Introducing Ayesha A Madon, who shows great promise with Outside of the Party
The Sydney-raised musician is catching attention with her debut single, and blossoming into an act worth keeping an eye on in 2021.
If this is your first time reading the name Ayesha A. Madon, then you might want to get used to it.
On her debut single, Outside Of The Party, Ayesha arrives in no uncertain terms. Skewering small talk and mulling over the so-called perks of being a wallflower, the Sydney-born musician flaunts a commanding presence over an otherwise subdued arrangement. “I wanna do one of those intro things, like Jason Derulo,” she laughs at the open. “Ayesha! Hello, I’m Ayesha, this is my song!”
We’ve all been there: the listless conversation of some strange social engagement, or a party untethered from familiar faces. If you’re not one for charming small talk and low stakes conversations, an unfamiliar party can play like being socially marooned, which is where Ayesha finds herself in her new music video.
A charming lo-fi rendering of late-night solitude, Outside of the Party finds Ayesha keeping her own company on the outskirts of some event. She plays guitar and fiddles with a keyboard in a centre stage of her own creation, lyrics appearing as visual gags as cutaways fill in those party blanks. The handiwork of director Justin Villar, cinematographer Doug McNeil and designer Liv Fleming, it’s a real companion of a clip, centring around Ayesha’s bright personality and commanding performance, taking a similarly confident and lighthearted look at introversion.
Parties can be strange, and as Ayesha tells it, they’re not always for her. “I’m a riot,” she sings, nonetheless pleading to stay on the periphery, arguing that she’s “good with nobody.” A delicate guitar line underwrites her clear vocal, one which goes from restrained to resounding with an uncommonly soft touch. Hers is a timbre that calls to mind a pop diva like Ariana – particularly at the close, where her range truly shows – though it’s hard to imagine that diva singing about escaping from banal small talk.
Even if she did, I doubt she’d sketch that feeling nearly as well as Ayesha. Outside of the Party feels like a track that comes from the periphery, informed by a humility and reticence that runs throughout. If anything, it shows just how misplaced that modesty is – Outside of the Party deserves the spotlight more than most, and with a quirky lo-fi video on side, Ayesha’s stepping into the beam.
Tell us about yourself?
Hello, I'm Ayesha! I grew up in Sydney and I moved to Melbourne when I was 17, because I studied music theatre at VCA, which was fun, but trying! I've been working as an actor for the last two years.
I've kind of always wanted to do music – I grew up writing, like I've been writing since I was a kid, and I always listen to pop music. I kind of fell into music theatre a little bit, as probably pretentious as that sounds, just because my family was really into music theatre. They always used to play it in the car, but I think I've always been a 'So Fresh, Britney Spears' pophead.
I probably shouldn't put this in an interview, but Hillary Duff was a big influence growing up! That was a formative time! I don't come from a lot of money, but my parents would always work their asses off and try so they could put us in extracurriculars, so I got to play drums and piano and guitar growing up, which was really, really nice. I think I come off as an extrovert, but I'm a massive introvert. I like my own space. I like doing things by myself. I like watching TV – Rick and Morty, best show ever!
What’s the vibe music-wise?
In terms of the music I'm writing at the moment, it really depends on if I'm doing co-writes or if I'm writing by myself. Usually in co-writes, everything has been coming out a bit more poppy, but like... I am, to be quite frank with you, quite a bizarre human, so it'll be these poppy songs, super basic, but then the subject matter is all bizarre lower middle class, not romantic at all, would not hear on the radio. The other day I wrote a song about a trip I took to Aldi, but it's super poppy!
When I'm writing by myself, it kind of comes out a little bit more coming-of-age, existential sadboi music, but I think everything always has at least one foot in R&B, just because my voice fits in that genre.
What are your production and writing processes like?
I used to work on guitar, and to be honest with you, my music harmonically was a lot more interesting when I did write on guitar, but a mission for me this year was to learn how to produce. So lately, my writing process has been like, I'll make a loop for myself on Ableton, or I'll use a spliced loop and then expand upon the production of that, and then I top line.
I find top lines and melodies always come the most naturally to me, and my usually lyrics follow, but I still want to trust in my subconscious, because I feel like if I just improv the top of something, usually the lyrics fall together in gibberish, and then I can piece together the subject matter and naturally, there'll be a congruent topic.
Can you tell us about your new single, Outside Of The Party?
Well, Outside of the Party is special to me in the sense that it’s the first thing that wasn't so special to me that I was able to put out. In iso, I set myself a challenge to write a song a day, and I was pumping out a whole bunch of music. I just have so much music that I've written on my laptop, but I just wasn't releasing anything.
One day I was day drunk, and I got into a philosophical debate with myself about why I hadn't released music, and I came to the conclusion that I thought my music mattered more than it did, and I was scared about what people would think, so that day I was like, "you know what, Ayesha? Whatever you write at the end of this day, you will release." I tracked and wrote the song that day, and it was Outside Of The Party. That's the song I chose to release!
It was really just me trying to dip my toes into the pool of releasing music, and trying to learn about the release process, and I'm really glad I did it. I did not expect the song to have the response it did!
What does 2021 have in store for you?
If I'm gonna be honest with you, I am way too much of an anxious person to plan out even what I'm doing tomorrow, but guaranteed – I don't know, can I say guaranteed? 'Cause this year was completely blindsiding – but let's say hopefully guaranteed more music.
Totally guaranteed more time with my family and more existential meltdowns! I really want to become a beast at producing, so I'm just going to practice producing a lot. I'm also touring with a musical called Fangirl early in the year. Music-wise, I just want to create my own live show and drop more singles, really. Whatever happens, guarantee it'll probably be chaotic, and probably a giant meme!
Where can we find more of your music?
Keep your eyes peeled on Spotify and Triple J Unearthed and Apple Music and all the rest of those fun little platforms, and it’ll come soon! I do lots of covers on my Instagram, so you can find some cover stuff on there!
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