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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Artist Spotlight: Presenting Ayo, Interview with an International rising star

Ayo is in Paris conducting an interview in the states. The free spirited, gypsy Ayo is excited about bringing her sound to the United States. With her new self-titled album just released last month in Europe and a near due date for the United States; Ayo feels her universal sound will translate to the states.

Ayo’s music is a reflection of her background, born to a Romanian mother and Nigerian farther; her style is a mixture of soul, reggae and African. Ayo gained an interest in music at early age, at six she played the violin, then turned to the piano and then she later taught herself how to play the guitar. Penning her first song at the age of 15 to help her cope with her traumatic childhood, Ayo always wrote personal and reflective songs.

“My musical taste was influenced by my father. He had a big collection of vinyl with records from everybody from Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and Donny Hathaway. He was also a part time DJ, so music was always in the house.”

Her father was pretty dope about allowing Ayo to drop out of school at 18 to peruse her signing career. “He really thought I could make it as a singer, he recorded my fist demo with me and he has always supported me,” Ayo states.

Ayo then moved to London and later to Paris. While in Paris, she would sing in caf├ęs and lounges, which allowed her musical talent to get noticed by a broader audience. “I love performing in front of small, intimate crowds who truly feel and enjoy my music. Everything is from my heart and I just write about what I know and the different experiences I went thru.” She started to have her own solo concerts and by 2002 she opened for singers Omar and Cody Chesnut and inked a deal with Polydor Records.

With the new birth of her son Nile, she had plenty of new material so she recorded her first album Joyful in January 2006 in the New York Sony studio. The whole disc was recorded in just five day under live conditions, with a group of musicians organized by her producer, Jay Newland.

While she enjoys Paris, Ayo is excited to tour in the states. “The music industry is very different in the states. In France, everything is more slow and chill, the music industry in the States is so swift, especially New York,” Ayo states.

With a sound that transcends from across the pond, Ayo is sure to strike a chord with music lovers in the states.

Ayo will perform at Rams Head Live, June 17 and 9:30 Club on June 20.

Watch Ayo’svideo for ‘Down on My Knees’, a favorite from her album, Joyful.

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