- Words Ben Broyd
- Photography Katie Burdon
- Production Studio Notion
Yorkshire-born, superstar-bound Aeries Roves spoke to Notion about the art of loving what you do, his musical influences growing up, touring with Billie Eilish and Finneas, and what the future has in store.
Born from humble beginnings, Aeris Roves is an artist that is slowly but surely turning on the heat as he modestly goes about his work in sensational fashion. But with that being said, do not confuse his modesty for complacency because the South Yorkshire-born singer-songwriter is firing his way to the very top as he firmly places himself in pole position as the future focal point of UK R&B.
Aeris Roves’ Latin translation relays the messages of atmosphere and travels, two elements that become evident when you listen to his music as he intricately fuses elements of soul, gospel, hip-hop and R&B into his incredibly unique sound. As a child, Aeris would sing in local choirs and teach himself guitar during any bit of free time he would get after school, meanwhile throughout his formative years he sustained this incredible kind of commitment to the music game, a dedication that has seen him established as one of the most promising artists in the UK right now.
Each living moment Aeris Roves sees as an opportunity to continue fine-tuning his trade. His single ‘Delilah’ premiered on the iconic Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show, whilst also recently supporting the likes of Billie Eilish, Grace Carter and Omar Apollo on major tours. Meanwhile, the rising star has also drawn comparisons to the greats in Frank Ocean and Prince, the clearest implication yet that Aeris Roves is destined for greatness.
Notion spoke to Aeris Roves about his musical influences growing up, the importance of sustaining a focused mindset, and his sensational support slots with some of the biggest artists in the world.
So, there’s quite an interesting story behind the name Aeris Roves. Can you explain how it came about?
I kind of thought about how I wanted to communicate my music and what it meant to me and how I felt when I was making music, and it was more so just I liked the atmosphere I felt when I listened to music. Latin for the atmosphere is Aeris, so that’s kind of like the route of atmosphere, I wanted it to be the root of the atmosphere, and then Roves just means to travel, and I listened to music a lot when I’m travelling, or I used to listen to music a lot when I was travelling, I still do. I just thought to combine the two and see if it worked, and yeah, that’s how we got it.
And your sound has previously been compared to the likes of sort of Prince and Frank Ocean. How much does it mean to you that the music you’re creating draws these kinds of comparisons?
I can’t lie, it is quite a bit of pressure. I feel like we’ve got quite a bit of a way to go to, with these guys, you might never reach that level, but I feel like there’s definitely a bit of a way to go. The comparisons are welcome, it shows that people appreciate what I’m putting out, which is always good news. It is nice, but like I said, these guys are two greats, and if I ever get to that level, I’ll be so grateful.
Of course, I hear that. And so, I read that growing up you sang in local choirs and you taught yourself guitar, how influential were these musical experiences during essentially what were your formative years?
Well, they were crucial, I guess, because it was where I kind of became synonymous with music. It made it easy for me to make that transition to being my full-time job because I’ve kind of always identified myself alongside music and performing and writing, and I don’t think it would have been as seamless if it hadn’t been a part of my life from when I was young. I’ve bumped into a lot of people in the industry that haven’t really had much experience when it comes to performing or composing or things like that, so I think it’s definitely helped. And again, it’s something that I’m grateful for because when I was doing it, it was because I enjoyed it, I wasn’t doing it with anything in mind I just did it because it was something that I loved to do in my spare time, and obviously, the skills I’ve picked up along the way have come in pretty handy now.
Is that still the case? Are you still loving what you’re doing?
Do you know what, even with all the hardship recently, you know in terms of like COVID and cancellations, every time I sit and write, there’s still nothing that brings the same level of joy. I love my job, and I’m so grateful to be able to say that.
Of course, and you experienced a huge rise after your first live show, signing a publishing deal six months after, did you have a feeling after that show, did you know what was going to happen after that show?
I think it was the Billie Eilish show that was what kicked the whole thing off, and we’d been in talks prior to that to sign and I think my label at the time kind of knew that it would probably do something, and I think they wanted to get things tied up, understandably, before it all kicked off. So, prior to going into the show, I kind of knew something would happen.
And how was that? Because obviously, she’s arguably one of the biggest artists in the world right now. What was it like?
