Spotlight – “Aysha, Celebrating New Beginnings”











Aysha, Celebrating New Beginnings

Melina Paris

Aysha, a shining new star with Infinity Artists Group, has just come out with her fourth album, Take me Higher; and there’s no doubt this CD will.

Marking this occasion in the most fitting way, Aysha will perform at her CD pre-release party, which also happens to be a festive birthday celebration for this rising artist. The events will coincide on Saturday, July 13, at Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach.

Aysha has been nominated, both in 2009 and 2010, for Jazz Artist of the Year. She was also the winner for Jazz Album of the year at the 2010 Los Angeles Music Awards.

Her single, “Release Me” which she co-wrote with music producer Monty Seward, has received high praise and even higher ratings. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being best, “Release Me” was given a 10 on the website.

Recently over the telephone, discussing her new album, she shared some insights on how the CD came into fruition.

She explains the musical direction she was originally going in has changed over the past six months. Take Me Higher is more of an eclectic album, not any one particular genre. It leans more towards urban adult contemporary.

She says, “It fits in smooth jazz but it’s more urban and crosses over to pop.”

The inspiration behind the album, she says, is about relationships. Speaking of her dreams and personal experiences, she put to melody what she learned from her past and from looking into herself. She says it’s not only about romantic love, but love in general.

“I definitely went deep,” Aysha says. “This came from a relationship I ended in 2010 and then we got back together. It’s about that journey with my partner who was a big inspiration. It’s very uplifting.”

“Release Me also had another meaning, she adds, I wanted to step outside the box of smooth jazz and do what felt good musically.”

She says it was an experience of total freedom in music and in her life.

“It was pretty intense, the emotions and what I went through. I felt like I could breathe all of a sudden”.

Rooted in her truth she expands like the limbs of a tree; though she does not stray too far from the female artists who she says inspired her, Phyllis Hymen and Sade.

“I love the way Phyllis can tell a story through a song. Listening to her music you can really put a whole picture together.”

“And then there’s Sade, she is just sexy and crafty with a different sound. You didn’t really know what genre to even put her in. That’s kind of how a lot of my music is; it crosses over a lot of genres.”

Through her personal growth Aysha has captured a way of telling her own story. She has done so while branching out musically and successfully expanding across genres.

Early on in her career Aysha experienced some significant stage fright but was able to pull herself through it. She described it as more of a confidence and acceptance issue. Worried, at first that people wouldn’t like her, she remembers her legs shaking before going on stage. Yet, through harnessing her talent she was able to pull herself through. As she became more confident in her abilities, she explains, it got better.

“It’s easier for me to perform in front of thousands of people than in the smaller more intimate rooms. I still get nervous before hand but once I’m out on stage I’m so happy to be there.”

Her happiness must be infectious. She shares a story about one time being booked in a show where it was a heavy R&B crowd.

“At the time I was doing more smooth jazz, I thought why was I scheduled here?”  She explains, “I was worried I would not get a warm reception at all.”

People started entering the room as she was in the middle of a sound check; suddenly some of them walked up to her saying they really liked her voice.

Musically and personally Aysha has come full circle and she is acquiring many admirers along the way. She recounts the story of how she came about performing at the esteemed Dubai International Jazz Festival this past February.

About five years ago Les Cutmore, CEO of Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records, contacted her. He wanted to sign her but at the last minute some of his people thought it wasn’t the right time for a vocal artist to come in on their smooth jazz genre. She did not get signed but Cutmore, likely recognizing a big talent, always stayed in touch with her.

Aysha explains, “Then one day, out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from him asking if I could perform at the Dubai Jazz Festival. He said he had a spot open and needs to know ASAP because he has to wrap it up.”

The Dubai Jazz fest has become an iconic event featuring world class artists, covering all genres of jazz music. Aysha muses over on the sheer surprise of it all.

“I was told there were several people who wanted to do it. It was the opportunity of a life time.”

A great compliment to a talented and hardworking artist. Between her day job and studio time, she works more than 60 hours a week. Aysha says she does make time for church on Sundays and spending time with her boyfriend.

“This is a new beginning in all aspects of my life. I have a big birthday coming up and it’s a whole new outlook.”

If you are in the area, come to Spaghettini’s and celebrate with Aysha and friends, bet you will be happy you did!

Leave a Reply