Premiere: Meet Aila Fei, who shares something special with Waves
The Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist shares a stunning second single for 2019.
If you're yet to be acquainted with Melbourne-based musician Aila Fei, start your Thursday by doing exactly that. Over the last few years, she's been busy perfecting her craft at creating subtle electronic/pop fusions, with swirling instrumental backbones meeting vocals that often drift between the intersection of pop, R&B and soul. She's really a one-stop-shop when it comes to musicianship, too; she's a singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist all rolled into one and you can really hear that in her music, particularly how each piece of art - no matter whether they're written solo or with a collaborator, like Superfriend - feels distinctly intimate and personal. She's a really special act, and someone you should really be meeting.
Her new song, Waves, is a great introduction to start. It's a twinkling electro-pop track with a thick, pace-making rhythm and rich melodies matching a sensational vocal from Fei, while demonstrating that multi-disciplinary musicianship we admire her for perfectly - and the intimacy that comes with it. "This song is about a lesson my father has patiently reiterated over the years," she says on the track, adding a personal touch to a single that otherwise feels incredibly open through its touching lyricism and soft melodies. "He’s encouraged me to surrender to the currents of life and to notice the wasted energies of pushing and pulling against them. Even when the fight seems to come so naturally for many of us."
The full track is out tomorrow, but in the meantime, dive into Waves below a day early, and better get to know Aila Fei while you're at it:
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Aila Fei and I am a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Melbourne, Australia. My music comes from my heart and what I have seen of the world. I am sensitive to sound and music is my doorway to feeling and expressing deeply.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I want to create music that spans across genres - merging the best parts of different music styles to create something contemporary and exciting. I’m not necessarily interested in making my music palatable, more so in creating the greatest expression possible of what I am trying to say. Therefore, I focus on making music catchy enough to stay in your head without foregoing the lyrical quality and fundamental meaning of the song. This will become more clear as I release more of my music, that each song has a life of its own and therefore my vibe as an artist doesn’t exactly fit in one specific category. Some of my songs (like this current release) are in the deep house/electronica sphere, while others lean more towards R&B/Pop. There is however a dark undercurrent behind all of my music, as the overarching idea is to move people and make them feel.
What are your production and writing processes like?
I often describe my writing/production process as trying to uncover something that already exists, all I’m doing as an artist is putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Sometimes it starts with the melody, sometimes the lyrics, and other times the production is almost finished before I know what the song needs to say. I gain lyrical inspiration from my knowledge, experiences and opinions, and then translate my emotions into sound. The music is only complete once I know intrinsically that it is as it was meant to be, which funnily enough is an ambiguous, tedious and lengthy process that can take years.
Can you tell us about your new single, Waves?
Waves is ultimately about not being open to hearing advice, and later realising that I should have listened more closely. More specifically, this is about my dad and his encouragement to observe the ups and downs (the ‘Waves’) that occur in life, rather than falling into them. It took me a long time to receive and fully understand this message and this song reveals my process of reluctance to acceptance.
Any tour dates coming up?
The building of my live set is currently in the works.
What does 2019 have in store for you?
Very exciting times ahead with two upcoming single releases planned for this year. I am at the beginning of releasing a body of work that I have constructed over the last decade so this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing of me.
Where can we find more of your music?
You can find my stuff on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud and a variety of other streaming platforms.