We had a chat with London-based South African newcomer Aseia about growing up in Johannesburg, moving to London, his new single “Trial and Error”and more
After dropping out of school at the age of 17 and moving to London, UK to study at the British Institute of Modern Music, 23 year-old London-based newcomer Aseia (formerly known by his birth name Jai) began developing his own unique take of anti-pop music combined with hyperpop. Inspired by raw songwriting and a sound similar to the likes of Brevin Kim and brakence, his latest offering “Trial and Error” is the first song in a string of singles to begin his journey.
Although moving country gives us an opportunity to explore new places, get to know new people and experience new things, it can also be difficult—especially for a teenager. Looking for a job to make money, finding a place to live, making new friends and even learning a new language can take you up to 2 years to really settle in. But Aseia was up for the challenge, and with music he’s been able to connect with people who he now calls his friends.
His new single “Trial and Error” is a powerful introduction— built over glitchy drums coupled with live instruments, it’s a heartfelt story told with thought provoking lyricism and a catchy chorus that instantly sticks and connects with listeners. Accompanied by a striking music video shot and directed by BVDLVD, the song is a marked evolution that has us all excited for what’s to come.
We managed to have a quick chat with the man himself, read our conversation below:
How are you doing Aseia?
At the moment I am happy, I’m making the music I love, surrounded by family and staying in touch with friends. That’s all I could ask for really.
Nice! You used to perform under your real name Jai, what made you rebrand?
The real truth is, my name is Hindi and one of the most common names in India and googling or searching my name on DSP’s results in famous Indian actors and Bollywood music so the rebrand was needed if I wanted to be easier to find.
Wow, that’s amazing.Is there a meaning behind your name Aseia?
The name has a meaning, it means seeker of knowledge, but coincidently I actually made the name up to give to a character of mine in a game and it just stuck since then. It felt original and still does so seems perfect.
You’re currently based in London, but grew up in South Africa. Whereabouts?
In South Africa I lived in Johannesburg for the whole time I was there, not too far from Sandton City.
What was life like down there?
It was so surreal, the extreme contrast between poor and wealthy is only really noticeable once you have left and realize the rest of the world isn’t like that. To have mansions with multiple cars and swimming pools one barbed wire fence away from the biggest slum in South Africa is something you kind of have to see to believe.
What do you miss the most about South Africa?
It would probably have to be the people, there is something about South Africa that makes people want the best. No one enjoys staying indoors or missing out on the fun, it’s like everyone is trying to live their best life and get the most out of each day and that leads to so many exciting experiences.
Love that energy.How are you finding London / the UK?
I love London with all my heart. I struggled here for a long time, having no money and being away from family so young really tested me, but now that I am stable and surrounded by family and friends, London is where I wanted to be, the pick and mix of cultures and ethnicities makes it so easy to find your people.
Let’s talk about music. What artists inspired you to do music?
In all honesty, I never really looked up to anyone until very recently. I would fall in love with certain artists and DJ’s but would grow to see how others are more in touch with what I want to do and focus on them. The most influential artists I have come to find would be Brevin Kim, Biv and Brakence. The raw emotion they put into their music is something I can’t fault in any way. Emotion is why I make music, I feel so deeply about what they say that it’s impossible to ignore their work.
What sort of music are you into?
Growing up I would listen to bands like Pierce the Veil and Bring Me The Horizon. Transitioning from that into dubstep and eventually into techno and deep house is where I began DJ’ing and really searching for music. Since then I have fallen in love with Anti-pop, Alternative and 140/Deep-Medi stuff, proper UK dub vibes.
That’s really interesting.How did you get started, you know, with releasing music?
I was studying production at University learning how to make beats and decided I wanted to start writing to them. After writing to a few I decided I wanted to make an album, from there it just snowballed, the rest is history.
You’ve just released your debut single “Trial and Error”, it’s amazing. What inspired you to write the song?
The song was inspired by a girl, my high school sweetheart. We had our moment and then parted ways for a variety of reasons, one being the distance. After rekindling years later I wanted to “try again”, hence the hook.
You gave your all on the song— passionate delivery throughout. This person must be really important to you. Do you plan on sending them the song?
Funnily enough I showed them already. The song was made 8 months ago and I showed them one night on a phone call.
How did they react to it?
Let’s just say I don’t think the feeling was reciprocated.
Damn.What’s next for Aseia? What can we expect from you this year?
This year you can expect me to make some noise. I have a release planned for every month of the year, 12 carefully picked from the 30 produced since Trial and Error was finished and it’s safe to say each and every one is going to hold its own for the foreseeable future. I have had a rocky start to this music gig but I am here to stay. I am excited to see what the future holds.