Interview: Aimée on why she’s no longer willing to hold back…

Since making the announcement she was to take a break from the fast paced world of pop, to recharge her batteries and realign her creative vision, fans of Irish pop recording artist Aimée have been waiting with baited breath to hear new solo music from their idol.

“It feels like I’ve been waiting forever to put out new music, so I’m super excited to be back doing this again!” the Irish pop diva tells us over the telephone as we discuss what life has been like for her over the course of the past year and a half. “This business is always so fast paced, so it’s nice every once in a while to stop and appreciate all of the things you’re doing, whilst you’re doing them, if that makes sense.”

Explaining her point further, Aimée adds: “As an artist, a lot of time it feels like you’re constantly working ahead of yourself. Like for example right now, it’s October 2021 and yet I’m working on projects that are going to be launching between February and April in 2022 – it’s mad!.. but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we’re here to talk about ‘Just A Phase’ today…“

Just A Phase (Official Music Video)

Released earlier this month, the super fierce track sees Aimée once again indulge in her deep-rooted love of all things 90’s, whilst also exploring and experimenting with new, fresh Swedish-pop inspired sounds having collaborated on the song with acclaimed European songwriter Nick Jarl (Will Young, Westlife).

“I want to bring the fun back to pop music!” the Don’t Call Me Pretty singer says with a sense of purpose. “Don’t get me wrong I love artists like Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, Post Malone and Olivia Rodrigo, they are all incredible and I commended them for the way they sort of champion mental health and encourage fans to explore their emotions through their songs, but for me I feel like pop music has gotten a bit dark over the past couple of years and the genre as a whole has become quite mixed, so I wanted to bring back a little bit of the light back to pop – that’s my mission right now!”

In awe of Aimée infectious energy, steely determination and clear focus, we find ourselves intrigued to find out more about what the 26-year-old starlet has in store…

So, after taking a little bit of a break, you are officially back with the release of your brand new single ‘Just A Phase’ – how would best describe the song to people listening to it for the first time?

I would say that this track is all about having fun – it’s super upbeat, super pop and really high-energy, so I hope everybody is going to enjoy getting up and dancing along to it! Like a lot of my previous singles, musically it’s very much inspired by the sound of 90’s / 00’s pop; that’s just naturally the style of music I create when I’m in the studio, so when people are listening to it I hope they hear that nostalgic influence, but mixed in with a fresh, modern day twist.

We love a retro, throwback moment! We actually heard that you’re a HUGE fan of 90’s / 00’s pop, and that artists from that time period like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC have really inspired you – what is it about that era of music that you love so much?

Do you know, the first word that springs to mind when I think about the time is CONFIDENCE! Britney Spears was like the reigning Queen wasn’t she? And I just loved her because she was 100% unapologetic in who she was, and the style of music she was making… I mean she was just fearless, and so sexy, and most importantly; she OWNED IT! Then you had artists like P!nk and Christina Aguilera who were just so ballsy and out there, they just did what they wanted to do and they didn’t care what people had to say about them, and I love that! On a personal level, each of those girls had this ability to just lift me up, and make me feel alive! I mean, even to this day, if I’m in a bad mood and I hear a Backstreet Boys song, all of the hairs on my body stand up and I’m transported back to just this brilliant time in my life!

Aimée – Toxic (Britney Spears cover)

You’ve teamed up with Swedish writer Nick Jarl on the track, who lived and breathed that glorious decade in pop – how has it working with him?

So I’ve been working with Nick for a while now, and it’s always amazing – but also kind of odd in a way, as so far all our sessions have all been virtual and done over zoom. But he’s incredible! He has this amazing way of creating chords and music around the lyrics I’m writing, and between us there’s this perfect mix in the sense that Nick is obviously from Sweden so as you say, he LIVED and BREATHED that iconic era, so he brings all of that knowledge and experience and to balance that, I put this funky, modern day twist on it, so it’s cool, we make a good team. I’m super excited because I’m actually going to Sweden next month to work with him in the studio, so I can’t wait to properly meet him in person!  

‘Just A Phase’ has this real buzz to it, and an infectious energy that just makes you want to move your body! As the artist who not only wrote the song, but now performs it live, how do you feel when you listen to it?

It gives me confidence! It really does, and that’s what I love most about it, because my goal in coming back to music after taking a break, was to create a sound that oozed confidence. I wasn’t too focused on it having this super deep message or writing a poignant, over complicated lyric, I wanted to create tracks that would make me, and others listening, feel the same way that I did as a kid, listening to Britney Spears in my bedroom (laughs).

The reaction from fans to this single has been insane, with many flooding the comment sections on your socials asking for MORE new music from you! So we’ve got to ask, is there an Aimée album coming anytime soon?

Putting out a whole album is an absolute dream of mine, and I will definitely do that in the future, but for now, I’m just going to focus on releasing singles. I feel like because the world is so fast paced, people don’t have the time or the attention span to really listen and appreciate albums right now, so I just want to wait a little bit until the time’s right and then I’ll go full out to make an album. 

That makes sense! Plus that kind of continuous roll out new material over a prolonged period of time, will afford both you and your audience the opportunity to really grow and get to know one another…

Exactly! And the way I view it, is that by putting out so many singles one after the other, is a bit like laying down the foundations and letting people know who I am as an artist, so when I do release my album, people will know exactly what they’re getting. 

My goal in coming back to music after taking a break, was to create a sound that oozed confidence.

