When Aaradhna’s harmonies spill through the speakers in her opening track from her new album, you learn that it’s not just treble and reverb that go good together. It’s her silky voice over that doo‐wop style (a sound she likes to call Retro/Metro), and her newfound attitude partnered with old school soul. It’s Aaradhna and music that go good together.
As New Zealand’s most promising musical talent, her new album “Treble & Reverb” serves as a reminder of the gaping hole she left when she took a break from the industry not long after releasing her sophomore album, “Sweet Soul Music” in 2010. The product of this time away is a piece of work set to go down in history as one of the nations best ever releases. Her first single ‘Wake Up’ -‐ a plea to herself -‐ was penned around the time she realised life was passing her by and that she was ready to get back in the game.
What are your first memories of music?
I remember when I was little baby girl everytime my Mum gave me a bath she used to sing Country songs out loud and I would join in with her with my made up lyrics of course and tried to sing as loud as her haha.
Growing up in an Indian and Samoan household did it play any part in your appreciation of music?
Most definitely! My parents both sing, So growing up in our household music was the norm for us, my Mum used to take us to church and she’d always perform her self written Samoan gospel tunes and my Dad used to perform at certain Indian festivals, birthdays and wedding functions. Me and my siblings would always be there to watch our parents. At home was the same we’d watch Bollywood movies sing along with Dad and Mum always sang her lungs out at home (still does to this day). So I’ve got to give my parents props for educating us musically.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
My parents, SWV, Musiq Soulchild,Sam Cooke,The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, Calvin Richardson, The Temptations, Monica the list goes on
When did you realise you could make music as a career?
I decided I wanted to be a professional singer after i had done this school talent quest when I was 13 years old. I remember the feeling I felt when I finshed the song (“For You I will” by Monica) the audience was clapping and whistling and I didnt expect that so when that happened I just felt excited & extremely happy inside. Thats where I found my dream, it was on that stage.
You were part of the Dawnraid record label when they first achieved success with yourself, Savage, Adeaze, Decepitkonz and more. How do you look back on those times?
I see them as great memories of proud moments. I learnt and experienced so much and I met some amazing people. Those were some good times!
Your last album “Sweet Soul Music” was released in 2008 why the long break in between this and “Treble And Reverb” what were you up to?
Well the thing was I kind of threw the towel in after “Sweet Soul Music”. My heart wasnt happy at the time, I was hit with depression that came from a whole heap of mess that kept piling on top of the other. So I wasnt in a good place at the time and the passion for singing in the spotlight wasnt there anymore. In result of that I was up to nothing really I stayed at home at my Mum & Dad’s house and I also went overseas (Romania) to follow my partner while he played basketball I just bummed around over there I ended up getting so bored I started writing music again.
Having previously released a few songs with that older 50/60’s vibe what made you go all out with this sound for the new album?
I’ve always had a love for old school music. I guess having all that space away from being in the music scene gave me so much time to explore musically. I found so many amazing artists old and new and everyday I would soak my mind & soul with all this old Rhythm & Blues and Doo Wop music. Because I did this everyday my style of writing changed in time and started to sound more like the stuff I was listening to.
What was the process of making the new album was it any different compared your others?
I wrote and gathered all these songs throughout the time that I was away, which was 4 years or so and since I had been sitting on these songs for a long time, recording “Treble & Reverb” was so much easier than my first album because it was already fully prepared long before.
How did you find working with P-Money what do you feel he brought to the project?
I loved working with Pete he knew exactly what i was trying to achieve from the get go, which made working together so breezy. I brought the cake and he brought the ice cream.
The album touches on a lot of personal subjects was it hard recording these songs?
Certain songs were emotionally draining but I say better out then in.
What’s your favourite track off the album and why?
My personal favourite would have to be “Im Not the Same” because it explains how I feel and its simple just me and the guitar.
What do you hope the listeners take from “Treble & Reverb”?
I hope that they can relate and connect with the messages in my songs and that they can understand what I’m about and get to know me a bit more through “Treble & Reverb”.
What is your ultimate career goal?
For my music to be playing around the world. That would be awesome!
What artists are you currently listening to?
Musiq Soulchild, The Fabulous Playboys, The Ravens, The Spaniels, Ruth Brown, Otis Redding, Little Anthony & The Imperials,Rosie & The Originals, Amy Winehouse, LaVern Baker, The Capris and a whole lot more
Which artist would you most like to collaborate with and why?
It would be Musiq Soulchild & Calvin Richardson Because they have influenced me and to be able to share a song with one of them would be such an epic moment, I would die a happy girl.
There seems to be so much good music coming out of New Zealand right now why do you think the music is so vibrant out there?
Hmm? I guess most muso’s here are trying to capture a natural & honest vibe through their music. Which is always a good thing.
For people unfamiliar with NZ music what 5 tracks/album would you tell them to check out?
Bella Kalolo – “Without the Paper”
Iva Lamkum – “Black Eagle”
Maisey Rika – “Tangaroa whakamautai”
Adeaze – ” Paradise”
Ria Hall – “Best Of Me”
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in your career so far?
What’s the best piece of advice ever given to you?
Hold on, even when im going through my shittiest moments because something awesome happens afterwards, just dont let go.
What does the future hold for Aaradhna?
More music making thats for sure
What’s your definition of Grindin’?
Working hard and not enough sleeps lol.