Early last month saw Aisha Badru release her music video for her October single release, titled “Bridges”. She recently followed that up with a stripped-back version of the song, which was released on 5 January 2018.
She went viral back in 2015 when her track “Waiting Around” was used for a Volkswagen campaign. The song has since racked up 10 million Spotify streams. Since then, she has been working on new music, with the intention of releasing her debut album, this year. “Bridges” is set to be the lead single from the said album.
Previous single, “Mind On Fire”, will also be appearing on the album. It has gained a total of 7 million Spotify streams and counting. She sure is the rising star we all need to keep an eye on.
We were lucky enough to grab some time from her for an exclusive interview. She chatted with us about her single “Bridges”, the music video which was directed by Nathan Presley, her career to date, and what 2018 has in store for her.
Hi Aisha, we hope your day is going well. What have you been up to lately?
I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately. I’ve just returned from a trip to Egypt and Nigeria, and now I am heading to Rishikesh, India for a yoga retreat. When the travel bug bites me, it bites hard.
Your new single is “Bridges”, can you tell us more about the track?
“Bridges” is the first fully produced song that I ever released! I actually recorded the vocals for this song in my bedroom on a cheap Apogee microphone that I own. Originally, I was supposed to re-record the vocals in a studio, but I loved the vocals that I recorded at home so much that we decided to keep them for the track.
What are your favourite lyrics from the song?
The opening lyrics are my favorite: “We were worlds apart, so I fell from the stars. I travelled long and I travelled far.” This implies that there’s a spiritual connection between two people and that their meeting was pre-calculated.
What does the song mean to you?
“Bridges” is a personal recount of a friendship that is very near to my heart but is also complicated and requires a lot of patience, compassion, forgiveness and understanding.
The music video has been released, directed by Nathan Presley. What do you make of it?
Nathan Presley did such a great job at translating my lyrics into film. He captured the emotion so perfectly and I have never been more proud in my life than I am about this music video.
What’s your favourite scene from the video?
My favorite scene from this video is when the male character morphs into 3 doppelgängers of himself. This imagery symbolizes the demons that he struggles with that cause him to pull away from the female character.
The song is the lead single from your upcoming debut album. How excited are you to release your first album?
I’m stoked! Through the years I’ve been a loner and very reclusive. Just a few years ago I wouldn’t even sing in front of my family, so you can imagine how surreal it is for me now that I have millions of plays online. It feels good to finally open up and connect with people all over the world. Being vulnerable was a huge barrier I had to cross.
What details can you reveal to us about your album and what can we expect?
My forthcoming album title is “Pendulum”. You can expect full production for most of the songs, which is a stark comparison to my very stripped EP, “Vacancy”. For the album, I worked with UK producer, Chris Hutchison. He brought a lot of interesting elements to my tracks without taking away from the delicacy of my vocals and lyrics.
In 2016, “Waiting Around” got chosen for Volkswagen On The Road viral campaign. This certainly helped you reach success, with the song itself gaining 10 million Spotify streams. How did it feel knowing the song was going to be used in the campaign? What’s it like knowing that this song has reached so many more people?
It felt like a dream honestly, and it still hasn’t hit me fully. It’s like I’m still waiting to be pinched, but at the same time, I know that I deserved it and that this is just the beginning of a fruitful career. I’m so happy to know that people are connecting to my music because at first, I didn’t know if anyone would care about what I had to say.
Looking back over your career, to date, what have been your highlights?
My biggest highlight has been hearing my song play on a television show. “Waiting Around” was used in an episode of “Stitchers” in the spring of last year. The Volkswagen advertisement aired in South Africa, which means I never got to see it play live. So, to actually hear my song play on television in a show in real time made it more tangible for me. I felt like all of my childhood dreams were coming true.
It looks like 2018 is certainly going to be a good year for you. Apart from the album, what else can we expect from you this year?
I really want to set myself apart from the average singer-songwriter. I’m so much more than that and I want to share the other facets of myself to the world alongside my music. Something very important to me is activism. This year I’m planning to do a lot of travelling to see the world for what it really is and I plan to get started on an idea I have for a documentary film.
Thank you, Aisha Badru, for taking the time out to answer our questions. We look forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for you. No doubt your debut album, “Pendulum”, will be one of our favourite releases this year.
Don’t forget to check out Aisha Badru’s music on Spotify as you wait for her debut album.