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AAA Backstage is proud to introduce our new article series dedicated to showcasing some of the amazing female-fronted bands and female artists based in South East Queensland. After showcasing WAAX and their fierce frontwoman, our second spotlight article is on the gifted Sunshine Coast-raised songstress Ayla. 

She may be only be 21-years-old but Ayla says she’s had music humming around in her head for over a decade.

I used to sing in sounds on car trips with mum and dad and my grandparents when I was really little. My parents bought me a tape recorder to record the first song I had ‘finished’ when I was five.

“I couldn’t tell you why I started doing it, no one in my family is all that musical (except for my grandpa who plays banjo!), I was just always writing little songs and walking around singing, ever since I can remember.

“I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Our house was on top of a hill and had a great view out to a valley with mountains beyond that. It was a pretty amazing, and definitely inspiring space to write songs in from a young age,” says Ayla.

“We had all kinds of different animals on the farm when I was growing up…but I think the most notable one is that we own two camels, which I think is pretty cool!”

Her latest single Like The Other Kids sees the songstress continue to build on her anthemic alt-pop ballads that punctuated her recent EP ‘When The Worlds Ends’. Driving percussion and a multitude of guitar parts and synthesiser ambience create a beautiful backdrop to her incredible soaring vocal melodies.

“Mostly songs come out as an expression for me, whether it’s something I had been thinking about or something that comes out subconsciously. Writing songs is also just a fun thing to do, so sometimes it’s just for fun and there isn’t really any ‘meaning’ or ‘inspiration’ behind the [songs].”

Her lyrics “I’m not like the other kids” may exude certain sadness, but Ayla has an incredible knack of masking melancholic stories with supremely uplifting instrumentation and arrangements. Hell, with a vocal range like hers you’d be forgiven singing with a smile her lyrics about tackling the intricacies of young love and your head unfortunately working against you.

“Honestly, I think the biggest obstacle for me has been getting out of my own way, out of my own head, and acknowledging the good stuff and learning to stress less about the whole experience and just enjoying whatever comes. Everyone’s journey is different and I think we all just have to help each other along wherever we can,” says Ayla.

If Like The Other Kids doesn’t make you an instant fan of Ayla’s music her track Waiting, which won the 2016 Regional Award at the Queensland Music Awards, really highlights her amazing vocal control and higher register. We also need to point out her song Wish I Was makes our Editor scream like a 12-year-old girl seeing Justin Bieber…

Outside music Ayla is very much an animal person. “My dad has a cattle stud and I own twelve of my own cows. We had all kinds of different animals on the farm when I was growing up, including chickens, horses, and pigs, but I think the most notable one is that we own two camels, which I think is pretty cool!”.

However, she says she’s not very ‘cool’ at swimming. “I’m terrible at swimming and always used to win the ‘good on you for trying’ award at school swimming carnivals after losing by about 25 meters.”

Ayla will be hitting the road with her band at the start of October in support of Like The Other Kids, all tour dates and info below!

Ayla Tour Dates 

Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra
Studio 188, Ipswich
The Zoo, Brisbane
Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
The Penny Black, Melbourne

Get Tickets HERE