Aisha Badru

New York-based artist Aisha Badru’s latest release Learning to Love Again pays homage to her own journey through love and life. The EP explores the intersection of romantic entanglements and self-care through an eclectic mix of folk-pop, R&B, and ethereal music. The singer, from Westchester County in New York, always had a lingering love of music, but it wasn’t something she thought she would pursue as a career. She remembers always singing along to artists like Mariah Carey and Destiney’’s Child and putting on a show for her mom but never considered pursuing music until she was older.

“Three and a half years into college, I realized I’m not meant to be sitting here, absorbing information from a professor or a textbook,” Badru recalled. “I really felt called to go out into the world, live my life, and just write about my experiences. So, about three and a half years into college, I dropped out and bought a guitar and spent the whole summer in my bedroom learning how to play.” 

At the time, Badru gave herself a year to focus on music. During that time, she released her first EP and the song “Waiting Around” ended up being picked up by Volkswagen for a commercial. From there, she continued with music and never looked back. Badru was most inspired by pop and folk music and incorporated that style into her own music. 

“I feel influenced by pop music in the sense that my songs are pretty simple,” Badru explains.  “The arrangement is usually a simple pop arrangement and then I just try to add complexity with my tone and my emotion and my lyrics. The storytelling aspect of folk music has also always resonated with me. I loved folk musicians who had that breathy or raspy kind of voice and the use of organic instrumentation as well.” 

Learning to Love Again is different from the musical projects Badru put out over her career. While she collaborated with her long-time producer Chris Hutchinson on the EP, she had the opportunity to work closely with other producers like Gordon Allen, Yuan Chan, and GRAMMY-winning producer Synematik to bring the EP to life. 

“Working with new producers was one of the most exciting parts of working on this latest body of work,” said Badru. “While I might admire someone’s music from afar, it’s rare that I’d reach out and ask if they’d be interested in working on a song with me. So I think it was exciting to step out of my box to reach out to people and get to know new people and producers.” 

The folk-pop track “Lazy River,” produced by Gordon Allen, explores Badru’s personal and musical awakening. In the press release for the EP, she explained that “when you lose someone in love, the wounds are not really about the relationship, they’re more so about you.” She experiments with her vocal style in the track “Inside,” a piano-heavy song that delves into reflections of self-love. The song is a step out of her own comfort zone and it is a beautiful demonstration of Badru’s ability to free herself from expectations. “I feel like the messaging, lyrics, and the emotion it’s still very me, but working on this track  allowed me to show a different side nobody really expected,” she explained

The track “Move,” which describes the process of healing through movement, is one of the songs on the EP that’s considered her most experimental. The track was produced in collaboration with electronic dance producer Yuan Chan and is considered a hymnal track that transforms into a dance track. “ I’m always dancing around the house, but that doesn’t come across,” she recounts in the press release.. “Now I’m at this place where it’s healing for me to work through my emotions through movement.“

For Badru, her music and songwriting come from a personal place and allow her to reflect and heal. “​​When you go through those things, you learn and gain so much, even though you’re losing a lot. And that’s why songwriting is so personal to me because it’s a personal experience.” 

Learning to Love Again is now available on all streaming platforms.