In just a few years, singer-songwriter Aisha Badru has gone from living in a low-income neighborhood in Yonkers, NY to creating her own oasis in the outskirts of Orlando, FL, replete with two ponds and a food garden, fruit trees and butterflies, birds and bees. This transformation is nothing short of stunning, which Badru recounts ever-so-gorgeously on her latest EP ‘Transcendence’, out February 7th, a release that’s at turns intimate and inspiring.
At the heart of Transcendence lies 'Soil’s Daughter', a wispy hymn with earthy vocals, about our collective roots. “This is me reflecting on the world, and this huge disconnect between us as a people and us with the planet,” says Badru, who’s given herself over to a sustainable existence, which includes daily immersion in nature.
She continues, “At a time when our forests are disappearing, ecosystems are collapsing, and self-interested corporations are determining the well-being of the planet and its people, more than ever we need to harness our individual power to create change through understanding and collective action. I hope that ‘Soil’s Daughter’ will touch the forgotten place within us that knows that all life is connected. I believe that it won’t be until we begin to live in accordance with this truth that we will see true change in the world."
Badru wrote much of ‘Transcendence’ with a mix of intention and whimsy. Her explorations of nature sparked lyrics, which she’d then flesh out at home while strumming her guitar. This modest-yet-gutsy window into her soul is key to how she connects so meaningfully with her fans. It’s won her more than 16M Spotify followers, a fanbase spanning from America to Europe, and media praise (from outlets such as NPR, who praised her “warm and inviting” approached) that seem unanimously enchanted by her disarming, analog ways.
‘Transcendence’, like Badru’s previous works, is produced by the U.K.-based Chris Hutchison. They have never worked together in person (for all her organic ways, technology, specifically the Internet, has always played a pivotal part in her process), but have an intuitive musical bond. In the past, Hutchison built lush soundscapes around her stripped-down tunes, adding electronic-tinged elements to her indie folk sound. But for this EP, she says, “I knew I wanted it to be acoustic. I wanted it to be a bit more intimate, so my lyrics could really take center stage.“
Her debut album, ‘Pendulum’, captured her leaving her old life behind. ‘Road to Self’, the EP that followed it, chronicled how her journey began. And ‘Transcendence’ is the sound of Badru today, achieving an almost zen-like state of being. “I can look into the future but also create what the future is going to be, because I’m able to see everything I went through,” she says. “And in redesigning my life, I can influence the design of the world I wish to live in.”
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