Eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter AJA has found catharsis in music. “Bad Game Of Telephone“, her latest single and third release of 2022 finds her reflecting on her final years at an all girls school and moving on stronger than ever. Following “Fireflies” and “Love At First Song”, both released earlier this year, “Bad Game Of Telephone” is a soulful, powerful track, carried by soaring vocals, gritty guitar and a catchy chorus.
“Bad Game Of Telephone” simply continues to prove why AJA has been making waves with music critics and fans alike, and at just eighteen, her career is already off to a spectacular start. We recently caught up with her to talk about her start in music, her growth as an artist, and the new song. Read more and listen to it now below.
Prelude Press: You’ve been recording and releasing original music from a young age – what or who first inspired you to start singing and writing?
AJA: I had always been a musical kid. My parents would constantly be playing music in our home. My dad used to drive me to school and would play The Grateful Dead in the car. I guess you could say he is a “dead head”. I would sing for anyone who would listen. My parents would wake me up when they had friends over for me to perform. I loved it. My voice always sounded older than my actual age. I would sing At Last by Etta James, tons of Beyonce, Whitney Houston, those kinds of big female artists with Big vocals. If I didn’t know the lyrics, I would just make up my own.
In the past few years, you’ve released quite a few singles and remixes and started this year off strong with your single, “Love At First Song”! How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since you first started performing and releasing music?
I think I am constantly growing whether I am 13 or 18. Obviously, as I am getting older I am having new and different experiences. I really dive into who I am and what is going on in my life in quite a literal way with my new single Bad Game Of Telephone which is out now. Having spent a lot of time writing collaboratively has really helped me to grow as a songwriter. I love songwriting. For me, It has always been a form of therapy. I grew up going to an all girls school. This was so difficult, especially being a musician who was not following the same path as everyone else. I was constantly made fun of by my friends and peers. Lots of judgement! Lucky for me, I am a pretty strong and confident person and have a great support system around me.
Are there any important lessons that you’ve learned in the past few years that have helped you hone in on what you’re working on now?
I’ve learned a lot of very important lessons. I’ve learned that my path is mine alone. No two people will have the same path. I am not in a race, I am still so young and have learned to enjoy the different stages of my career. I’ve learned to embrace how I have gotten here and to be thankful for all of the people who have believed in me and have helped to get me here. Whether they are still on this journey with me or not. I’ve learned that my voice counts. I am confident to speak up in a room and get my opinions across. I have always been the youngest person in the room. The child in the room. I am no longer a child. I have learned a lot about the business and how to evaluate what is important to me as an artist. My main goal and has always been my goal is to create great music that makes people feel something.
You’ve released a couple of singles this year, most recently “Fireflies” last month! What has been the highlight of your year so far?
I have created a body of work that I am so beyond proud of. My next bunch of releases are so personal to me. They really tell my stories of what I have gone through over the last few years of high school. It was a very difficult and depressing time. Creating these songs has been amazing for me. It has really allowed me to let go of the bullshit and recognize what is important to me.
“Fireflies” is a really personal track – was it a bit therapeutic to work on it?
Absolutely! I needed to come back to a place that made me feel less complicated and remind myself what my true love is. That is and always has been, music. Music helps me escape.
What would you like for listeners to take away from the song?
Finding that thing or person you love and just releasing anything negative. Almost like meditating.
With “Fireflies” and “Love At First Song” out now, you also just released your new single, “Bad Game Of Telephone” – what can you tell us about the song? What inspired it?
Wow! Where do I begin? Bad Game Of Telephone is a very detailed story about some girls and a boy. It involves made up stories, mental health, blackmail, secretly filming, ……. and it goes on. It is probably the most descriptive song I’ve ever written. It’s about some really fucked up shit.
Do you have any other big plans for 2022?
I am releasing a bunch of new songs that I am really excited about, I am hoping to get out on tour, and will continue writing songs. Lots of discussions going on. We’ll see.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?