AJA Talks New Single "Do This Do That"
An empowering anthem from a talented young singer.
The teen and young adult years can be a difficult time, full of people telling you who you should be and what you should do. This is the subject of Toronto-born singer-songwriter AJA's latest single, "Do This Do That." Despite being only eighteen years old, she's already released a number of empowering coming-of-age songs and is quickly building a name for herself in the music industry.
We had the pleasure of speaking to AJA about her music career, inspirations, and the process of creating her latest single.
First off, thanks so much for speaking with us. Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind your new single, "Do This Do That?"
Happy to chat! When I wrote this song, it came at a time in my life where I felt like everyone around me was trying to tell me what to do, what to say, what to look like, and I was feeling like I was losing my own identity a bit. I'm typically a pretty confident and strong-minded person, but somehow I had kind of lost myself. I've been really focusing on making sure I stand strong on who I am and what I want to put out.
What was the songwriting process like?
I wrote Do This Do That with Jimmy McGorman (Goo Goo Dolls). We work really well together. He gets me and pushes me. He's been like a mentor to me. It is really great working with people who believe in the project and your talent. He is an amazing artist.
Your recent music videos have featured some great animation. What role do you think these visuals play in telling the stories of your songs?
I feel like my lyrics' storytelling gives a great snapshot of what I am going through. I try to be as vulnerable as I can when creating music videos, as I feel like I am transparent in my writing. I also try very hard to make the visuals relatable to others. I love creating concepts for music videos.
How did you first get into music?
I've always been into music. From a young age, I was performing live any chance I got. I would record covers and put them up on YouTube. At age 10, I won Perez Hilton's "Can you sing" cover contest for my cover of Sia's "Chandelier." This got me a lot of attention and was really the beginning of my professional career. From there, I started building my sound, songwriting, and performance. I have done a few North American tours and released music over the years. I had my first song go to the radio at the age of 15 and also won iHeartRadio's Future Star.
Who are some of the musicians that inspire you? Are there any artists you've been especially enjoying recently?
I've always admired big female vocalists like Whitney Houston, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. I love really big strong vocals. But lately, I've been really loving Miley Cyrus. She can sing anything and is an incredible performer. Something is captivating about her. I feel like she will be a generational singer. Something I hope to be.
You released your first single at a very young age. What's your experience been like as a young woman in the music industry?
It has been really exciting to get to release music. It was a bit tricky because of COVID, but I've been loving getting out there and performing live. I moved to LA and have been performing. I missed that a lot. I've loved writing songs about my personal experiences; it's been a great source of therapy for me. I've had a lot of ups and downs over the past few years. Music has really saved me. It has helped me get through some of my darkest times.
@itsaja DO THIS DO THAT OUT NOW! #canadiansinger #canadiansingersongwriter #dothisdothat #singersongwriter #canadianartist #femalesinger ♬ Do This Do That - AJA
How has your approach to singing and songwriting evolved in the last few years? Has anything you've learned impacted your goals as a musician?
My best songs are my most vulnerable songs. Sharing as much of my emotional journey helps me connect to the lyrics and performance. One of the best things I've developed in making sure my story is being told. Sometimes being in a room and collaborating that can get lost. I've had to learn to really speak up and take ownership.
What can we expect from you in 2023?
I am sitting on some emotional songs I can't wait to share. I am constantly writing songs. By summer, I will have written 100 songs this past year. I plan to release an EP in the spring and be outperforming as much as possible.
You can find AJA on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter.
Up Next, In Conversation with Lilita: Honoring The Human Experience, Music, and Self Exploration