Last November, Baltimore’s own independent R&B/Soul artist, Aybe sat in the dressing room at Metro Gallery preparing to hit the stage for her debut performance. She spent countless hours and late nights grinding out rehearsals for that very moment. The venue was packed wall to wall with fans, all waiting in anticipation to see Aybe do her thing. You could feel the energy rising in the room as the anxious crowd began to chant “Aybe…Aybe”. She emerged from the dressing room appearing confident and ready to give her people what they came for.
Once on stage, Aybe left absolutely no room for disappointment. Her voice lit up the room and was well complimented with crisp choreography, a polished band and soulful background singers. She put it all out there that night, sharing with us her inner-soul as she ran through each song with effortless grace and precision. Aybe’s passionate performance included a couple cover songs along with a few of her recent releases – “World To Me“ and “Dusse“. Following her performance, she debuts the music video for her single “Missing You” (with Fomo). All in all, the evening was a complete success. The crowd received a stellar performance and Aybe placed her mark on the music game as if to say – “I’ve officially arrived”.
For those who are unfamiliar with this songstress, Aybe is an emerging singer/songwriter with a powerfully dynamic range and a captivating presence that really seems to stop you in your tracks. Her spirit is infectious and her sound is even more addicting. The name may be new to some, but Aybe has been putting in heavy work behind the scenes to be certain she leaves her mark on the industry in a major way.
I recently had the chance to chat it up with Aybe and find out more about the up and coming artist.
Nov. 5th of last year was a big day for you at Baltimore’s Metro Gallery! Not only did you premier the new video for ‘Missing You’, you also performed your very first (full-production) concert. How did it feel walking on stage and seeing the venue packed wall to wall with fans?
Surprised, speechless, overjoyed, humbled and excited! Funny thing is, I was crying back stage and giving thanks and praises to God before I came out. Everyone kept telling me it was packed and when I saw for myself, all I could say was WOW! I was like “oh yeah we’re about to have some fun”! Litty!
Explain the challenges you face as an independent artist trying to navigate your way to success in a music industry that has evolved so much in recent years?
I think for me the most challenging issue is money and resources. Being indie, I am funding everything and sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Sometimes I’m like “man I only got 10 dollars until my next paycheck”, but I thank God for my supportive family and friends. I’m currently trying to build my dream team and finding people who are both consistent and genuine has been challenging. Good thing is, I’m almost there! I just have a couple more positions to fill.
Who are your biggest influences in music and songwriting?
All Gospel artists have been my biggest influences, from The Winans Family to Kierai Sheard. I was only really able to listen to gospel music growing up (I know funny right)! Lauryn Hill is also a big influence. I was allowed to buy The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I love Brandy of course! As far as songwriting, I love Keri Hilson, Ester Dean, Makeba Riddick, Sia, James Fauntleroy, and Frank Ocean (just to name a few).
Can you talk to us about the art of songwriting and what your general process is like?
Songwriting is so cool! It’s stories, poems, letters full of feelings accompanied by music.
My process for writing: I like to be in a dimmed room with blue lights. By this time I have listened to the beat like 1,000 times. I sing out different melodies to see which one sticks and then I start writing. I tend to take different approaches – for example, some songs I might rhyme every other line, or rhyme every line, or maybe freehand it depending on the melody. The main thing is to make sure the hook is solid, it’s catchy and it gets the point across.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects in the works?
Record as much material as I can. MORE MATERIAL! MORE MATERIAL! I just want to put out as many songs as I can on all digital platforms – to stream for free in order to build my fan base. I’m still a new artist. I just started releasing music about a year ago. I’m also working on a couple of visuals so people can get to know me as an artist.