Bringing back the melody and soul in rap, Aaronya is a force to be reckoned with. His upbeat energy compliments the heavy topics he discusses through his music, perfectly balancing the fun with the deep. Though his sound production is like therapy for your ears, he does not fall into the category of mumble rap.
Being inspired by superstar lyricists like Kendrick Lamar and J Cole, Aaronya’s impeccable wordplay had me shook the first time I heard him spit. As referenced a producer his short film Who the F is Aaronya, the Long Island-native has been described as a “lyrical physical hit you with the spiritual” type rapper. We sat down to speak with Aaronya about his musical journey and decided he was certainly an artist worth highlighting considering his unique approach to creating music and cultivating his sound.
Every artist I’ve met from New York does not shy away from expressing how growing up in such a cutthroat environment has had an impact on their music. Aaronya is no different. “I happened to grow up on the worst block [in my neighborhood]. I think it changed my perception of how I view the world and directly affected my music.” shared the Long-Island native. “As I’ve grown older, I’ve found myself talking more openly and direct about what I've seen. It definitely has affected my music and impacted me in a great way.”
When watching his short film Who the F is Aaronya, his confidence oozes out from every angle. Although his favorite musical groups are The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, Aaronya is significantly more daring when it comes to his lyrical content. From rapping bars sporadically throughout the film to expressing his passion for music to his peers, Aaronya really lives, eats, and breaths this music shit in its rawest form. “I try to make my music as realistic as possible. If I’m talking to my friends, you’re going to hear things like “F” bombs [in our] crazy conversations. The way I see it is to just kind of respect the artistry.” he shares. When asked about how he feels about some people thinking his music is too vulgar, he responds as follows:
“I wouldn’t shy away from doing it. I also don't want to be put in a box where people listen to my music and think it’s not raw enough. You’re not going to be watching Goodfellas and be like “Oh my God. This is so vulgar. I can’t watch this.” You know this is a depiction of what real life was for these people so I try to make sure that I translate that through my music.”
His most recent album Woke Up In Calabasas with Joey Alves is one of the most beautifully constructed bodies of work I’ve heard in a while by rising artists, hitting me with fire track after fire track. Aaronya and Joey are good friends and after joining each other in the studio one day, they decided to create a joint project. “I had maybe 30 songs that I had one verse to but I didn't feel like finishing. I was like I would put a couple of songs in, he could put a couple of songs in, we write to each other's songs, and create a mixtape.” shares Aaronya. The first track on the project titled “Papi” is definitely one that you need to bump in your car or on the largest and loudest speakers you can find. I can confidently say the two bodied every line on that record. “We were each attacking that song so aggressively that we kind of scared each other. This has to be the first track because we’re new artists.” He agrees. “[We decided] for someone listening to us for the first time, we have to slap them in the face as soon as possible. They have to hear it and be like who are these mothafuckers.”
Another stand out track by the Long-Island native is his song “One Year From 30”. Amongst talking about the beauty of this record, I took the chance to ask Aaronya about the biggest lessons he learned during his 20s. He shares what he would tell his 20-year-old self if he could go back in time. "There are certain things in life that you can’t prevent regardless of if you know about it or not. I would probably tell myself to not procrastinate as much and be more definite in what I do and to believe in myself more. There was a period in my life during my 20s when I was extremely confused and didn't believe in myself. Things just seemed hopeless for me. I would tell myself to persevere through it and to think positive thoughts because whatever you think you're going to manifest."
Overall, there are two main takeaways we have gotten from Aaronya’s music. First, this man always tells the truth. He takes pride in all that he witnesses, the good and the ugly, without sugarcoating a single story. Secondly, along the lines of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city and J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive, his music truly sounds like the soundtrack to his life. We believe that is what makes great music.