Soul, r’n’b, funk, hip-hop… Is it still possible to speak of these so universal and transversal genres with the nickname of ‘black music’?
Aiala maintains that yes, “because most of the music we listen to today has African or Afro-American roots, it is not a white invention, and calling it black is a way of giving it a voice”, defends this young singer and songwriter from Barcelona, who This Saturday he shows his second album, ‘2021: an earth oddity’ at La Nau, in a concert programmed by the Curtcircuit.
The album’s title points to venerable works that left their mark on his childhood: David Bowie’s album ‘Space Oddity’ (1969) and Stanley Kubrick’s film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968). A couple of “oddities”, he observes, that connect with two others, this year’s so unlovable and his own.
“For one reason or another, I’ve always felt weird, and it’s something I’ve been working on all my life and now I embrace and like,” he reflects. “Because, in the end, what is the weird thing? To be something out of the ordinary, out of the ordinary? That’s also nice, and it sure happens to a lot of people ”.
Sympathy for the trap
Her particularity is expressed in a voice with character, which has been compared to the ill-fated Amy Winehouse (which does not bother her: “I have admired her since I was little”), and a notion of black music rooted in tradition and with views of modern urban productions. Jara Aiala adores pioneers ( Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone ), and ‘2021: an earth oddity’ has something of a bridge built from that legacy.
“For me, everything is part of the same world,” he confirms. “I cannot focus on just one style. It is not correct to say that I would feel false if I did trap: I would feel it that way if I did only trap and nothing else, because I understand music as a whole, where one style drinks from the other ”.That particular drive sneaks into the intervention of Spxxn P (Pere Sala) in one of the songs, ‘White wine (Raro)’.
Other ‘featurings’ take her in different directions: electronics in ‘Love and power’ (with Willow Vsound), a furious drum’n’bass in ‘Give me’ (with Oldwine) and the blues that enriched ‘Always want more’ with Stéphane Laidet’s harmonica, ‘Farmo’, exColor Humano.
A genre that Aiala integrates into her world without having to justify herself. “It is part of my world and I can’t help it.” The entire repertoire is their own with a peculiar exception: ‘Damn money’, original by the punk-rock girl group from the 90s Draps Bruts.
“They are my mother’s lifelong colleagues, they are like my ‘tietes’;I have grown up with them ”, explains Aiala, who is the daughter of professionals in the music industry. He wanted to “vindicate them”, because “his only album is brutal and the message of this song is still very relevant.”
Material that Aiala presents in La Nau (accompanied by a trio) in a moment of expansion, with upcoming dates in Madrid and an En Ruta tour in the making. “It is difficult to break through singing in English, and I understand it, but little by little I am finding the space.”