How R&B Songstress Aqyila Got Cosigns From Lizzo & Monica


AllHipHop spoke with Aqyila, who was posted in Toronto. Read below as we discuss her background, “OH!”, getting the support of Lizzo and Monica, goals, and more!

If you love R&B, prepare to fall in love with Aqyila. The rising star has an unwavering passion for music and singing, and her smooth and sultry vocals speak for themselves. Hailing from Toronto, Aqyila stands for all things sisterhood, positivity, self-acceptance, and female empowerment…and she has plans of becoming one of the greats.

It was approximately one year ago when Aqyila unleashed her song “Vibe For Me,” which took a mind of its own as it went viral on TikTok. To date, over two million videos were made to the record. Shortly after, she was blessed with a JUNO award nomination, for Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year.

In describing herself, Aqyila states she’s “a creative in a sense. I like to sing, obviously. I also like to content create, so I vlog a lot. My friends will always ask me if I have my camera with me, and nine times out of 10 I do. Because I love to capture moments and edit them, put them on YouTube for memories.”

Most recently, Aqyila unveiled her newest single titled “OH!,” a record that speaks on standing your ground in a relationship, reminding yourself that you are worthy with or without a partner. The single is paired with a cinematic visual, directed by Nathan Lau (Anders, Tobias).

AllHipHop spoke with Aqyila, who was posted in Toronto. Read below as we discuss her background, “OH!”, getting the support of Lizzo and Monica, goals, and more!

AllHipHop: Where are you located?

Aqyila: In Toronto, Canada. Or the GTA but I usually just say Toronto, because everyone knows Toronto. 

AllHipHop: How is it over there?

Aqyila: It’s good. It’s actually a lot warmer than where I was just at. For the last two days, me, my manager, my brother, and one of my band members, we were in Montreal to open for Kimbra. After that, we came back to Toronto to open for Kimbra again. It was back to b:ack singing, but Montreal’s freezing. I didn’t know it was gonna be that cold, it’s freezing girl. [laughs]

AllHipHop: I hate when it’s cold!

Aqyila: Yeah. When we went there, it felt like I needed adult snow pants because it was that cold. 

AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?

Aqyila: Right now currently, my music is definitely a blend between pop and R&B. But I know that the direction I’m taking my music for the future, later on in the years, is gonna be R&B. Just because of what I’ve been doing so far. Whenever I’m recording in Toronto, when I’m back and settled, it’s been a lot of R&B, TLC type of vibes. 

I’m excited for people to hear that side of me when it comes. But until then, we’ve got this pop and R&B EP that I’m very excited to give out to the world, so we can go into the next chapter after. 

AllHipHop: How’d you get your name?

Aqyila: It’s actually my middle name, didn’t have to think too hard. [laughs] I don’t know what I would call myself. 

AllHipHop: You just dropped “OH!” Who or what inspired that record?

Aqyila: It’s a mix of disappointing experiences, then things that other people could relate to. Because it’s not everything in the song that I did, but “OH!” is that moment where you realize that the person you thought you were with that was meant for you, is not meant for you. But you also learned to move on and cope, then flourish in the end and realize there’s better for you. Sometimes the person that you think you’re with is going to be your end all be all, but it’s not. And that’s okay.

AllHipHop: How does it feel to have the video approaching a million views? That’s huge.

Aqyila: It is? Damn, I didn’t even check girl. I’m getting a lot of good feedback, so I’m glad. Even when we’re filming, I was telling the director I want it very cinematic. I want it to look like a movie, and that’s exactly what I got so I was super happy when I seen the results. I’m very proud of that video. 

AllHipHop: Best memory from the video shoot?

Aqyila: Oh, the food. When we were on break, we ate a lot of good food. It’s this Caribbean spot, I can’t remember the name. It was my first time trying them, but it’s a very popular spot in Toronto. When we had it, oh this is good. I made sure to save some and eat some the next day. [laughs]

AllHipHop: What was it like growing up in Toronto? 

Aqyila: For me, it was calm. I was born in the GTA area so I just say GTA, but I’ll say Toronto for now. It was pretty diverse, which I like. All my friends, it’s a pretty diverse friend group. We all balance off of each other’s cultures, I’m always learning something new and listening to different music. It helps shape who you are when you’re around other people, because then you learn about different cultures and different things. 

It does make a difference too, even in my music. Even growing up, I listened to a lot of pop on the radio. I would dance in my kitchen, so that influence is there in some of my songs. But I never thought of them as pop until it gets labeled as pop. I’m like oh true. I thought it was just a vibe, but hey. [laughs]

AllHipHop: What can we expect from your forthcoming EP?

Aqyila: This EP’s going to be coming out in the late April. I’m super excited because it tells a story, so it’s flowing. In the beginning, it’s about a guy. I’m trying to figure out why he’s acting the way he is. We flow into “Pressure,” because I know I’m that girl. You know I’m that girl, why are you playing with me type of vibe. That goes into heartbreak. 

We end it with finding yourself. My next single “Hello” is going to be the last one before the EP drops, so I’m really excited for that to come out in March. Because that one’s a beautiful song and it means so much to me, so I’m really excited. I hope the TikTok people like that.

