The impressive high schooler AJA has dropped another single, “The Mess You Made” and it will have you yelling the lyrics on the top of your lungs with her. AJA is bringing her world to us in this angsty dance tune. Accompanying the song is a firey music video that literally ends on fire as she watches pictures burn away. We all have seen ourselves in that scene, throwing bad memories into the fire, whether we did it for real or in our imagination, we’ve been there. She manages to capture the youthful anger that comes with first loves and failed attempts. We got to talk to the 17-year-old, Toronto based artist about what she’s looking forward to, writing “The Mess You Made” and shooting the music video.

What sparked the idea for “The Mess You Made?” What was the writing process like?

The Mess You Made was really fun to write.  I wrote it with this really cool guy named Lil Aaron.  We worked really well together.  I got dropped off at Scott Storch’s house.  He played me 2 tracks and I picked the one we used.  Both tracks were amazing, but I loved this one and it felt current.  I came to the session all fired up over some drama back in Toronto, so I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.

How was shooting the music video? Where did you shoot?

The music video was tons of fun to shoot.  The weather was great and we shot it in Hamilton, On.  I love shooting music videos and telling the story of my songs.  I loved working with everyone.  It was a great crew.  There were a few different scenes.  The last scene on the beach was my favorite.  Love the idea of burning someone’s stuff that has pissed me off!

What inspires you? What got you into music?

I am mostly inspired by strong female vocalists.  I have trained vocally most of my life and know the work that goes into a strong powerful vocal.  I’ve been a musician since I could talk.  I probably sang before I could talk.  Music has always been a huge part of who I am.

What’s the scene like in Toronto? What does a typical day look like for you?

My music scene in Toronto feels pretty quiet right now.  I think Canadians are cautiously trying to start back with live music.  Fingers crossed things start up soon.  I miss performing in Toronto.  I am still a full time student finishing off my last year of highschool.  I go to an all girls school in Toronto.  I have always tried to keep my music separate from my day to day life in Toronto.  It almost feels a bit like a Hannah Montana scenario lol.  This has helped me manage things socially.  It works for me.  If i’m not in school, I am hanging out with friends, going to studio sessions, and spending time up north at my cottage.  I love being around people.  My lyrics come from my experiences.

What do you listen to when you need a good cry? What do you listen to when you need a pick me up?

I binge watched Grey’s Anatomy throughout the pandemic and the song How to say Goodbye gets me in tears every time.  I am generally a pretty upbeat person, so it doesn’t take much.  I would say Red Button and Nerve are great songs that make me feel empowered and strong.

What are you looking forward to? 

I am really looking forward to performing live.  That has been a huge void for me.  I love the adrenaline of getting on stage not knowing if your vocal will be perfect.  For me, live singing is the best.  I never really know if I love a vocalist until I see and hear them perform live.  I mean REALLY  perform live.



photos / courtesy of the artist

story / Vogue Giambri