When it comes to Detroit, there’s an endless list of legends that come out of the city. From Eminem to Big Sean to Royce Da 5’9” it seems like Motor City has bred some of music’s hottest names, with zero plans of slowing down. While it seems like the trend has been real spitters, Aaria brings her pop and R&B flavor into the mix — letting her talents speak for herself.
With her Trinidadian background and mom being a singer herself, Aaria’s been destined for music since she was birthed. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter considers herself a powerhouse artist, with an ability to style shift and transcend genres innately. With the release of her debut single “Thug Love,” which was paired with a sexy, spicy visual featuring Atlanta’s own Trouble as her love interest, Aaria gives only a small taste of what’s to come.
What can fans be excited for? The official “Thug Love” single featuring New York star DreamDoll. AllHipHop caught up with Aaria to discuss her roots in Detroit, definition of “Thug Love,” getting Trouble in the visual, goals, tattoos, and more!
AllHipHop: Being from Detroit, what was the household like growing up?
Aaria: There’s a lot of hip-hop. There’s a void, the city really needs to put out an R&B artist right now. We need good R&B music, which is what I’m bringing. My grandfather was a pastor. I wouldn’t say strict, but definitely grew up in a Christian household. That background started my singing, started singing in church. Being from Motown having Diana Ross and all the greats, studying them and applying them to my own music. Detroit has so much history and influence.
AllHipHop: I know your mom was a singer as well.
AariaMy mom’s a singer, my dad’s from Trinidad. I definitely want to tap into those roots in my music eventually, I love that part of me. I grew up in the studio with my mom, they called me a studio baby. [chuckles] Definitely a second nature environment.
AllHipHop: When did you realize you could do music for a living?
Aaria: Honestly when I was 20. I’ve been recording since I was 10, but really coming to me as an artist and getting my sound at 20. I went to school for musical theatre, was doing a lot of musical theatre work. I’m like “this isn’t as fulfilling, let me really tap in to myself as an artist.”
AllHipHop: So you were on stage already then?
Aaria: Yeah, I actually performed in Hong Kong overseas with Disney. I was Princess Tiana in a show called Mickey and the Wondrous Book, so that was cool. I still love doing live performances in musical theatre but you know, we go through phases. I’ll revisit that later.
AllHipHop: Who or what inspired the record “Thug Love”?
Aaria: I was sitting in the studio with my team, they asked “Aaria, what do you want to talk about. Guys usually approach me the same way, with what they have. I need more than that to get my interest. “Thug Love” is really just a love that’s real.
AllHipHop: Are you in love?
Aaria: [laughs] No, it’s a general statement that I’m looking for something. I haven’t found the right person yet.
AllHipHop: How was shooting with Trouble?
Aaria: We’re definitely friends. My team made that move happen. It was great chemistry on set , it was natural/ He’s a very cool guy. He’s good to look at definitely.
AllHipHop: You guys shot it in Atlanta, best memory?
Aaria: I have to say getting to see how quickly a visual can come together, I literally recorded it a day before. We wrote it, I recorded it in one session. “Okay tomorrow, we’re shooting the video.”
AllHipHop: Where does this drive and work ethic come from?
Aaria: It’s what I love to do. I have goals so let’s make it happen. [snaps]
AllHipHop: What are your goals?
Aaria: Right now, I definitely want to be a household name. I want to have a world tour, definitely wanna win some Grammys. Be able to build my brand and branch off into beauty and other things as well.
AllHipHop: What’s it gonna take to get there?
Aaria: Work ethic, definitely that. Building relationships with the right people.
AllHipHop: Are you doing everything independently?
Aaria: I have a situation with No Rules Entertainment, an indie label. A crazy situation how I connected with them, everything seemed to really align. They’ve shown me that there’s nothing they can’t do. When I put in the work, we make things happen. That’s the best situation for me right now.
AllHipHop: Talk about getting DreamDoll on the “Thug Love,” that’s fire!
Aaria: That’s crazy. When “Thug Love” dropped, it was on a bunch of blogs: Hollywood Unlocked, Baller Alert. People were saying you look like Dream Doll.” I lived in New York for 4 years, she’s from there so I’d get that a lot out there already. Me and my team decided that’d be a good move to give people what they want. I’m excited to have that collab come out, get some visuals hopefully. It’s a surprise. [laughs] The first song was [1:30] seconds, so this will be a full song.
AllHipHop: Can you define Thug Love for us?
Aaria: Thug Love to me is somebody that’s trustworthy, humorous, understanding, and genuine, which switches up the negative connotation of Thug Love. Trustworthy, humorous, understanding, genuine.
AllHipHop: Is Aaria your real name?
Aaria: It is! My real birth name is Aria so we added another ‘a’. Still Aria.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Aaria: I love my hot water or lemon tea with honey. I do like a little bit of tequila or Hennessy. [laughs] I need the lights.
AllHipHop: What do you want fans to get from your story?
Aaria: I want my audience to be inspired, feel that they can do anything. Be confident in what you do and it’ll happen for you.
AllHipHop: What inspires you the most?
Aaria: Honestly, my mom because I’ve seen her try to do this. That’s definitely a motivation for me as well
AllHipHop: How proud is she of you?
Aaria: She’s very proud, very supportive.
AllHipHop: How was working with YFN Lucci?
Aaria: That was cool. He’s a cool laid back guy so yes that was fun. Definitely some fire, it’s going to be great. “My Way” comiNg soon!