AYN Lives by the Motto: “United with Others to Dance Live & Love”

AYN
Author : Meagen Surowieki
December 03, 2021

AYN Lives by the Motto: “United with Others to Dance Live & Love”

Officially beginning her professional career as a producer and DJ in 2017, AYN (aka Aya Nasif) has been working non-stop releasing music. Born and raised in the Middle East (Amman, Jordan), she incorporates her heritage within her music. Forming a unique style of sound in techno is a mix of deep, melodic, and electronic. Music has always been a passion, she would play at local parties and bars for fun. She has created her own path in the industry as she searches for seamless mixing techniques to blend her worlds into one. Her hard work as a professional helps her create authentic music strictly for the love of it. The techno DJ and producer talks about her goals as an artist, her new EP, and musical inspirations and on life. 

“The openness that I found in the world of electronic music is what got me into it – it provided me with a space to escape into a world of freedom where time stands still and nothing else matters. The simplicity of just being is what keeps me there. Before learning how to DJ, I learned how to produce. I could say I started production in early 2017, and I officially started DJing at the end of 2017.

When it comes to production, I started by spending a lot of my time learning about the different software out there, and experimenting with mixing sounds, rhythms, and synths to create short loops and extended flows – to translate what I’m hearing and feeling into music – a language that everyone understands.“

AYN always tries to inspire change through her music, the latest release is “NXT CHPTR”. It was made last year, during the lockdown. It’s a blend of dark and light techno that focuses on the concerns about society from a global standpoint. The EP consists of four tracks each moving and powerful in its own unique way. All of them express her heritage, featuring vocals from Yasmine D delivering a euphoric feel to every beat. The EP has gained popularity on the techno charts, hitting the number four spot on Beatport. Working hard comes with great rewards. 

“The New EP came to life in Jordan (the Middle East) in the midst of the pandemic. We felt the heaviness of the world, and there was no better way to express our feelings and thoughts than through music. Throughout the process, we realized it was about much more than the pandemic – it was about the ongoing injustices, inequality, discrimination, and lack of love that exist every day and our longing to portray a new chapter of hope, synergy, love, and light to the world through the “NXT CHPTR EP”. 

Her track “Global Warning” kicks off the EP with its dark trippy red alert warning style visual display creating a call to all ravers globally to come together. After all, amidst the darkness, there is always light within us all. The track is a prime example of how AYN tries to change the world through the power of her music. The music video is a mix of trippy kaleidoscope visuals matching every beat to its rhythm. 

Watch “Global Warning”  – AYN Feat. Yasmine D (Official Music Video) 

“From a production standpoint, the project started off from a space of raw experimentation – I created simple beats using midi controllers and synthesizers to sketch out the structure and layout. As the music flowed, Yasmine D. and I dove into finding the words and vocal melodies that best expressed the messages we wanted to convey throughout the EP, a musically balanced sphere of “darkness” and “light”. I followed a multi-layered approach while developing the final mixes, weaving in Yasmine D.’s raw spacy and enchanting vocals with progressively liberating musical elements to transport audiences to higher frequencies of sound – a melting pot of deep heavy techno beats, synths, melodic loops, and vocal escapes.”

Listen to NXT CHPTR EP – AYN Feat. Yasmine D 

Constantly releasing new music and performing at different clubs locally and globally, each set from AYN takes dancers and listeners on a memorable journey. “I admire and I’m inspired by such as Nina Kraviz, Nicole Moudaber, Fatima Hajji, Amelie Lens, Carl Cox, and many more”. There are many ways that inspire AYN with creativity, she always strives to make an impact to better the scene for everyone no matter where the person may come from. 

“I want to change the world through music – I live by the motto “united with others to dance live and love”.  I want to empower audiences through musical journeys, whether through my productions or while DJing, helping listeners escape even if it’s just for an hour into a world of love and uplifting energy, a space of no judgment and no boundaries. Being able to make people feel alive, feel hopeful, and empowered – just like I do when I listen to music – is something I want to achieve through my music”. 

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There are some artists that are in it for fortune and fame. AYN isn’t afraid to express her heritage roots with confidence as she incorporates her Arabic roots within her music. It’s rare to see artists generate their background roots into their music. AYN was always proud of her culture and roots, from the beginning of her career she decided to make the choice of her style of sound. “The general umbrella my music style falls under is “electronic music” – masked by “Techno”, defined by feel good, soul, nostalgia, progression, dance, groove, and heartfelt beats. My Arabic Roots make subtle yet present appearances rhythmically and sonically, while my love for deep, techno, and acid baselines trigger my melodic choices. Rawness and emotion are what mainly influences my musical style”.  She continues, about the cultural roots and how it all worked out for the best. 

