A couple of years ago, Jara Aiala already gave clear indications with Nothing less than art of what was behind his project, that is, love and dedication for African-American music such as soul, r’n’b and blues, combined with other sounds such as reggae or trap, and seasoned all with both electronic and more organic touches . The commitment of Catalan music and singer –with a tone of voice in the vein of Amy Winehouse– made its mark on the local scene, and last year it was heard, for example, at the Fòrum por la Mercè or at the Cruïlla XXS.
After the departure of his guitarist with whom he started the project, Isaïes Albert, he has now just published 2021: an Earth oddity The April 14 at La Nau within the Curtcircuit cycle.
Let’s travel to the past. How did the appearance of the phenomenon Amy Winehouse impact you?
Very very strong. I was 8 or 9 years old when their first album came out, and I was amazed. The image shocked me a lot because it was different from everything there was at that time and I identified with it before anyone else. And then there was the music; I loved blues, jazz and all that and I didn’t see it reflected in the music of that time. In fact, with the jazz cover band we started with, half of the songs we played were by Amy Winehouse.
Do you think the first album you released as Aiala two years ago reflected that influence?
The same sound level is not so much like what she did, but to do it I was inspired a lot by her.
Does your tone of voice resemble hers?
I have been studying voice for many years and since always when you sing someone else’s song, you have the vice of having their sound and their voice in your head and that you unintentionally try to do similar things. And what we work precisely in voice classes is to disengage from that, that is, sing each song in your own way. And that is what I have been relearning these years.
How did you want to differentiate yourself from that first album now?
When in the studio we did the whole demo with Chalart before recording the definitive vocals, there were some of them that we didn’t play, and that’s because I had already evolved. The problem is often in the head, and in my head I had already thrown the barrier that until then made my voice unable to reach certain notes. Now I have done things on a vocal level that in the previous one I could not have done just because now I realized that I can. And that can also be applied to loudness.
What feed back note?
With the first at the age level at the concerts people were forty and up. But at the level of social networks with the first the highest percentage was 3ypical to 4ypical years, and with this it is already covering downwards, towards my age. That is very good, because I believe that music does not have ages. I am 24 years old but when I was 15 I also listened to what I do now.
Can it end up being a handicap that they associate their voice with Winehouse’s?
I like that they keep saying it to me, that they assimilate me to it, but there are also many people who tell me that my voice is their own, that it is very recognizable, that when they listen to it they do not think it is someone else. And that is very good, because nowadays there are many voices that you know to whom it corresponds, because they are very produced. When Becky G and Natasha sing together there are songs that you don’t know who sings. And that’s not cool.
The message of the album’s lyrics is to fight, love and the power to be a good person.
Listening to the lyrics of your new album, what conclusion can be drawn?
There are some key words on this album which are to fight, to love and the power to be a good person, the power that each one has, each person is super powerful. There are many people who do not know and it would be necessary for them to know. You cannot be bad with life or with people, and you have to fight for that.
He continues with English as the main language on his new album.
Let’s see, I’m also writing in Spanish and I’m also trying to write in Catalan, and it’s costing me a lot even though they are my natural languages. I am doing and doing what I can.
How would you define the music that people of your generation listen to?
There is everything, but there is a large block that is a bit repetitive, but there are also very talented people. And on the other hand, urban music is what those young generations really listen to and we will have to end up embracing them.
What other references do you have apart from Winehouse?
On a vocal level I love all the divas, like Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and then there is the glam rock era of Bowie, Queen and all that. Currently, the latest Miley Cyrus album really freaks me out, also a lot of Lizzo, whose live show is the best I’ve seen… there is a lot of talent.
The album title pays tribute to Bowie and Kubrick.
Bowie is one of my greatest references on a musical and vocal level. I love all his albums, his Space oddity It marked me a lot. I’m also a very cinephile, I like Tarantino, Tim Burton but Kubrick is one of the first directors I noticed. Also, both Bowie and Kubrick are two personalities who have embraced the concept of the weird, the ambiguous, the weird, the abstract, which is a bit of what I’ve wanted to play with on this album, because I think I’m weird. I’ve always felt weird and I don’t see many more people who at my age make this kind of music. And that’s where the title goes a bit.