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aykiyah – replace u / ain’t got time | baby steps

Indie bedroom producer and singer-songwriter aykiyah’s 2-track EP about locating oneself in the moments of a relationship’s demise embodies its own liberation in the artist carving out her own genre, putting together creative lyrics and flow of R&B to dreamy electronic or synth-pop melodies. In its structure-rebellious approach it allows to her to explore her feelings and speak the language they need to be experienced wholly.

“If I were to describe my style, I’d say a mix between a mix of early 2000’s RnB and modern day pop sound. A mix of just sharing my intense feelings while being completely open and vulnerable and a groovy melody to listen to. Giving people a kind of sense that “you’re not alone in your feelings.” Because growing up, that was the style of music I gravitated towards. People sharing real events and feelings and being like “yeah, we all feel things.” I was heavily influenced by Sza, Jazmine Sullivan, H.E.R and many other female RnB artist that just share their truth and aren’t afraid to break those normal artistic standards. One of my favorite things about songwriting is it’s really up to YOU.”

Two tracks about a relationship gone sour but wholly different themes – ain’t got time expresses her escape from the frustration of a relationship full of games, a deliverance from emotional manipulation. Emotionally abusive relationships are so much more taxing than one would initially assume, and the track feels like a triumphant moment of clarity in rejecting the gaslighting and games that come with it. Replace u is the more collected aftermath, in which aykiyah can mull over the consequences of unfettering herself and hypes herself up to get over the things that she can’t help but miss – finding self confidence despite staying up all night by the phone. She’s compassionate but refuses to let that be a bridge to being stepped on. It’s anthemic to empowering people in toxic relationships to perhaps open their eyes, and that’s a lovely facet of it too.

“When I first wrote ‘replace u’, it was an after thought of an actual situation I’d been through. I felt like I kind of couldn’t get over how I felt in that time and just went to the drawing board because I knew journaling about it would kind of help me close that chapter. Naturally, after writing down how I felt, I wanted to transform it into a song. I immediately found a melody and it just went from there. ‘Aint got time’ was definitely written when those emotions were being felt. I knew I had to create kind of a “sister record” to ‘Replace u’ because those emotions were so real. It’s real life, relatable and is just all telling. I love that after I sat down and reviewed the songs, is kind of when I was like “wait, these feel like the perfect character arc.” I just love how art kind of paints itself when you’re open and vulnerable.”

It’s a cathartic EP on which we get to try on aykiyah’s shoes for brief six minutes, but lets us experience the beginnings of a truly unique and impassioned style of music that I particularly enjoyed listening to. These tracks are catchy pop hooks and ethereal synth production but put to the forefront the rawness and confusion that comes with asking oneself these hard questions. I’m genuinely eager to see where only 20 y/o singer-songwriter and producer aykiyah takes herself!

On her plans as a full-time artist:
Being a full-time artist is definitely one of my long-term goals. The thing about it is, everyone’s a full-time artist to be honest, haha. Whether you write, sing, draw, etc. You are putting yourself on display and opening up your world to be inspected, related to, and jus…t a form of expression. I like to think we’re all full-time artist, haha. I see myself working with people I’ve looked up to, wether writing for them or vocally collaborating. In saying that though, I am just grateful to be where I am today. Even just months ago, I would’ve never dreamed of today.

To anyone out there who will listen 🙂
I think one thing I’d like to add is just, take a chance on yourself. Because, you truly never know where that chance or leap of faith might land you. Share your art. It’s scary but it really helps heal the soul. Whether people like it or not, it’s yours and it’s something to be proud of. Or to even look back and say “you know what, I might hate this now but it really helped me in THAT time.” I’ve written so many songs where I go back and am just like…..why?? haha. But in that moment, it helped me feel what I was feeling and it helped me to just… keep going. Never be afraid to express yourself. It is so important, especially in todays society. I am just glad I took a chance on myself.

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Part-time writer but full-time music enthusiast, I write some of the features on here. I think appreciating a multitude of genres and styles makes me good at my job, so clicky here to see what I've written!

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