“Even though a lot of my songs contain controversial and confrontational lyrics there always seems to be a seductive undertone to them, whether or not I intended for it to be there.”
We had a chat with vocal feminist Ayelle about feminism, her latest, fantastic song release “No Harm”, that we are thrilled to premiere here today, and what she likes to think about when she is alone.
Can you define “bittersweet r&b”? (because this is what it says on your Facebook in the “genre line”)
Well, the google definition of bittersweet is “arousing pleasure tinged with sadness or pain”, which I thought summed up the general feel of my music pretty well. Even though a lot of my songs contain controversial and confrontational lyrics there always seems to be a seductive undertone to them, whether or not I intended for it to be there.
What is the song “No Harm” about?
No Harm is about trying to understand the reasoning and frame of mind of three different rapists, who probably don’t understand that they are rapists. I also had the Brock Turner case at the back of my mind when I wrote this, and how he managed to shift the blame of his actions, seemingly convincing himself that he wasn’t at fault even after having been convicted.
How did you get into music in the first place?
I started songwriting when I was about 6 years old. Lyrics were always the main thing for me, my way of expressing myself and working through whatever was going on in my life at that moment. I then started recording and working with producers as I got a bit older, and it just progressed from there.
What sort of feminism does our generation still need?
I think Intersectional Feminism is the way forward. The kind of feminism that is for everyone, and not just for a privileged few. It means making an effort to make feminism more inclusive, breaking down barriers and having more open discussions which is something I think our generation is getting pretty good at. There’s still a long way to go but there’s also a lot of great progress being made.
Your ambitions for the next years?
I’d like to work with some of my favourite producers, progress my sound and experiment even further. Mostly, I want my music to remain a tool of expression and add value to something, whether that’s a movement or a single person’s life. I try not to think too much about the future though. The most important thing for me is that I can continue creating and making new connections.
What do you like to think about when you are alone?
I like counting things that I’m grateful for, cause it’s so easy to forget when there’s a million other things cluttering your mind. I also spend a lot of time thinking about what I feel and why. I over-analyse a lot of things, which is annoying but great for songwriting.
image press courtesy/ Donna Arendse (Lekker Collective)