Why do people occupy the spotlight despite the fact that they already glow from within? It is due to their charisma and also talent. But more importantly, because they simply: do, both on and off stage. They continually organize themselves and others, plan, and challenge themselves. Aylin Ejder, a young musician and singer from Hamburg, embodies a passionate personality. She always directs this charged energy toward her audience. She powerfully and unwaveringly fuses various traditional soul, jazz, and musical genres with incredibly modern pop and R&B under the stage name Kaisa Rya. Aylin Ejder always holds the strings, whether she performs her songs in a small ensemble with a high degree of intimacy or gathers her big band and plays with more force (no pun intended.) She plans and composes, inspires and motivates. She has cultivated an artistic mindset throughout her brief career.
In her third single, “Lips,” Kaisa Rya confidently sings about interpersonal relationships and the capacity to empathize with and read the body language of the other person, saying, “You can’t deny what your body’s saying.” She also wants to highlight the issues that can occur when you don’t pay enough attention to yourself. Kaisa admits that she tries to pay attention to her inner voice every day. She learned how much the body can convey in terms of subtext and how much one can infer from the body language of the other person thanks to the acting classes she took as a teenager.
After her successful debut single “Ego,” which received over 50,000 YouTube views in a short period of time, and her second single “Nothing,” Kaisa Rya has released “Lips,” her third single. She has already performed all three singles in their entirety live in front of a receptive audience at a solo show with a 13-piece band in the Hamburg music pavilion Planten un Blomen. Is “Lips” a precursor to the debut album? Fans can rejoice! Check out the single and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
KAISA RYA: I was born in Hamburg. Back in the elementary school, all of my friends but me played in the orchestra, that’s why I’ve taught myself to play the flute. In the high school I really wanted to go to the Big Band, that’s why I wanted to learn the drums. Unfortunately, my parents thought that the drums were too loud and too big, so I decided to learn the trombone as my second choice. I was always interested in many things – it was only a matter of time until I played in the Big Band, the orchestra, the choir and musicals. Playing other instruments and singing came from alone. I didn’t believe becoming a musician is possible for me, however, one day, while cleaning my room I found a brochure of the “Hamburg School of Music”, which I already put away another day, because I couldn’t afford this kind of education, I knew: This is what I want, and this is what I am going to do – somehow I will make it possible!
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
KAISA RYA: For years I’ve taught myself things – and I still do that. As a teenager I started to take to take trombone lessons and went to a Musical-School. I also got few singing lessons as preparation for my education. Meanwhile I have a completed education as a singer (Jazz Rock Pop) and an education as a bassist. I also have a further pedagogical and artistic educations.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘KAISA RYA’?
KAISA RYA: This one isn’t easy to answer. I was born with AC/DC and I will probably die with it. This band got me to music. I also had an early interest for all the different genres such as jazz and classic. I sang along the songs that were played in the radio anyway. I want to point out one artist that I don’t even know for such a long time. She’s inspiring me a lot right now. Dua Lipa.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
KAISA RYA: I like to write strong lyrics about interpersonal connections and selfcare. I hope that they encourage other people to feel well and to stand up for themselves. My music has a strong Dua Lipa electro-pop-synthies and also, a little bit of winds, funk and some Bruno Mars vibes.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
I think that music plays a big role, because it’s based on an emotional level and people have their power over everything but their feelings. I want to help to make the world a better place and I start that to analyse my surroundings and myself. To work on topics that everyone deals with. Relationships, no matter if it’s a love relationship or just the relationship between co-workers -the interaction between people in general – starting by yourself. (Song: Ego). Far too few people think of the consequences that their words or actions can have on others. Too few people understand each other based on just the body language (song: Lips). The politics and insurance companies misclassify psychologic diseases. I’m sure, somebody who precautionary does a therapy, is not at a higher risk, as someone who doesn’t talk about his feelings. People who are in therapy are often automatically seen as ill. If I will ever become famous, I want to fight against that fact.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
I think in the moment, where music doesn’t mean your whole life, you don’t want to have it as your main job. If that’s the case, such thoughts won’t even cross your mind. I love everything I do music wise and I’m happy about every single step to get closer to my goal. To finance my band and myself at some point of my life. Don’t understand me wrong, this business is hard and sometimes I am desperate, too.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
KAISA RYA: There are many ways how I got to my music, but most of the time it just happens like that: It starts with a situation and a sentence gets formed in my head. E.g.: “Your body tells me something else than your lips” – and then a lot of things happen at the same time. I have a text then really fast (at least the first verse (strophe?) until after the first chorus), melody and often even a bassline or comparable songs. Then I send it to my producer, who then creates a track on my acapella vocals. If that’s done, I am going to the studio to sing the song. In the studio we work on the smallest details. Sometimes I finish the second verse just before I get to the studio.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
KAISA RYA: I think dealing with losses and my general sense of duty towards other people.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
KAISA RYA: I finally found a style of music, I wanted to commit to, but I’m still proud of the fact to serve so many different styles. My band starts to sound really good and both offline and online we gained fans and first milestones. Despite the corona situation we had our first solo concert with 13 musicians on a big open-air stage with an audience of around 300 people. In the moment we have 2.000 Spotify Listeners and 50.000 views on our first music video. And here’s a special for you: My new single “Rough” is coming out on September, 23th. If you would like to listen to some hot stuff, just check it out!
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Photo credits: Christopher Lau