AllHipHop: How’d it feel to have “Vibe For Me” go crazy on TikTok?

Aqyila: Oh my gosh, that was really cool. I’ve gone viral before in the past, even before, but that was the biggest viral moment I’ve had so far. It’s had its positives and negatives. Sometimes when you go viral, it’s fun. You get a whole new audience, people will start to listen to your stuff. Or if you don’t have anything out, they’ll be anticipating a lot of things. There was a lot of excitement there. 

There’s the negatives. People say stuff, maybe not nice stuff. I’m somebody that’s very protective of my energy and what’s around me, so I have no problem blocking girl. I will block you. [laughs] Even before I block, I’m gonna turn off my phone. I don’t sit on the internet all day, I just can’t. I like to be off my phone. If I’m writing or filming or editing, I’m always keeping myself busy, then checking my phone later. But it was fun. It was a lot of fun. Lizzo, Monica, they did my sound. 

AllHipHop: How did Lizzo support?

Aqyila: She probably seen it all over her timeline. She ended up singing it on her page. I commented like OMG, then I dueted the video. She’s like “love you,” I was like omg! Love you too. It was dope. Full circle.

AllHipHop: What about Monica?

Aqyila: Monica too, she lip synced to it. But she was doing her thing, being all sassy. I thought that was so cool. Just because I’d grown up listening to her as well. Yo, this is a full circle moment. When Lizzo came down here in Toronto for her Watch Out For The Big Grrrls Tour, so dope. I loved it. It was so amazing. She’s a performer. Lizzo can perform! Jaw dropped.

AllHipHop: Talk about being nominated for a JUNO Award, that’s huge!

Aqyila: I remember when I was sitting there watching the YouTube Live going. Okay, I saw one of my friends get nominated too so I was tagging him. Oh my God, you just got nominated for producer! Hopefully you get it. He was texting me, then my name came up. I was frozen, because I didn’t really expect it. I was told maybe, but I didn’t think it was gonna happen. When it happened, man! That’s cool. What’s next? 

It was me, the label, and my manager, we all went and got a hotel. We had a driver for the first time, so that was sick. It was the whole celebrity experience, so that was dope. Along with JUNOfest, performing. It was a vibe. It felt really good. Even though I didn’t win, it was very good for me to know that people heard what I did, and that it made an impact. Such an impact that people across the board and in the music committee even thought to even nominate my stuff. Because as an artist, you work hard on your stuff. Especially when lyrics mean a lot to you. The words that I have in that song are so empowering, I’m glad that somebody felt inspired enough to recommend it and put it up there. 

AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?

Aqyila: I’m just somebody that likes to make music and make people feel good. Hopefully you make music that relates. I make music that’s personal to me, so that people can learn more sides of me. It’s a mix of having somebody that’s your go-to relatable artist, then somebody that you could turn up with. Somebody that can also show you the introspective, all into their life. I’m a mix of both. 

AllHipHop: Who are your favorite artists?

Aqyila: I love Jhené Aiko, I was listening to her all weekend. It keeps me sane by listening to her music. She’s just so peaceful, she’s one of my favorite artists. Along with her, I love Jazmine Sullivan. Her riffs are phenomenal. I really look up to her music. Who else do I love? Masego, he’s phenomenal as well. Just very talented. 

Also Whitney Houston. She was somebody I looked up to often as a kid. My mom would play music all the time, so I’d imitate what I heard. I taught myself how to sing like that, by imitating whatever I heard. I’m still learning but it’s pretty cool. Practice. Everybody’s like “how do you learn?” Practice. You gotta practice and practice and practice. Eventually, your vocal cords tighten up and figure it out.

AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?

Aqyila: I do. I really really, really am aiming to be part of, at least invited to an American awards show at some point. I think that’d be monumental for me and my team, so fingers crossed. I’m manifesting that. Winning a Juno Award or an American award, whichever one comes first, would also be dope. 

And to collaborate with some really dope U.S. artists. I have so many people in mind, I’m always trying to think of who I want to collaborate with. Smino, he’s dope. I’d love to do a song with him. Even my artist friend right now, Jhyve. He’s from Toronto, but he’s so talented. I was just bouncing a demo back to him, on a song that he’s going to be hopefully coming out with on his album this year. I was telling myself this is such a vibe. I want a feature on your song, so hopefully. I haven’t been featured on anybody’s stuff yet. [laughs]

AllHipHop: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Aqyila: If I’m not singing, vlogging or songwriting, then I’m cooking or trying a new recipe. Because I love to follow baking and cooking accounts. If I’m not doing that, then I’m playing video games with my brother.

AllHipHop: Anything else you want the people to know?

Aqyila: Just stay tuned for “Hello,” that’s coming out March 31st. My debut EP is coming out at the end of April. I might be doing a lot of live shows this year. If you see me, come out. See ya girl, because it’s a different experience live.

And what’s your EP called? 

Aqyila: It’s called For The Better. It’s actually one of the song lines in “Hello.” That song is one of my favorites.