reflection on being human and imperfect. Sonically, this EP was really me honing in on my production and finding my sound. I think naturally a lot of the ideas were recorded and written in my bedroom and then when I took them to the studio I was able to make the ideas really come to life.
It changes all the time but most of the time it’s “Slip!” The production on this one is so exciting to me and it’s the direction I intend to keep exploring. Also, “You make the damsel in me distressed,” that lyric continues to be a 24/7 mood.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the rest of 2021?
I will be releasing my debut EP and as things begin to reopen I’ll be gigging it alongside some new music, as well as shooting some more videos. I hopefully will be touring soon and I just finished directing the next music video for my song “Marathon” off the EP. Directing is something I hope to continue and if there’s time maybe build another mini synth. This year is about to be interesting. I’ll keep you posted.
What can fans expect from you from this point forward?
Merch for people, more live shows, pop-up and guerrilla shows included, more solos, more videos, more music!!