There aren’t many things better than discovering a new artist whose music you instantly connect with. Whether they’re touring the nation making their name or supporting big acts globally, we’re here to put a spotlight on the musically-gifted people with a bright future ahead of them. This week, we’re introducing you to the green-haired, alternative pop singer, Au/Ra.
For Fans Of: Lauv, CHVRCHES, Nina Nesbitt
Essential Listening: 'Panic Room' and 'Assassin'
Most people at age 17 are worrying about exams and figuring out what they want to do as a career, but Au/Ra has other ideas. First stepping into the studio aged 12, writing songs and focusing on her music has always been the path she wanted to take. Born Jamie Lou Stenzel, she took the name Au/Ra from a short story she wrote based on the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, an early sign of her creativity and something she says was a form of escape for her young mind.
Music, though, has always been in her blood. Her dad is a DJ/producer and her mother a Jazz artist. Spending the early years of her life in Ibiza, she was immersed in the vibrancy of the island’s music and despite moving to Antigua at 5 years old, rhythm still flowed through her veins and has led her to where she is now.
Au/Ra isn’t your typical pop star. A proud outsider, she has emerald-green hair that flows down to her hips and her songs are a solace for the struggles of Gen Z. Bullying, mental health and social media addiction are all influences for her music, penning each song in the hope that it can help her fans feel a little less alone and little more understood.
Sonically, Au/Ra’s music incorporates deep flowing synths with silky smooth vocals, for a dark and glistening pop sound. Heavy dance and house elements weave their way in, without becoming cliché club tracks, allowing Au/Ra to cross between genres and scenes with ease. Many of you will probably recognise her voice from her collaboration with Camelphat on ‘Panic Room’, a song which has since been certified Silver and saw her return to her place of birth for Radio 1’s Ibiza Weekend, although it offered only a small insight of what Au/Ra is truly capable of.
Alongside another collaboration, this time with EDM mastermind, Alan Walker, Au/Ra’s also released a handful of original material, including debut EP, X Games and recent release, ‘Assassin’. Her haunting, pop sound is accompanied by complimenting videos of dark and futuristic narratives, further proving her efforts to push beyond the norm of a popstar and open up worlds where everyone can fit in.
Named as one of VEVO’s dscvr artists to watch for 2018, Au/Ra has also been cutting her teeth live. She’s already supported Lewis Capaldi, Nina Nesbitt and Eden over here in the UK, (with the latter putting her in front of a huge O2 Academy Brixton crowd) and she was one of the special guest vocalists on Pete Tong’s arena tour of Ibiza Classics. Add to all that her sold out headline shows on both sides of the Atlantic and it’s easy to see why she’s so in demand.
Before she fills her summer with studio time and the occasional festival slot, she’s coming back to British shores for a headline show in the capital, so if you want to experience this glowing star at the start of what’s set to be a phenomenal career, then clear your calendar.
O2 Academy Islington: Thursday 6 JuneBuy Tickets
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