- Bridney C.
R&B Singer Azai on the Idea of Music as Interconnectedness
The Tampa-based R&B singer Discusses His New Single "Recalibrate," His Clothing Line, & Learning the Fundamentals of Marketing
By Bridney C.
R&B singer Azai is an independent artist from Tampa, Florida who's reflective, insightful, and personal lyrics along with his delivery have been generating a buzz. As a result, the sudden boost of popularity is all in thanks to his new single, Recalibrate.
Describing his song as "Afrobeat meets R&B and Pop," Recalibrate is a fun and flirty song that was created with the intent of being played at parties for people to dance to. Engineered by JNotez, it was released on February 26th and received positive feedback from fans living as far out as Dubai.
The 30-year-old first heard music in his home and recalls his grandfather, a salsa singer, performing with his band in live shows. As a child, Azai grew up singing the school choirs and dabbled in playing the piano.
He also is a self-taught dancer who would freestyle his moves at school dances. He prefers to dance in the styles of modern and Hip-Hop.
"I realized I was an artist when I was around maybe six to eight years of age. When I saw Micheal Jackson's Thriller video, I taught myself how to dance and music was an instant passion," says Azai.
The New Jersey-born singer grew up in a household where music was always played. He considers his music to fall in numerous genres, from Pop to Hip-Hop to R&B. His musical sound is inspired by artists, 6lack, The Weeknd, and Russ - citing the latter as his favorite artist of this generation.
His favorite songs he has released so far are Down 4 Me, This Bed, and Fractured, with the latter being inspired by a painful period in his life he says was thankful to have recorded.
Azai records in his at-home studio everyday and considers himself to be a full-time artist and entrepreneur. He has recently released limited edition baseball caps, the first of his upcoming fashion line that will include other clothes and accessories.
Depending on how popular sales are for the baseball caps, Azai plans to sell more hats of various colors and styles. A lover of all things fashion, Azai says the clothing line is a reflection of his personal style and what he enjoys wearing.
"I have gone back and forth on taking music serious before, but I would always stop myself due to various reasons. Mainly, it was my own mind struggling with self doubt," says Azai.
At the age of 28, he decided to take music seriously and invested money into building his home studio. Not wanting to live life with regrets, he did research on how to rebrand himself as an artist and realized creating music was his ultimate purpose in life.
Azai is a part-time student, enrolled in online marketing classes to study the art of songwriting and recording techniques. He has also learned different ways on how to market himself and how to grab the listener's ear during the recording process.
His biggest challenge as a singer has always been to not allow anxiety and depression from dissuading him and his drive to be a successful artist. He reminds himself that music is a form of expression, it's opinion-based, and not all listeners are going to like what is created and released.
By meditating and writing positive affirmations in his daily journals that help combat negative thoughts and fuel with his creative process - something Azai recommends all creatives do throughout the day. He is currently in the process of working on a few songs, including releasing a series of new singles every Friday, and collaborating with other independent artists.
"Singing allows me the freedom to express how I feel, whether it's a sad, happy, love, joyful feeling. It is like giving a part of your soul when you sing as well as relating to those who are listening."
Listen to Azai sing a preview of his brand new song, Stuck. Let us know what you think!
To hear and see more from Azai, be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can stream his music on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.