10 Questions With… Ayygabriella

10 Questions With… A series that delves into fresh new releases from some of our favourite artists. With a focus on our Melodic Distraction hosts and wider community, this lil natter gives us an insight into their musical escapades when they’re in their studio, not ours. 

This week we’re excited to chat with a woman doing absolute bits in the local hip-hop scene – Ayygabriella! With her high energy and proud talent, Ayygabriella’s work as a host and community person encourages other women to place their talent on the stage and inspire others. We find out more about her musical journey so far and upcoming single ‘Where It All Began’…

Hi Ayygabriella! How did you first get into music?

Hi, thank you. I officially started writing my own music in October 2020. Not too long ago at all, but I had an experience and thought I needed to express it differently. I put pen to paper and went with the flow and made a banger out of it. Before that, I was just female-rapper obsessed but never imagined I’d have the courage to actually write and release my own.

If you could describe your sound in 3 words, what would they be?

Unique, Sassy & Bold.

How do you usually prepare for a gig? Any pre-show rituals?

I perform in the mirror as if an audience is in front of me. When I have time before a gig, I do some vocal warm ups and deep breathing exercises to keep me in tune and as relaxed as possible.

What’s been your favourite performance so far? 

My favourite performance so far was my first paid gig at District in october 2021, where I hosted the event and performed as a surprise. Nobody was expecting it and the crowd engagement was insane, which made me overwhelmed with happiness still till this day. 

What are the ideas behind ‘Where It All Began’? Who were you listening to a lot whilst making ‘Where It All Began’?

It was mostly just me having fun expressing some of my journey so far in the industry. I was listening to a lot of Ms Banks, NSG and Burna Boy at the time – I think I got most of my inspiration from those beats.

As a black female artist navigating the music industry, what challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them? How do you hope to inspire young people going through a similar experience?  

I would say my biggest challenges have been being heard over a room full of men, who all have something to say. It’s both a challenge and a blessing, as I make sure I dominate in some way regardless. I demand respect regardless of gender, race, size, colour, anything. I hope to inspire young females through owning your ‘sauce’, let’s say. Self-belief is everything and I am still learning, but once you believe in yourself nobody can override that. 

Do your surroundings have much of an impact on the music your create/work you do?

My surroundings have a big impact on me, being a true scouser and speaking on a beat with my actual accent makes me stand out so people keep telling me.I know many artists who don’t like their accent coming through, but that’s what makes us, us. It is everything and I embrace mine.

Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?

Ahhhhh, I always struggle with this question because I really do love most genres! I’ll narrow it down to 3 and say Doja Cat, Dave and last but not least, Erykah Badu.

What’s your favourite snack? 

I’ll also have to narrow this one down to 3 and say Dairy Milk Whole Nut, Ferrero Rochers and Snickers ice cream. I’ve now just realised I‘m terrible for nuts in chocolate hahaha.

What’s coming up next for you?

Next up for me is an official music video for my new track, ‘Where It All Began’, which is out now on all digital streaming platforms. I am glad to finally say! It’s a song that shows off how proud I am to be a strong black woman in a male dominated industry. It also shows you a bit more of my creative mind since my previous track ‘Crazy Times’. I’m super excited for it (and you may even recognise some faces in the video!)

‘Where It All Began’ drops soon – in the meantime, check out the behind-the-scenes teaser below!