Our latest exclusive Q&A is with NY based urban folk singer-songwriter and activist Aisha Badru. Aisha definitely has a story to tell and she has chosen her amazing music to be the vessel to convey her truth. After reading our interview with Aisha, be sure to follow her on social media and stream/download her debut EP "Vacancy", which she released in 2015.
Tell us about your single and video "Mind on Fire"; what thoughts do you want provoked when someone listens to/watches it for the first time?
“Mind on Fire” may come off as a women’s anthem, but really this song is for anyone who has ever felt limited by their circumstances. We live in a system where most of the population spends the majority of their energy just trying to survive, leaving little time to focus on the larger picture. I hope this song serves as a spark to keep the fire burning within us that inspires us to stand up for the things that we believe in, despite the hurdles that we may encounter.
Congratulations on your recent Volkswagen South Africa campaign. Describe your experience going to Bali to build the home for the poverty-stricken family, using some of the proceeds from the campaign. Why do it?
Initially, Bali was an impromptu soul-searching trip. I was surprised to see how many of the local Balinese people’s lives revolved around catering to tourists; it just didn’t feel right, especially since many of the locals struggle to meet some of their basic needs. Seeing the disparity caused a lot of deep reflection during my trip and when my taxi driver showed me his home that he was struggling to earn the funds to build, I knew that I wanted to help. I don’t view it as charity, though. I feel that it’s all of our responsibility to take care of each other. We are so disconnected on a deep level and I believe that once we rediscover how we are intricately interconnected to one another, the issues around the world will start to dissipate. My support is ongoing to the family and if anyone is interested in helping me raise funds to complete their home, you can visit: https://www.gofundme.com/build-home-in-bali
With today's political and social climate in the US, why is it important for you to be an activist through your music?
It’s important because we can’t keep sweeping things under the rug and expect them to go away. Music is something that brings people together, so when I finally get the opportunity to have the world’s attention, I want to make sure I have something meaningful to say.
Can you tell us some of the topics/current events that will be touched on throughout your upcoming debut Pendulum album? When can we expect its release?
The most important thing that I’ve realized, is that the troubling events that are happening around the globe are not happening *to* us, they are happening *because* of us. The world is a direct reflection of its constituents, and we are all leaving an impact whether we acknowledge it or not. We often find someone else to blame, but songs on my album such as, “Splintered” and “Dreamer”, implore us to begin to look within and take self-accountability. The album is coming this Spring.
What have you learned about yourself as an artist and as a woman over the past two years since the release of your debut EP "Vacancy"?
I’ve grown so much from when I first put music online. When I released Vacancy I was very timid and lacked self-confidence. I wasn’t really sure if anyone was even going to care or listen to the things I had to say. Today, I’m grateful to say that I have over 15 million plays on Spotify and have had my music played on TV. I’ve learned that I am more than I have ever considered myself to be. I’ve learned that I am worthy enough to be heard and that I have the power to create my own narrative. I hope that my journey will inspire others to discover the indestructible power that we all contain within us.