Her voice has been gracing some of the beefiest club tracks of recent times, and with a list of projects that includes collabos with Toddla T, Calvin Harris, DJ Marky and Camo & Krooked amongst others, you could say that Ayah Marar has established herself as a mainstay in bass music territory. Dubbed 'the queen of UK bass', Ayah has been putting out a handful of massive tracks in 2011 such as Follow U, a co-op with DJ Yogi that was released through Ministry Of Sound and catapulted Ayah to the top regions of the game. And let's not leave out Mind Controller, a heavy hitting genre-crossing club stomper fusing underground flair to commercial, chart-tickling hooks. It's also the first single to be released through her own Hussle Girl label, of which we'll be hearing a lot more from in coming months...
We went for a chat with Ayah to talk past, present, and future...
Hi Ayah, thanks for the time to talk to us. How’s life? Pleasure! Thanks for having me. Life is as it should be, working hard doing what I love and exciting changes and turns every day. So far so good!
You are rapidly establishing yourself as one of the reigning ladies in bass music. Can you reveal how you first started out as an artist? I was asked to feature on my first track a few years ago through Loxy & Ink and it all snowballed from there. I've been a drum and bass and dance music fan for a very long time, so it was a very natural progression for me.
Bass music has taken over club land by storm over the past few years. In your own words, what’s your view on the current state of the genre? How do you see the scene developing itself in the coming years? It's always been such a massive part of my world that I'm really happy to see it get the recognition it deserves. I love the fact that you can do whatever you want, however you want. There are no boundaries or restrictions, you're not held back by whether you are signed to a major or not, there has never been a better time to be making music, or to come from the underground side of things for that matter!
You’ve already been working alongside some very respectable producers such as Toddla T, Calvin Harris and DJ Marky amongst others. If you could pick three names regardless of genre, who would you choose to work with? I would say Prince as the 'dream come true' scenario, otherwise it would be great to work with Kid Cudi or Frank Ocean. I really love the way they both put a song together, could be interesting.
Your music holds a fair dose of commercial appeal, merging menacing bass sounds to pop-tinged vocals. How do you go about creating your music? The usual set-up is myself and a producer, I might listen to other artists for inspiration or to get a vibe, then it's choosing the sounds, coming up with a melody and working with words and structure from there. Pretty organic I'd say. I love to keep elements of dance music that I love, the deep synths and heavy basslines, but I'll try to bring big hooks and choruses into the mix to give it something different. I like an epic progression.
You also run your own label Hussle Girl. What has been the idea behind launching your own label? How do you see the future of the label? Essentially it's about doing it yourself. I have a wonderful team of people who are all committed to the music and who have helped me put it all together. It has to be about making music and performing first and foremost, but Hussle Girl gives me a platform to release the music and promote the company which is really a really exciting, if at times daunting, thing.
What do you have in the pipeline at the moment? Any special projects coming up that you would like to share? I've been writing with some really exciting names on the dance scene, I want to make sure I keep making music so you'll be hearing a few things very soon!
With the outdoor season knocking on our door, what can we expect to see you doing this summer? We'll be at a lot of the festivals this summer, Secret Garden Party, Global Gathering, Camden Crawl, Beachbreak etc. Truly can't wait to get on the road, and I'll also be continuing the tour with Camo & Krooked and the Hospital Records lot, which will be awesome. I'll also be bringing some new music and pushing on with Hussle Girl!
What music outside of the electronic spectrum do you listen to? Any bands we should be checking out? I bought Fink's latest album 'Perfect Darkness' which is spellbinding. Also Lianna La Havas has knocked my socks off, I'm a big Miike Snow fan (new album a few weeks ago), Phoenix, Bon Iver, C W Stoneking … I could go on. So many talented singers, songwriters and bands around at the moment. Very inspiring.
To conclude, any final words of wisdom to our readers? Anything goes! If you're telling the truth, you'll never have to remember a thing ...