AYU does her own thing. The Swiss songstress & producer delivers a mixture of contemporary Pop, future-thinking Electronics, catchy RnB tunes and sweet Indie. We had the chance to talk to her about her debut EP, songwriting rituals, how to reach the right audience and much more:
Your sound can’t really be put in a box. Nevertheless, how would you describe it to someone who never listened to an AYU track yet?
I like to call it Trip-Pop. It is a mixture of different musical styles including contemporary pop, dream pop, electronica, alternative. But it is pretty hard to categorize because of all the genres mixed up. Each song has a different vibe and is made of different musical styles. And you never know what will happen next. Actually I just do what I feel. And I do not want to have limits.
You’ve recently released your debut EP “I Have Changed My Mind”? How much were you involved in the production of the tracks?
I pre-produced all of the tracks on my own and also wrote all of the lyrics. Most of the times I start with writing a song on the piano or on my midi keyboard. After that I often proceed with the vocals and the lyrics. Then I usually add some beats and then probably a bass line. So in the end I have a demo version of a song. For the final production of my debut EP I teamed up with the Hamburg based producer Florian Luig. He also did the final mix.
What do you think are the biggest challenges you face as an up and coming artist in the digital age?
I actually do embrace the digital age: Nowadays it is super easy to create, distribute or sell your own music and connect with your audience. Everyone can do it. Of course in reverse that also means that every single day there are so many new and so many good songs added to Spotify etc. So as an up and coming artist you have to gather attention somehow. I think as an artist you just have to be 100% authentic. Also you have to build a strong mindset. It will get you through the challenges you will meet. You have to develop a clear vision of what you want to be and of what you want to accomplish. Also social media is a huge part of being a musician and establishing yourself on social media takes a lot of time and effort.
Music marketing and promotion drastically changed in the last few years. How do you make sure your tracks reach the right audience?
For example you can attract the right audience via social media – so I try to be my most authentic self and try to connect with my fans and attract new ones. As an artist you can also check your Spotify artist page and check your „similar artists“ to get to know your audience. Send your music to radio stations and music blogs and explain why you think you would be a good fit together. Apply for showcase festivals. And so on. There are so many ways to reach the right audience.
Do you have a songwriting routine or ritual?
Making music is like a therapy for me. I did not start out making music to release it into the world. So I always start creating whenever I feel like it and therefore I don’t really have a songwriting routine. But when I do sit down and start writing I turn off my phone I just need a space to work without any distractions. Just spending time in my own head. Also I love writing at night when everyone is asleep. I then light a scented candle.
Which artist would you like to collaborate with the most? Tell us why!
How do you deal with your visual concept on social media?
I create mood boards on Pinterest or Instagram including visuals, content or colour palettes. I also find visual inspiration in, e.g. nature, magazines or art exhibitions. Whenever I create my own visual content on social media: I just do what I like. Of course I also try to follow my ayuanic vision. I therefore work with different photo and video editing apps and try out new ones regularly. It’s fun.
What’s next on the bucket list of AYU?
My debut album! And I want to improve my production skills.
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