“Our environments and cultural roots play a key role in shaping us as both humans, and subsequently as artists. Being influenced by my Arabic roots is something inevitable in my opinion. Guided by my curiosity to continuously discover the universality of sound and its endless dimensions – I approach both production and mixing from a space of progressive openness. A space where the innate Arabic vigorous rhythms meet dreamy synths and melodic sequences to create a musical journey, a “state of mind” on the dance floors – music that breaks through all our barriers and unites us regardless of where we come from. 

Watch Away To: The Warehouse with AYN

There are many luxuries that come along with being a DJ and many challenges. Her favorite thing about being an artist “is being able to express myself through music, and specifically through techno, and bringing people together on one dance floor, despite their differences off the dance floor. Being able to share my thoughts and feelings freely in a space of no judgment, with anyone regardless of who they are or where they come from. The hardest part about being an artist in my opinion is sustainability in a continuously evolving industry where perspective plays a big role in the likeability of your product”. 

AYN

Taken by Karl Sfeir – from my set with Late Knights “Away To: The Warehouse with AYN” (Factory People x Creative State)

Working in an industry that is still male-dominated can be difficult and challenging. The dance music industry is no different, both for artists and people in general. Although the industry has made improvements with seeing more female artists on lineups however it’s not enough. Women in the industry support one another which is a good thing to see. The industry is constantly growing and expanding. Which will be more difficult for both male and female artists to stand out from the rest.  “While the electronic music industry is still male-dominated, especially Techno, gender isn’t what stops someone from being great at what they do. I believe in hard work, passion, and determination three things that would allow anyone, regardless of gender, to achieve their dreams. Do we need to work harder? Yes regardless of whether you’re male or female, in an ever-growing industry that’s highly competitive with an unfairly allocated opportunity-based system – we all need to put in the hard work. Looking at big festival lineups, you definitely see a higher % of male acts vs. female acts, but I do believe the world is changing, towards a more inclusive system when it comes to including female talent”. 

“I will forever be thankful for the Arab women who have paved the way before me – proving that gender is not what limits us from achieving, despite the obstacles that stand in our way. To name one of these incredible women: the Electronic Power House and Queen Nicole Moudaber (from Lebanon)”. 

AYN is open to collaborations, her choices in artists were a bit shocking however they are some of the biggest pioneers in dance music and will remain legends. “It’s tough to point out just one dream collaboration to be honest because there’s so much talent out there, and so many great artists with who I would love to collaborate. But if I were to choose today, I’d say it’d be an honor to collaborate with Tiesto and Deadmau5 at the same time”.

Everyone has goals, it’s in nature whether it’s small or big they can easily defeat the person if it’s not reached. In other cases, there are people who don’t set goals at all. That’s why goals are tricky, people fear failing or they strive to become the best that they can be. AYN just recently completed one of her main goals with her new EP. “When I set a goal for myself, I usually accompany it with hard work, and – I say this from experience – no goal can be achieved or can last without it. It is also important to set your short-term vs. long-term goals in order for the bigger goals not to seem not so far-fetched. The goals I set out in my artistic journey revolve around my evolution as an artist and my growth as a human being”. 

I am glad to say that I am witnessing my goals come to life, bit by bit, through the successes I have achieved thus far. Recently with my New EP “NXT CHPTR – Feat. Yasmine D.” peaking at #4 in the Top 100 Techno Peak Time / Driving Beatport Charts within the first weeks of release. Independently releasing the New EP with my manager Yasmine D., and a team of very talented people was not an easy goal to set – but we had a vision, we set a strategy, and we’ve been working hard towards it.

Slowly but surely this hard work is paying off. I was recently featured on the “What She Said” Series with Mixmag representing females from the region in the electronic music world. Getting to where I’m at today with my musical career in just a little under 4 years is something I’m proud of, to say the least”. 

The future looks bright for AYN. There are a few different projects she has in the works. A new platform is in the works, it encourages diversity and unity through music.  She expects to tour and travel more to access more inspirations in her musical journey. Next year will be even bigger for the talented artist as she launches the biggest project of her DJ career. 

“There’s definitely new music coming soon, and more collaborations with Yasmine D. – as this is just the start of a long musical journey to come. Maybe even a live act, AYN Feat. Yasmine D.? You never know what the future holds musically, but what I know is, I’ll never stop pouring my heart and soul into music.

We’re planning a European tour for AYN in 2022, fingers crossed the world doesn’t lockdown again. The plan is to visit new cities, play for new audiences, and share my music with the world! In parallel, Yasmine D. and I have been working behind the scenes on E.T.M. – “Escape Through Music” – a musical platform we’re launching that encourages diversity, unity, and freedom through musical pop-up experiences. We soft-launched with a Live DJ Set filmed by the sea in Lebanon “Escape Through Music with AYN”. Stay tuned for more to come from E.T.M. and keep an eye out for upcoming pop-up events coming very soon to the Middle East, in partnership with one of the world’s leading music platforms”. 

Watch “Escape Through Music with AYN”

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