A career that began life with her debut single 'Wish I Was' (which was the 14th most played song and highest played female artist on triple j in 2014) almost a decade ago, alt-pop artist AYLA is finding her creative freedom.
Her current single is 'Ride Along', an upbeat, fresh, energised pop song that's like a mash-up between Portugal, The Man, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa.
With Sam Cromack (Ball Park Music) and Sam Thomlison (Oh My My, Bad Pony) on producer duties for 'Ride Along', the track finds AYLA embracing her own commitment to pursue any creative desires no matter the opinions of others around her.
"'Ride Along' is about not sitting back and being walked over anymore – not just going along with what people expect of you, but taking a stand and making things happen for yourself, and in your own way.
"I think a lot of people expect life has to go a certain way – get a job, get married, have kids etc. – but I think we can do things in whichever order we want, as well as leave behind or add in anything that might have once seemed unconventional.
"It's also easy to get stuck in a cycle of doing what other people expect of you. I think I've especially found that with my music career, as it is a different kind of path to take, so I didn't really have any set guidelines and found myself leaning too heavily on what others thought I should do.
"I feel like this song and project marks the start of a new era where I'm doing what I want to do with my music."
With the recent signing to Italian label Ego Music, AYLA is also working towards the release of her debut album that will also feature 'Ride Along'.
"[The album has] been on a bit of a hold with the producer (Sam Thomlinson) living in Sydney, and my preference for working together in the room.
"We're booked in to get together again in December though, to finish off the last few songs on the album."'Ride Along' feels like the beginning of a new chapter for you, creatively; how does it feel to have this single out in the world?
'Ride Along' is definitely a bit of a different direction, but I also feel that it sits in well with the new collection of songs as a whole.
It's very exciting to have it released now for people to get their ears around, and I can't wait to put the next few releases out as well, so it can all come together.
How would you say this song represents you personally, but also in terms of your artistry as it is right now?
This song is a reminder to myself that you don't have to fit into the mould imposed on you; by society, other people, and the expectations you put on yourself.
'Ride Along' is a bit of a different sound when listened to by itself, but my team and I worked on getting it to where it is and feel that, as well as having its own moment, it also sits well alongside the other tracks.There has always been a sense of vibrancy and intimacy featured throughout your music; do you find that your approach to songwriting has changed in recent years?
In the past few years, I have been doing a lot more co-writing, mostly with producers who work on the tracks while I do topline. A release from last year 'Go Slow' was that producer-topline setup with Peking Duk's Reuben Styles.
'Ride Along' was written by me, on my guitar at home. I still write a lot this way as well, and don't think I'll ever stop writing like that, though I have been enjoying the co-writing as well.Your signing with international label EGO is super exciting; can you tell us a bit about how this venture first started?
The first contact I had with EGO was when I released my very first single 'Wish I Was'. EGO picked it up and ended up making a remix EP of the track.
The remixes of 'Wish I Was' are still some of my most streamed songs on Spotify and I'm beyond grateful for working with EGO.How has the experience affected your process so far: tell us about the sorts of collaborators you've been put in touch with as a result?
Being from the European market, EGO have a focus on remixes. It's been really interesting being able to work with a bunch of different remix artists who've re-worked the track.
There's already one that's been released by Super-Hi and there are actually a few more different remixes in the works for 'Ride Along'. Each remix has its own flavour and it's really exciting to hear what the producers each bring to the track.What is the first part of 2022 looking like for you – what's driving you, with the notion of a brand new year just ahead?
Starting off with a couple of local shows as the launching pad for the year, I'm so happy to be able to play live again. It will be great to play 'Ride Along' live with a band. I'm also very keen to release a couple more songs in the first half of 2022.What's exciting you about creating new content and music, now that 'Ride Along' can potentially be that jump-off point for newcomers in discovering AYLA?
At the moment, I've got the most songs in the works that I've ever had before, and it's so exciting to have it all coming together.
It's amazing to have 'Ride Along' featured on some great playlists, and you always hope for the best with new listeners. I'm so grateful for every new listen as well as everyone who's been there for the long haul.
In the end, it's so fun and magical to be able to create music with people. I love doing it, and I can't wait to release some more.