Aziza Love Grooves to a New Beat

Hard lessons from the pandemic became fodder for a new album and a promising future in the L.A. music scene.
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For R&B singer Aziza Love, hard lessons learned from the pandemic became fodder for her new album, God Enough, and a promising future in the L.A. music scene.

Photograph by Chevonne Neal

Tell us about the journey that got you to where you are today. Have you always been an artist?

I have always been an artist, according to my mother, who’s one of the most, if not the most important person in the world to me. She would say that I started singing fresh out the womb. I came out and I would hum myself to sleep. That kind of transpired into her having [my sister and I] in youth choirs in school. When I was in sixth grade, I picked up the flute and started studying, which carried me into middle school, high school, and college. I got my first guitar when I was around 8 and just really fell in love with music. My mom was in choirs and always had music playing. I was in theater, as well, pretty young, and that kind of got me acclimated to the stage, along with being in school choirs. I just always leaned toward showcasing what made me happy—what made me dance, what made me sing.

I’ve always created and loved creating. It wasn’t until I turned 16 that I decided that I wanted to share, specifically, my guitar-playing with the world. I started recording myself playing guitar and singing songs. I taught myself everything I know on guitar. Of course, I’ve had the blessing of YouTube tutorials and research of my own. But [it’s the] same deal with flute. I never had a formal coach. Same deal with piano.

I remember a moment where I just looked up spaces in the city where they had live performances and live music. I literally printed out a list of a ton of these live music venues in the city and I just started calling them and seeing how I could perform. And it was kind of like, I don’t know. I don’t know if I really thought that I was good enough. But I just started doing it.

What’s the best part about what you do?

It’s really important to me that people have a moment of just pure being. Think of your favorite concert, think of your favorite artists, whenever you listen to your favorite songs. When you’re listening, there’s not much else that matters but that moment—but that music, that lyric, your favorite part of the song.

What I get to do is create something based off my experience or how I’ve translated another’s experience. And it gives people the opportunity to just observe, to just be with the art, be with the song, be with the colors, be with the film, the music, video, whatever it is. Especially live performance. People just get to have fun, to be free of concern and be free of worry, be free of fear and surrounded by love. I think that’s what I’m here to do. That, and to show people, Yo, you can do it too.

For about two and a half years, I was homeless and couch-hopping. This was after a really tough year in my personal life and my business life that led me to move out of Cincinnati. I moved to D.C. for a little while, then I moved to New York for a little while. And at the top of 2020, that’s when everything changed. When coronavirus started spreading, I lost a lot of my income. All of my income, really, because I’ve been a full-time creative for nine years.

When everything was shutting down, I had no idea what to do. So I moved back to Cincinnati as I was coming into town for a show. But as soon as I touched down, everything was canceled. I ended up staying for another year and a half in Cincy, couch-hopping. It was just not an OK time for a lot of people. Music and art really held me together. I ended up building my platform on social media and connected with some really amazing people in the film industry and in the music industry. That granted me a lot of really amazing opportunities. I don’t mean like, oh, there’s so much money flowing in, because that’s what people kind of think when you say, Oh, I got all these opportunities. But sometimes opportunity is just somebody sitting and listening to what your vision is.

How do you lift up and empower other women pursuing careers in the arts?

I’m very grateful to now say that I have a collective that I’m a part of—fantastic women who are passionate and creative, and really motivating [and] inspiring. My project that I just released, God Enough, is a mixtape that I’ve been working on. It’s by far, sonically, the best project that I’ve ever released. And it’s because I have this amazing collective and an amazing mentor.

How do you protect your energy?

I spend a lot of time within. And by that, I mean, I spend time meditating. I spend time moving my body. I don’t really go out much. One, because my energy is very valuable. And I think we all have very valuable energy. It depends on how we’re investing that energy. And I have taken on the responsibility to invest my energy in a way that impacts mass masses of people. And I need to be healthy on the inside and out in order for that energy to really reach in the ways that I want it to reach. So I’m actually currently on a month-long fast. I already don’t eat meat. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be on an all raw diet. And then a week after that, it will be all juices; a week after that, just water. And I do that because I want this physical vessel to embody the greatness that is within me—that’s within all of us.

What projects can we look forward to seeing soon?

I’m really excited about [God Enough] because I feel like it’s one of those projects that in 20 years, people are going to look back at and say, Wow, this was quite a time in the world. The sounds, the quality, the story, the words—I think they all really matter. To me, it’s so much more than music. It’s about giving out and receiving love, it’s about my gifts, it’s about others gifts and how we use them.

So with this mixtape, it’s kind of like the precursor to other dope shit. I’m working on releasing another mixtape next month, and just kind of gearing up for the album, because my next album is going to be out of this world.

And I’m grateful to now have a step into the industry. My mentor is Kerry “Krucial” Brothers. And he is a phenomenal human being—a phenomenal father figure [and] brother to me. And he has been a part of timeless music. He and Alicia Keys created her first four albums together. He is on the production part of the engineering and a part of the writing for those projects. And it is a blessing to be working with him right now and to be building and growing, and creating timeless art, as he has done time and time again.

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