Get To Know Aisa [Interview]

Kieran Kohorst

With songs like “Bad Daze” and “First Love” doing well on TikTok and other platforms, Aisa has been making himself known as an upcoming force in indie R&B this year. His unique spin on the sound of artists like Steve Lacy and The Internet sets him apart from other indie artists today with more ear-grabbing melodies, lush instrumentation, and sonic variation. I got to talk more with the Vegas-based creative about his musical journey thus far and what he has planned for the future. 

Where are you from originally and how did you start making music?

I’m based in Las Vegas but I was originally born in Kansas City, MO. My family and I moved to Vegas when I was around four years old and I’ve been here ever since. Vegas is amazing but I’m at the point now where I’d love to get out of my hometown. Music’s always been a part of my life. Coming from a Filipino household, my parents love music just as much as me if not more. I grew up being around people that love singing, karaoke was a big thing for my family. I didn’t really get into making music until my first year of college, around 2018, though. Steve Lacy’s Ted Talk at the time about the bare maximum is what got me into songwriting and producing and just getting my ideas out. My first year of college me and my friends started a Brockhampton-type collective called Jaded Fantasy and made a ton of music, but now we’re all kind of doing our own thing. That’s kind of how I started and seeing how people reacted to my music made me want to keep going. 

Who are your favorite artists and who are some of the main influences on your sound? 

Steve Lacy and the Internet for sure. Thhy have a great world of Neo soul/R&B that they’ve created throughout the years. I also love Dijon, Frank Ocean, Ryan Beatty, and as of late I’ve been listening to a lot of Mk.gee. My influences always change. Right now I’m in that Mk.gee stage but I’m also listening to a lot of Toro y moi, every month is really different. 

Who are some of your dream collaborators?

I would love to work with BADBADNOTGOOD. I feel like it would be so fun to sit in a room with them and just jam and write to them playing . Yeek is another Filipino artist who’s been a big influence of mine and I’d love to collaborate with him one day, too. There’s so many names, but right now those two are my biggest. 

You’ve been putting out music since 2020. How has your style or the way you’ve approached music changed over time in the past few years?

During COVID I was always trying to just make stuff, but now as I’ve lived through more life I let myself sit and experience things first before I write. I’ve been trying to go with the flow a lot more, because when things come naturally to me it feels amazing. I’ve always been kind of go go go, but now I’m like “let me breathe, let me write”.

What was it like making “Bad Daze” and “First Love” this year? How did the songs come to be and what do they mean to you? 

Like I said, I’ve been trying to act on inspiration when it hits me, so both of these songs ended up coming to me fully in like a day or two. For “Bad Daze”, I was getting to a point with my job where I hated it. I would get home too tired to work on any music so I would just feel lazy and go to bed. One day, the idea for the lead melody came to me at work. I ended up recording it on voice memos, went home, found chords, and had it done in around two days. 

“First Love” is about my first love, man. I’ve hit a point in my dating life where I’ve had enough of the bs. Unfortunately I got done dirty in my first relationship but I never wrote about it so I wanted to go back to that time. I didn’t want to make it a sad song since I wasn’t really sad about it anymore so it ended up becoming a super fun, funky groove, definitely influenced by the Internet. I think I had a day off and I was just playing around with my guitar. I started jamming and once I had a melody and an Idea I started writing. That song was cool because the chords change a lot and it was fun trying to figure it out. Music is my way of processing, and that’s really how those songs came to be. 

What are your plans and goals for the future? Anything you could hint at? 

In the near future, there is a project that’s coming, so I’m ironing that all out right now. I haven’t really dropped a project since 2021 so I’m excited to put that out. Short term goals, I would love to just do more shows. I’ve been super hesitant doing shows because I feel like a lot of my songs require a full band since they’re fully produced, but I’d love to find more shows to play in general. It’d give me a chance to kind of work out how these songs could sound in a live setting. Long-term goals, I would love to go on a tour across the states and start collaborating with more people and get out of my hometown. I just hope that my music reaches who it needs to reach and makes others feel like they can do what I’m doing. 

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