Interview: Aiyana-Lee

Words by Charles Odugbesan

Sitting across Aiyana-Lee, you could say I was in the presence of music royalty in a sense. A granddaughter, a niece and a daughter to three artists who have their respective names etched in American music history. 

14HQ were lucky enough to be given some time to speak to the L.A based songstress Aiyana-Lee, fresh off the release of her new single Gangster of Love as she attempts to keep up family traditions.

Image provided by Lucid Online

So you live in L.A now and have done for many years, but you were born in London?

Yes I was born in Wembley!

And how did this musical journey begin for you?

I started when I was 2 years old! My mom is a 17x platinum songwriter and I had always seen her in the studio working with incredible talents and it made me super inspired. I would go on tours with her and see how it’s done and, from a young age, seeing the process of how music is made inspired me so much to do it myself!

And then you guys up and moved out to L.A?

Exactly, and it was a real culture shock! People and the way things operate here are so different. Also people are so competitive here, you know everybody’s trying to make it here and you have to try and figure out the real from fake (people).

So you’re in L.A now trying to establish yourself. How does L.A Reid find out who you are?

I was in Miami for a few days working with a producer. I walked into the studio for a session one day and L.A Reid was there. It was a complete surprise… his meeting overran and so we kinda bumped into each other. From that first meeting he instantly got who I was and understood my music. He’s someone I’ve always looked up to in music with everything he’s achieved.

Image provided by Lucid Online

With the coronavirus pandemic, the last few years have had such an impact on us all. How have you managed to get through it?

It made me have to really sit with myself and write music that’s coming from my heart. Soul speaking music you know. This latest body of work is a reflection of what I dealt with during COVID.

Tell me about the new single Gangster of Love?

To me, the song feels like a very much needed perspective on relationships. Being in a relationship and liking someone but still having boundaries and not being crossed or stepped on. It’s a different kind of love song that’s needed.

London or L.A?

It depends on the month!

Studio sessions or live performances?

Live performances

If you could perform at a sold out arena anywhere in the world where would it be?

Madison Square Garden… Actually, I wanna change that to Wembley Stadium

Dream Collaboration?

Bruno Mars, Ed Sheehan or Queen

Who would be the producer?

Mark Ronson

Image provided by Lucid Online

What does 2022 hold in store for you?

Well I plan to drop a project soon! It’s a body of work I’m super proud of. An album about love, self empowerment, self reflection etc… and hopefully a lot of shows!

Favourite song from your grandfather and uncle?

From Jimmy (Ruffin), What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted

From David (Ruffin from The Temptations), I know it’s cheesy but My Girl

If you haven’t already, spare some time to take in Aiyana Lee’s awesome R&B ballad Gangster of Love. And remember the name! This young prodigy has gone from North West London to making waves in the City of Angels and this is only the beginning of her story. 


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