Lauren Cirkot sat down with UK-based EDM/dance/pop-star Ayah Marar to talk about her life as a musician. Ayah is the vocalist on Calvin Harris’s new single “Thinking About You." Read on to find out more
As multi-cultural international artist, you do a lot of traveling, what would you say is your favorite place to visit?
It depends on the time of year I guess, I mean New York right now is absolutely perfect. I’m really loving it, I love America in general, the West Coast is wonderful, otherwise we’ve toured in Australia a few years ago, and that was really fun so , it depends on the time of year but I have to say each place has its own charm.
I watched your video for “Thinking About You” and it looked like you had a pretty big swell and high waves- did anybody get sick at the shoot?
They did actually! One of the pirates got seasick (one of the people that shouldn’t have gotten sea sick) . Yeah, everyone else was fine,
On that single you worked with Calvin Harris, what other people would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I’d love to work with people like Dizzie Rascal, Kendrick Lamar would be awesome, Sean Paul , quite a few on the list!
One of our shirts from our clothing line says “Dream Big” on it, and it reminded me of something that I read in your bio which was that you left the country of Jordan at the age of 17 to accomplish your dreams, so have you had any setbacks and how did you handle that?
Of course, I mean you have setbacks when it comes to how you live and how you make money, and whether or not people genuinely care about you, I suppose it is something that anyone would encounter but I suppose being far from home makes it a bit harder, but um I think anything is possible after that.
I also read in your bio that your job is to a songwriter, performer, run a label – to be involved in all parts of the industry, you do everything, so how do you handle that?
Multitasking, we’re women, we’re good at multitasking. I try to find time to do everything and if not, I trust people’s opinions who are around me. I tend to try to find ways to get what I need from them, and at the same time forge my life in other ways. I think nowadays you have to be, you can’t just be a singer or performer, you have to be able to be a businesswoman and entrepreneur in a way, but that’s just the start of it, hopefully it will take off
Have you had a difficult time keeping your underground dance music roots as you make your way into the mainstream?
I don’t think I’m going to go much further into the mainstream, to be honest with you, I mean Calvin [Harris] and I have been friends for a very long time, so this was something we did for the 10th anniversary of our meeting- we decided to write a song together, it’s all very soppy. But I’m an underground artist and I always will be. It’s very important to me to stay underground. And while dance music is big, we’re lucky to be able to kind of push through, but who knows it might be guitar music next year or folk music the next, I don’t know
How do you hope to inspire or pave the way for future artists that want to do the same as you?
Um I don’t know how much I can inspire them, but I can show them that you can try to find ways to make things your own- you can start things yourself, and you can carry htem on yourself, and it’s good to ally yourself with people around you that know what they’re doing. There’s never been a better time to be making music, you can be anybody from anywhere and make a song in your bedroom in Peru and become a sensation on YouTube overnight. There aren’t any rules anymore, that’s what makes it exciting for me that the doors are wide open.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More music, hopefully more club nights, maybe like a club tour of some sort maybe more collaborations.
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