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Interview: Aaradhna Talks “Brown Girl,” Putting Yourself First & Taking On The World

She is one of the greatest vocal exports out of New Zealand, with a voice and demeanour as regal as the soul queen she was born to be. Aaradhna is a force to be reckoned with as she continues her steady climb from up and coming singer to a bonafide soulstress, who is currently on an Australian tour for her newly minted album Brown Girl, released in May on Dawn Raid Entertainment. Aaradhna has remained a consistent and committed artist of her music, working with the likes of Savage, Che Fu, P Money and David Dallas over the years and travelling between New Zealand, USA and the UK to cultivate a sound that is unique and bold, complementing her musical messages of relationships, race, politics and female empowerment. Brown Girl possesses a powerful and edgier tone than 2012’s soulful, sensual Treble & Reverb. For an artist who first explored the earlier stirrings of performance at the age of 11, singing along to Bollywood movies she would watch with her father, the stage was already set for this powerhouse vocalist with her debut album I Love You landing on the RIANZ Top 20.

Aaradhna has always been a mysterious and almost mystical personality to me, having watched her star rise organically in an industry that can break you before they make you. A lot can be said of her character, steadfastly focused on creating honest and inspiring music that lives to stand the test of time. She is humble, grounded, secure and confident in her journey, a strength that can be felt in conversation with her and through her music.


Your career and your music has been such an inspiration to so many, back in your native New Zealand and of course on a global level, as your music and most importantly your voice resonates deep in the soul. When you sing pain or heartbreak, everyone can relate to it, when you sing praise and love, we come along on that lyrical ride with you. How do best describe who Aaradhna is and the music she creates, particularly this new album?

It’s the truth and its real, I don’t sugar coat anything, I sing because I have to, that’s my healing and thinking process, and I guess people can relate to that.

Your journey has been a work in evolution no doubt – looking back what would you say has been one of the greatest lessons for you as a woman and as an artist in this music industry!

Don’t give up! And that other people’s opinions of me is none of my business.

Your career has taken you all over the world, working and collaborating with people from all walks of life. What is it about the rhythm of life that appeals to you as a creative and how do you incorporate that into your music creation?

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I go with the flow, I don’t chase anything. I let things happen in the order it’s supposed to happen. I don’t force anything, I try and just let it evolve naturally.

Can you share something with us that we may not know of you? Every person has a surprising lurking within them so what would you say is Aaradhna’s surprise?

I love horror movies and ghost stories, and love hearing about haunted historic places in strange parts of the world

Your thoughts on the soul music community today and the changes you feel it has undergone since you first started your journey?

I think it all swings back around, I’m and old soul and I’ve always loved the oldies, and also 90’s R&B, and that will always inspire me, I like the new stuff like Anderson .Paak and people like that, but give me D’Angelo & Sam Cooke any day.

The importance of women, for yourself, embracing their roles as sexual, independent and powerful beings as opposed to the over-sexualisation that social media has females portrayed with young women baring all for 15 mins of fame and 1000 social media likes rather than strong self-awareness and inner security?

Yeah, its really sad the social media effect on young girls, I want all ladies to love themselves and be strong for themselves, keep things a little more hidden and private and never reveal all of yourself for no reason, love yourself first.

What are you hoping to achieve personally and professionally with Brown Girl, and what’s next for you?

Well, I’m launching this album in London, and I’m going to do European tour for the first time, I’m looking forward to going back to US and touring there, but ultimately I just want people to hear the album and enjoy the music.


Your greatest musical inspirations and why?

Singing at the Apollo in Harlem, because that’s the gold standard for Soul Music worldwide. I did that last year, and still buzzing from that, but I still have many things to accomplish – one step at a time.

Your constant motivation in life and why?

My family, my fiancé, and my fans, I keep going for all of them… and of course myself. 


brown girl tour

Images: supplied

Originally posted on Ms Hennessey Speaks Blog