By Simon Heywood
This world is full of people with amazing gifts. A talent, if you will (or even multiple; humans are capable of wondrous things). As an independent blogger/writer, I view myself as some sort of independent “artist.” After all, writing is a form of art. I run my personal Instagram page (shameless plug follow me on Instagram and Twitter @simonjheywood) as a hub for all of my poems and short stories to live on. Because I view myself as an independent artist, a freelance writer if you will, I often attract and seek people with amazing gifts, who also happen to be smaller in terms of audience size and who are not as well known yet. I attract the “underdog energy” so to speak. In short, I am starting a series of articles where I do an “Artist Spotlight” on people who are just amazing at what they do but they haven’t had that national or even international spotlight that they deserve, and in this article, I bring to you, Aryah Asla.
Aryah Asla had one of those unique “as long as I can remember” stories. They were always drawn to music and performing. Their first prominent memory of enjoying the wonders of of music was when they and their sister were dancing to “Dream Lover” by Mariah Carey on top of their grandmother’s storage chest. Growing up, they would always have singing competitions with each other, always found singing “I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston edition or “Fire and Desire” by Tina Maria and Rick James. Professionally, Asla has been singing for about two years.
As the world and many artists are fully aware, doing this type of gig is hard. It is incredibly difficult to make it as a financially successful artist. When starting out, it is quite common for independent artists to have a side job, a part-time job, and yes, even the ones that kill us on the inside, the “9 to 5s.” For Aryah, you can find them at a Starbucks (my heart goes out to you, because anything involving customer service can be quite the drag).
It’s not uncommon to see artists channel their past into their works. Like social media influencer turned artist Gabbie Hanna once sang, “make your tragedies a work of art.” For Asla, their childhood they described as an overall roller coaster, but they were able to learn from everything they went through. Not just an artist, but a warrior as well.
Asla states they listen to multiple, if not almost all, genres of music. They grew up with R&B and pop, but personally, they listen to more than just what they grew up with. In terms of their own written and produced music, currently, they describe them as “a lot of pop,” and “R&B influenced.”
All artists have their own story, from when they first found that splash of color or harmonious chord in their black and white and soundless world, to when they actually said to themselves “this is what I want to do.” For Asla, they pinpointed that time when they said that to themself when they were in the second grade. However, as a lot of parents of artists are, they don’t see artistry as practical, and very less believable coming from the words of a child. They would probably just say something along the lines of “oh that’s cute.” But Asla, as I said before is a warrior, and they stood their ground and although for a moment tried to find a more practical career path, just fell back onto the intense desire to become a singer, citing Usher as an inspiration.
The sheer will and desire to become a singer blossoms so fully in them that their motivation to become and be a singer is just as simple as knowing that nothing else would make them happy. “It’s everything. I don’t have another answer. It’s what I have to do for my life, it’s what makes me happy. It’s the only thing that makes me happy.” Asla started singing when they were two, started writing when they were fourteen, and started producing when they were nineteen.
With their music, they just hope that their audience can connect with it. They hope it can be relatable, and that people can enjoy it and feel happy listening to it. At the end of the day, they want their music to touch the souls of others. They don’t really care about the fame; they just want others to feel happy and they can best do that through their music.
As part of the journey that is life, we often learn a huge lesson that really sticks with us. For Aryah, one of the biggest lessons they learned is that, 1, not everyone wants your help, 2, not everyone cares that you need help, and 3, to just be the best version of you that you can be.
As artists, there are a multitude of things that our craft can teach us. For Aryah, music taught them that nothing truly comes easy in life. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Spoken like a true warrior of life and artist, work.
As mentioned before, Aryah Asla is a new and rising artist. With them, the grind never stops and they have been doing this professionally for two years now. They have a single, “The Garden,” out now, and is in the works of an EP (and perhaps soon, an album, but that’s for them to tell and confirm). You can find them on Instagram (@aryahasla) and YouTube ( https://www.youtube.com/user/adrian101002 ) . I for one am looking forward to the day Aryah accepts their first Grammy.