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Exclusive interview: UK bass queen Ayah Marar chats to The River

By River Reporter Nov 2, 2012

She’s been dubbed the ‘UK bass queen’ and collaborated with DJ Fresh, Calvin Harris and Toddla T, but Ayah Marar has now gone solo with her outstanding debut album The Real. Hannah Crompton caught up with the singer to find out a bit more about her promising career… 
Ayah has wowed crowds at Brixton Academy three times this year, which she called a “triple hit of amazing-ness”, and has a two week tour lined up with Belgian drum and bass producer Netsky this month.
Working with DJ Fresh
Describing her sound as “big, bad and bassy, with an added touch of sing-a-long lyrics”, it’s no surprise that her talent has been noticed. 
Daniel Stein, AKA DJ Fresh, featured Ayah on his single The Edge, which is on his latest album Nextlevelism.
However, it wasn’t the first time the pair had met. 
“I’ve known Dan a very long time; we have been on the DNB scene together for years. He is talented, meticulous and pays great attention to detail.  [He’s] a perfectionist,” Ayah said.
Although she’s focusing on her debut LP, Ayah would love to work with Sly & Robbie, Robyn, Rack ‘N’ Ruin and Frank Ocean. “I’m always up for a good collaboration,” she said.
Ayah said her current single Unstoppable is about “Rising to the challenge in the face of adversity, which sometimes can be as simple as getting yourself out of bed in the morning”. Clash Music has called it a “slick production matched by an effortless vocal”.
Ayah’s independent record label
Ayah took a risk when she started and signed up to her own record label, Hussle Girl, along with the help from her manager Ali Fletcher. She explained the reason for her decision and said:“[It was] to build something from the ground up, just the way we wanted to, with all the people we wanted, and I bless my stars we did it this way.  It’s very hard work, and a true labour of love, but it’s all ours.”
So what’s her debut album about?
So what’s The Real really about? “Honestly? Just people, situations and everyday life…ups and downs, love, hate, work and friendship.
“It’s essentially a sensationalised autobiography,” Ayah explained.
However, according to Ayah, it isn’t early days to start thinking about her second album. “I want to get in as soon as the start of 2013 and it will be a bit more experimental this time,” she said. 
What The River readers should know…
Ayah’s message to The River readers is that we should support independent music and take control of what we want to listen to.
“We’re in this together, it’s all about making it a place we all want to be,” Ayah said.
The Real is available now to download from iTunes or buy from Amazon and her second single The Raver will be out at the end of the month.
Ayah Marar is one to watch and definitely a credit to the UK drum and bass scene.
You can check out Ayah’s Twitter @ayahmarar and her official website

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