There are not many ways to describe Au/Ra without using words such as “incredible” or “prodigy”. At only 16 years old she has made an incredible impact with her music in such a short time. Playing at BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza alongside CamelPhat and headlining London’s Camden Assembly is a testament to her alternative pop music that resonates with a wide audience.
Spending the first five years of her life in Ibiza growing up in a musical family in what is known as the party capital of the world today, her life was uprooted and moved to the West Indies – specifically Antigua. From there she experimented with music, joining a choir and having piano lessons to hone her talent. This led to diverse influences shaping her style. From indie rock titans Arctic Monkeys to pop superstars like Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey there are so many different dimensions to Au/Ra’s influences. Emoji being the first single released after her breakthrough Panic Room just shows her wide spectrum of talent. Panic Room being a slow ballad whilst Emoji being a fun up-beat modern day pop hit.
Her youth is reflected in her work through the video elements within her music as well as her artwork. However, her vocal range and song writing ability reflect a great deal of maturity in her work. When speaking about her songwriting ability, Au/Ra says “I’ll probably find a word or a concept, then I’ll write down a bunch of adjectives that go with that, and then I’ll start singing a few melodies… Most of the time, I’ll come up with a storyline – an actually story I’ll put into the song”. The composition of X Games and Concrete Jungle show a clear nod to this statement whilst also having clear influence from the wider electronic music scene, combining youthful stories with mature instrumentation.
Being such an enigma at such a young age is what makes Au/Ra so special or, even, different. As such an unorthodox musician she displays her position as an Outsider looking in on the music industry: “Not just because of growing up in the middle of nowhere, but also because I’ve always just been a bit introverted” which evokes such deep emotion from her fanbase.
This coupled with her incredible songwriting prowess make her a truly well-deserved part of the SRA Class of 2019. Her lyricism continues to show great maturity whilst projecting stories into the mind of her fans further making the visual elements to her music just as important. Those who may feel like misfits or outsiders now have a standard to look up to in music, with Au/Ra being the fresh faced standard bearer for a resurgence of international pop music.
By making our SRA Class of 2019, student radio across the UK will consider all of Au/Ra’s future singles for airplay and she will get guaranteed support through our SRA Chart & streaming playlists.
Written by Nels Hylton