Aimée on how she hopes her music will inspire her audience

We’ve already touched on the the fact that you’ve taken a little bit of a break from being in the studio and recording, however we’re curious to know, what do you think you learnt most during that time away from the industry?

I think to have an overall appreciation for everything I do, because I’m just not sure I did before! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been grateful and so appreciative of everything I’ve been able to do in my career, but I think I took a lot for granted when I was younger, so rather than living in the moment, and taking in everything I was doing, I kind of lived from schedule to schedule, and at times was just going through the motions because in this business you’re always so busy and everything is so fast paced, there isn’t time to stop and think. I’m a very driven person, and I’m very goal orientated, so I think I get lost sometimes in striving to achieve the next thing on my ‘to do’ list (laughs). For example my dream a few years ago was to perform live on the 3 Arena stage in Dublin, and I was lucky enough to make it happen in 2018! But as soon as I came off stage, rather taking in the enormity of what I’d just done, I remember saying to my manager “right I want to perform with an orchestra now!” Funnily enough a few weeks ago I did actually performed with an orchestra and it was incredible, but I think the point I’m trying to make is, I’ve really had to learn to stop every once in a while and think to myself “wow, look at where I am! I dreamed this, I manifested this, and it’s happened!” I was always rushing to do the next thing, instead of just breathing in the moment. Everybody keeps telling me that the climb to the top is the most enjoyable part so I just want to try and enjoy every moment of this journey that I’m on right now. I feel like I’m having more fun now that I’m learning to take things in, which makes me really happy. 

Taking all of that into consideration, would it be fair to say that this is somewhat of a rebirth for you as an artist?

Definitely! It’s weird because even though I’ve been doing this for years now, I feel like I’m almost starting again if that makes sense? I also feel that within myself, I’m a totally different person now – I’m not overthinking things, or worried about whether or not people are going to like what I’m doing, I feel quite at ease with where I’m at which feels amazing! It’s taken a lot of time for me to get to this place mentally! I used to be so worried that people would think I was too arrogant, or crazy for pursuing this career because where I’m from, and in some parts of Ireland, I often think that people find what I’m doing just really strange (laughs). People are asking me all the time “when you going to move to the UK or to LA if you want to be a popstar then?” and I’m “NO WAY AM I MOVING! I can do all of this here!!!” I think people feel that way because it’s just so usual for people here in Ireland to do what I’m doing. But… I’m starting this new era going hell for leather, and I’m not going to shy away from who I am or what I want to do anymore.

We admire your passion and determination – more power to you! Was it always been your dream to become a singer and performer?

Oh god yeah! From the age of 3 I just knew I wanted to be a singer, and that never changed all throughout school. But what’s funny is, even though it was always my dream and I didn’t want to do anything else, I couldn’t sing in front of anybody! I was petrified to even do it in front of my family, like the idea of singing in front of people scared me so bad! I had real confidence issues. I remember thinking to myself, ‘how are you going to make this happen if you’re too afraid to open your mouth in front of an audience?’ so that’s why I started to upload videos of me singing onto YouTube when I was around 15 or 16 years old. And that’s what kind of changed everything for me, because I was able to record in my bedroom, where I felt like I was safe, and like I wasn’t going to be judged, I was free to be me and let go! 

Aimée performing onstage at Cyprus Avenue in Cork.

How easy, or not, was it to then make the transition from being a YouTuber, to a fully fledged recording artist?

Erm… I would say posting on YouTube was a turning point, but I wouldn’t say it made things easier for me. I was still in school at that time and people would like to make fun of me and be like ‘who does she think she is?’ but that just made me more focused I think. So I stuck to my guns and I decided to just not listen to them because people will talk about you no matter what you’re doing in life, it’s unfortunately just something we all have to get used to. So my motto kind of became “well, let’s give them something to talk about then…” and I used that negativity to fuel me.

Nobody’s journey is perfect, and we’re sure you’ve faced plenty of setbacks along the way…

For sure! A million “no’s” have lead me to where I am today. And those “no’s” still happen to me now, as they do to everyone, there will always be moments and situations where things don’t work out, or you don’t get to do something you really want to do, and you just have to be ok with that, and keep things moving.

How do you maintain a positive attitude and outlook in those moments?

I like to say it’s all about perception, and how you chose to take the knock backs. There have been plenty of times in my career where I could have gone ‘oh well, I didn’t get that job so this obviously isn’t meant for me, I should give up’ but I refuse to think that way, my thought process is always like ‘ok, well I’ll try harder next time’ and I would encourage anybody reading this to try to think the same.

As you embark upon this new phase in your life, and you look back and reflect on everything you’d done and achieved so far, what have been some of your career highlights to this point?

Wow… I’ve been so lucky, it’s hard to pick just one highlight. But if I had to, it would probably be performing on the 3 Arena stage to be honest with you! I think mainly because there were times when I never believed that it would actually happen. I remember for weeks after I was still in a bit of a daze thinking, ‘did I actually do that?’ What’s really cool though, is that I remember going to see Britney Spears there, when I think it was still called The Point, and I took a photograph of her on stage and I got it printed out and stuck it up on my bedroom wall and I’d say to myself “I’m gonna perform on that stage someday…” and I did! 

Aimée’s new single Just A Phase is available to download / stream now.

Let us know your thoughts on Aimée over on Twitter @CelebMix now!

Written by Philip Logan

Twitter & IG: @philip_logan