Aurie (aww-ree) is a Kenyan singer, songwriter, rapper, and voice-over artist from Nairobi. Her desire to become a singer/songwriter came to being after she passed a radio audition after hearing her sound they decided to offer her a recording contract and has since made three singles and a debut music project. Aurie’s music infuses soulful R & B vocals with lush lyricism – combining a unique brand of playful urban undertones with a nostalgic flair and this is all reflected in her recent project AURIENTATION.
Kindly share something about Aurie that you feel the public should know?
Can you speak briefly about your upbringing and how you got into music?
I was born in Nairobi and raised in South C. My entry into the creative industry was through theatre, acting in plays and musicals. My deepest desire was to be a singer-songwriter. I started recording music when I passed a radio audition ad. They called me back to record more songs and that’s where it all began.
When did you start making music? Walk us through your musical journey so far.
I started writing and composing when I was about six. However, I became a recording artist in Uni after passing an audition for a radio ad. They liked what they heard and offered me a recording contract. Thus far, I have been able to release three singles and a debut music project.
What has been your experience navigating the creative industry in Kenya?
This question needs a whole coffee date! My experience has been baptism by fire. It can get very lonely too. It’s important for an artist to have a support system. I also notice the local industry doesn’t have enough investors to capitalize on all our creativity. Hopefully, that improves.
How would you describe your sound and the musical world?
My sound is soulful yet versatile. I like seduction, playfulness, and experimenting, so you’ll hear a lot of sultry vocals, expressiveness, and witty lyricism.
What artists have been most influential on your sound?
That would be Lauryn Hill, E-Sir, Muthoni The Drummer Queen, and 90s R n B singers.
What is your creative process?
I like to think of my creative process as continuous. I am always writing or humming something and drawing inspiration from everyday life. Either the lyrics or melody will come to me first then I bombard the producers who understand my sound with creative concepts haha. I also like being involved in the production of the music.
What inspired your debut EP, ‘Aurientation’, and what was its creation process like?
My biggest inspiration was expressing myself. I had taken a break from recording music and was ready to begin again. This project is the listeners’ Aurientation for who I am as an artist. The creative process was very liberating. It was also a time to reflect since most studios and venues were shut down because of the pandemic.
Who/what are some inspirations, musical or otherwise, that guided you through the making of this project?
The main producer working on the project, Alice Ragoi, was very inspirational and a fantastic teacher too. My best friend, Nicole, held my hand through the journey and encouraged me when it got too hard to find a reason to keep believing. Plus, obviously, MDQ.
How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business?
It’s wonderful that artists now have the power in their hands to share their work without all the bureaucracy. Celebrity culture will soon be a thing of the past because fans can now interact with their faves directly. However, artists’ have had to find new ways to monetize their craft because streaming pays the bare minimum. All in all, the pros outweigh the cons.
Who would most likely want to collaborate with on your next project?
I have mentioned her like thrice now in this interview ha-ha. Locally, that would be MDQ, Mutoriah, Don Ngatia, and Musyoka. I think Musyoka really understands simplicity as an art. Internationally, Pharell, Dianne Warren, Scott Storch, and Ed Sheeran.
Who are you currently listening to?
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Buckle up for the musical ride of our lives!😘
What’s next for you?
Oh! The most, I hope. I would love to perform on different stages across Africa and the world. There’s definitely more music to come and discovering and sharing more of my creative abilities.