- Words Notion Staff
Sydney born artist Azure Ryder talks being engulfed by music, embarking on a new journey, and enlivening her dreamscapes.
Music has always been part of Azure Ryder’s existence. Surrounded by the sounds of Elvis and Sam Cooke from a young age, the artist is undertaking on her own musical evolution, thanks to a slew of successful EP releases. Receiving major airplay in Australian and over here in England, she’s sharing her vivid tales with the world and continues to satisfy the palette of tastemakers alike.
Influenced by everyone from Stevie Nicks and Carole King to Norah Jones and Phoebe Bridgers, Azure’s following a lineage of successful female singer-songwriters. Growing up in a small coastal town in Sydney, the Australia native uses her natural soundings to carve emotionally stirring storytelling. This multiplicity of inspiration adds a timeless, spiritual touch to her music which continues to reach acclaim.
“Angel” is Azure’s latest single, which sees her return with a notable confidence and a tone drowning in dreamy ambience. An ‘f-u’ to the generalised stereotype and power dynamic that men hold in positions of love, the track’s empowering nature comes from a place of emotional vulnerability. The pop-leaning indie rock will propel her to new heights, as 2023 remains a prosperous year for the vocalist.
To celebrate the single’s release, we spoke with Azure about being engulfed by music, embarking on a new journey, and enlivening her dreamscapes.
Congratulations on your brand-new single “Angel”! This release is shared as your first track following a year hiatus. What does this new release signify to you?
Thank you so much! It’s been a year long cross country, running back towards and into my own arms and I couldn’t feel happier to be home. This new release signifies me turning my fear into fire, embracing my voice whole heartedly and creating what I believe I was always meant to. I’m reintroducing myself and I can’t wait to meet everyone again in this new light.
It’s to my understanding this single is an empowering f-u to the generalised stereotype and romanticisation of the power-dynamic that men hold in positions of love. How do you articulate your feelings so fluently throughout your music?
Words to me are always number one, and as an artist you know that in telling your own story you are also telling the story of others. It’s incredibly important to me that I take care with their hearts, as I try to my own and the only way I can do this, the only way I can articulate these feelings is to share from the purest place of me. You need to be willing to be your most vulnerable, no matter how scary the emotion or taboo the topic.
This track was produced by Jules Apollinaire. What was it like to collaborate with Jules? What did the recording process entail?
My French wizard in arms, a heart as sweet as the teaspoon of sugar he adds to everything and the freest creative I have ever shared a room with. I am honestly so grateful that the universe crossed our paths when it did. I’d been completely lost when we first met and honestly on the verge of giving up, and writing with Jules, for the first time I felt seen again, I felt the height of joy that I’d forgotten existed in creating, and I felt someone who was willing to wade through forest fires with me to create from the place I had always wanted to. The recording process was about building a world with no boundaries, letting the song go where it told us, where it made us feel joy.
You’re only three years into your musical project. Officially dropping your debut single “Dizzy” in 2020, at what point did you realise you wanted to take the leap into songwriting and become an artist?
I knew I wanted to be in, around, and engulfed by music since I joined my primary school church choir at five years old. I then fell in love with words as I grew, how you can paint the most beautiful pictures out of the darkest moments. There’s a romance between the lyrics on paper and the melody that lifts it from the pages to take flight, it’s the perfect relationship, and forever will be the most important part of being an artist to me. Without the nurturing of this relationship, the song writing, the scars to art, the heart, I couldn’t exist as an artist.
I’m aware you’re embarking on a new musical journey and have described it as the closest you’ve ever felt to yourself. What sparked this rebirth and rebranding of your sound?
I feel as if I have been on this journey in the past few years, which all led me to realise I was holding my breath the entire time, constantly attempting to prove my worth, believing and trusting in someone else’s vision of myself rather than remember my own. I got to a point where I could see where I was heading and it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go or the artist I wanted to be. So, as terrifying as it was to jump off a train I’d been working on for a long time, I had to turn back. I am so grateful for the journey I have had so far.
What soundscape can we expect to hear during this new chapter? Are there any new themes or topics you’ll explore throughout your music too?
I’m in such giddy euphoria with the soundscapes or rather dreamscapes I have finally been able to see and feel outside of my mind. My voice is the same, I just know it better.
I read that your early musical touchpoints came from your family’s love of Elvis, Sam Cooke and gospel church music. With this rebirth, what musical influences are you taking an interest in at the moment?
I am finding the worlds of Mazzy Star and Velvet Underground very potent right now.
Throughout the last three years you have collaborated with a variety of established writers such as Isa Summers, Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway (to list a few). Are there any artists or songwriters you’d love to work with this year?
I was once told that it’s great to shoot for the stars, but you have to be realistic. Dreams only turn into reality if you shoot for them, so Stevie Nicks, you are my moon shot.
And lastly, what’s next for Azure with this amazing new musical chapter? A new album? A tour? Festival slots?
I am super excited to finally be working towards a larger body of work, I finally feel in the right place, surrounded by the people who will support me. The twin flame to the music is live shows and my biggest hopes and visions comes from connecting with as many people as possible, face to face, heart to heart, sparkle to sparkle!