I’d performed live before, but never really in a solo capacity to that extent. And for me, it was it was just interesting to see how devoted her fanbase was, that was the thing that struck me first, her fans were wild, I’ve never really seen anything like her fans. I was just like, okay, so this is a possibility, obviously, it takes great music and a lot more to get to that stage, but it was like ‘Oh, so this is what it could come to’ and in hindsight, it’s even more crazy to me, because look where she’s gone on to, and that was kind of where it started. So, I’ve kind of been lucky enough to see it from the start, to where she is now. And it’s a pretty wild ride, even though I’m not the one that’s on it.
Has it acted as extra motivation for you, because you’ve seen the process now, you know how it can happen?
Absolutely yeah, it’s one of those things I haven’t seen it completely first-hand, but I’ve kind of been there at the start and seeing how it’s moved on, I’ve always been of the disposition that if they can do it, I can do it anyway, but then being able to see it from the inside, it just kind feels like I can definitely do that no matter how long it takes. But, you know she’s great and so is her team, so is her brother, and it’s one of those things where whatever it is that you need to be able to get to that level, they just have it in abundance, and it’s clear, and it was clear from the shows that if I have it, if I haven’t got it, if I haven’t found it, I’m just gonna keep working until I can get to a place where I can say I’m proud of where I got to, I guess.
That’s so great to hear. Moving on, what artist would you like to support you on a future headline tour?
Support me? I haven’t really thought about that. If anything, I’m looking at who I’d want to support.
I know, that’s kind of a big question. Who are you feeling at the moment?
If I’m being honest with you, I’m not really listening to that much at the moment. So, do you know who I have been listening to, I’ve been listening to a lot of Berwyn recently, one person I really get behind is Berwyn, and interestingly, somebody else I was into is MK.gee. When I played pitchfork in Paris in November 2019, he was on just before I was on, and he had this one song, and it was a banger. I remember I was on the way home and I just had it on repeat. He’s now doing a lot of the new Dijon stuff, he’s also got credits on CLB with Drake. So, there’s a few there’s a few people at the moment, but I haven’t been listening to too much.
And so, going back to your music, there was a two-year break between your last single to releasing ‘Cairo’. How were you feeling when you released it?
I wouldn’t say anxious, I was just kind of curious to see how people would react. It’s always quite daunting in the best of times, but when it’s been a second, yeah, it was a little bit daunting, but people seemed to react quite well.
What was the reaction to the release?
Everybody was kind of just relieved I was back, lots of well wishes, lots of people saying they were happy to get to listen again. Yeah, for me it was a positive experience, you know I was glad I was back in people’s ears and able to connect again because there almost felt like a bit of a disconnect when I’m not releasing, but hopefully we can keep pushing forward with more releases and keep connecting.
Nice man, and so I read you used lockdown to return to the studio and really get into a new body of work during that time, did you find a lockdown sort of enhanced your creativity?
It gave me space to think because there was no pressure, there wasn’t the pressure of releasing, there wasn’t the pressure of shows, so it was kind of like okay, well I’ve got a period of time now that I wouldn’t normally have where I can really just kind of block everything else out and kind of just go fully onto the creative process. So yeah, it kind of gave that little bit of a push because there wasn’t really much else to do but to sit and focus and think, so it definitely gave me a bit of a push.
And you have news of a London live date coming up, is that right?
Possibly, it’s not set in stone but there is forming ideas of a show which would be great if it comes through, I’m at my best when I’m when I’m playing live that’s how I feel, I’m not sure if that’s how it comes across, but that’s how I feel.
And so, 2021 has obviously been an incredible year for you, how are you planning on spending the festive period, are you shutting down for now?
Well, I’m always working so I’ll probably be working and then Christmas Day and Boxing day I’ll go see my family and then the day after Boxing Day I’ll be back at it again just trying to get things sorted. We’re back to releasing so I just want to keep the momentum going and make sure I’m never caught in a place where I have nothing to release, which is not the case right now, but I just want to as I love what I do, so anytime I get where I can be working, I’ll probably be working.
But like you say because you love your job it never really feels like work, right?
It never feels like work. Literally anytime I get where I can be sat working, that’s probably what I’ll be doing.
And what can we expect from you and heading into 2022?
Well, I reckon a couple more releases and then it’s one of those things where what happens with restrict evictions you know the whole COVID situation depends what happens with that because obviously there could be more lockdowns, and you need to take in to account health and safety and well-being, but I guess it depends what happens. If everything goes well then hopefully do some more releases, some live shows and keeping on the trajectory that we’re on at the moment, that’s what I’m hoping happens.