What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little bio about you.
I was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in Scarborough which is one of the six boroughs that make up Toronto. Funfact: this is why we’re known as “thesix”, popularized by Drake. After highschool, I went on to attend Humber College where I studied music and vocal performance. I sing professionally as an events singer and backup singer to many prominent artists in the Canadian music scene and I am also a vocal coach and songwriter. I started the Aphrose project in the winter of 2017 and since then have released 3 singles and I’m working on releasing an EP in late Spring/early Summer of 2019.
What made you go in to music?
I have always had a deep love and appreciation for music and singing from very young, so it was a very natural thing for me to embrace as my career. I am someone who likes to dig deep and know what makes things work, so studying music throughout my life, I believe made it possible to have a career that is all-encompassing of music. That plus, I’m not very good at many other things!
Are you a signed?
You released your your new single ‘Make Your Mark’ ,tell us more about it.
Make Your Mark was born out of feeling a bit depressed and down, as we artists tend to get from time to time. We are living in such an interesting time as content creators. With the rise of social media, something that is supposed to bring us together, makes us actually feel so much more isolated and alone. So, I was feeling like that and I was hiding away because I didn’t feel ‘good enough’ or worthy and this song-the music, lyrics and chords came to me in one sitting. It is a love song to myself about being bold, brave and courageous enough to make my mark on the world despite the criticisms I may face along the way; And doing so without shame or fear.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
As I mentioned before, I was feeling a bit frustrated with myself and depressed at the time, which is never a great combo. For me though, when I feel that way I like to write. Sometimes I just write stream of consciousness -type stuff or lyrics or I’ll sit down at my keyboard and try and write a song. With this song, I was jamming at my keyboard, looking out the window watching the sun setting for the day. My studio was filled with this beautiful, golden-orange light from the setting sun and I became a little less angry with myself and truly took in the beauty of the light and warmth I was being embraced by. The words, chords and melody of this song started to flow out of me. I didn’t really think it was going to be a song I would release until I played it for my producer Scott.
What was the recording process like?
The scratch demo was laid down in Nashville, Tennessee during a writing retreat. It was captured primarily as a guitar and vocal thing but the next day after we did the demo, my producer Scott McCannell added a drum loop to the track and it took on a whole other vibe. From there, we added the outro and when we got back to Toronto, we knew exactly how we wanted to approach the production of the song.
What is the message you want listeners to take from the single?
I want the listeners of this song to feel encouraged to live their lives and see their potential unencumbered of fear, self-doubt or shame.
Will we see an EP or Album soon?
Yes, an EP is in the works for 2019.
If so what can we expect from it.
It will be a collection of songs that are a mix of 60s Soul with 90s hip-hop/r&b vibe-wise. Honest and relatable subject matter lyrically.
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
Yes, I’m showcasing at In The Dead of Winter Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia on January 24th (#IDOW2019) and there will be more festival and showcase dates added for Spring/Summer 2019.
What can we expect in 2019?
You can expect more singles, more visuals and an EP!
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
Not at the moment but I have plans to collaborate with some cool filmmakers for visuals and hip hop artists for some songs off the upcoming EP.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Always up to collaborate if it’s a good fit! You can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you play any instruments?
Who are your influences?
I have so many! But here are a few: Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Emeli Sande, Alabama Shakes, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Otis Redding, Patsy Cline.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I get inspiration from a lot of places but they mostly come from lived experiences or feelings. I don’t really have a specific method, I just kind of sit at my keyboard and let the music and what’s in my heart and on my mind take me where I need to go. Other times, I like to collaborate with my producer and get a beat from him and write to it.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I see myself on tour, playing shows either opening up or headlining a small tour in UK, US and Canada and promoting a new album of music. I need to get on releasing that EP first though!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
As I mentioned in a previous answer, my life is pretty all-encompassing of music so when I’m not creating my own music, you can find me vocal coaching at a fantastic studio called Singer’s Edge in Toronto or lending my voice to different projects around the city as both a front person and background vocalist. When I take a break from all things music (which is very rare) I like to cook or read or binge-watch Netflix!
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Any and all things Aretha Franklin. There are a few favourites but my all time fave is Ain’t No Way by Aretha. That song makes me cry every single time I listen to it.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
To always stay as authentic and true to yourself and your passions. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it just because it’s what is expected of you. In a world that is filled with artificial validation from things like social media, it can feel like you have to play a game to be recognized for your art. It may take a while, but taking the slower route usually leads to a more authentic experience for yourself as an artist and for your listeners.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Stay true to your art and who you are. It sounds cliche but it really is the thing that your audience will recognize and love about you. Putting on a persona never really felt authentic to me as an artist and for some artists it does and that’s cool too! Know yourself and the message you’re trying to convey to your audience.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Real recognizes real.”
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Where I grew up in Scarborough, there are SO many amazing places to eat due to the vast diversity of Asian, Indian and West Indian cultures that immigrated to that area. So, hitting up some dim sum restaurants or a West Indian roti place is a MUST! Also, the Scarborough Bluff’s is a beautiful scenic place that is along Lake Ontario where you can feel like you’re not in the city anymore. On a larger scale, must visits in Toronto are High Park in the west end of the city, Trinity Bellwoods park in the summer, Ripley’s Aquarium and CN Tower if you want to be touristy and West Queen West/Parkdale if you want to explore the more artsy district that’s filled with tons of vintage and boutique shops and good eats.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
Home to my bed. Whenever I’m on the road, I miss my bed so much.
2/ Who do you see first?
My husband. Then I’ll go visit my parents and dog who lives with them.
3/What do you eat first?
A bowl of delicious ramen at Ramen Ishiin.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
1) Cables if I’m using my keyboard on the gig… and my keyboard, I guess? Does that count as two?
2) My awkward jokes because it wouldn’t be an Aphrose show without it
3) My lyrics but I can’t always guarantee that!
4) Dope kicks. Because I do a lot of high-end corporate type events as of one of my part-time jobs, I am usually required to dress pretty formal and wear heels. The last thing I want to wear on my own original gigs is uncomfortable shoes! So I opt for fly kicks instead. These days, Adidas Ultraboost or Nike Epic- React is my jam.
5) A bold lip colour.