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Cityscape has a quick catch-up with killer Kiwi songstress Aaradhna, who’s hitting Electric Avenue in the middle of a busy summer that’s had her touring with Katchafire and The Black Seeds and popping into festivals up and down the country.

‘Brown Girl’ has become such an empowering Kiwi anthem following the 2016 Tui Awards. How proud are you of it?
Very proud, because it gives an opinion of my experiences in life growing up. It can also speak for others who have been through the same situations, and hopefully make them feel that they are not alone.

How did feel to get a standing ovation following your performance of it at the Tui Awards?
Very humbling and rewarding, because all of the hard work I put into ‘Brown Girl’ over the years, and to be at this standpoint, made me feel happy that this was the reaction to my music.

Who has been the biggest influence on your musical career?
Sam Cooke.

What sort of influence has your background had on your music?
My father and mother played a huge role in my love for music. My dad use to sing Indian music (Hindi) and my mother Samoan hymns every day at home. So listening to both cultures growing up, I got to soak it all in.

‘Lorena Bobbitt’ is a killer track – who or what was the catalyst behind this?
I love crime stories and have been reading them for a long time. When I came across the Lorena Bobbitt story I thought how cool it would be to make it into a song. A few people mistake it for condoning violence, when it isn’t! But for me it’s for the love of crime stories.

You feature in a couple of tracks in the Kiwi classic that is Sione’s Wedding – what was it like hearing your music while you were watching that for the first time?
It was great for me at that time because it was probably my first feature in a film.

What can we expect from your set at Electric Avenue?
A lot of soul, RnB, jazz with some hints of funk. Some classic covers too, which I’m sure the Electric Avenue audience will be familiar with!

You’re performing alongside some cool cats at the festival – who are you looking forward to catching?
Chronixx! I am a fan of his music and his story also. We are currently listening to his Chronology album while on our summer tour run.

What’s on the cards for 2018?
Continue to perform and create some new music.

Electric Avenue Music Festival
Feb 24

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