#PopularPlay: Ayelle & ford.
Jul 19, 2020
When two young souls got together to make music, the result is more than interesting, it’s compelling.
The song “Hold On” fruit of the partnership between the producer ford. and Swedish-Iranian singer Ayelle is an enchanting track that melds elements of modern R&B with introspective electronica. The combination of Ayelle’s sensual – and at the same time angelic – voice along with ford’s knowledge beyond the booth resulted in this summer hit.
Fun fact: This is not the first time they collaborated. The song “The Unknown” is another track that merged the talent of these two artists, in 2018. So that quote ” The second time is even better”? Well, we couldn’t agree more!
1. First of all, congratulations on “Hold On”. The song is incredible and we already heard a hundred times! Can you tell us the backstory of the song?
ford.: Thank you very much! Yeah, I made the beat pretty recently after I had moved to the U.S. after graduating high school and putting out my first project with FFC. Most of my collaborations up to now have been done via exchanging ideas over text/email. The last song we did together was done this way and I feel like it allows us to connect through the music but still have the privacy to get in our own headspace and get things done without the stress that might come from a studio environment.
Ayelle: Thank you! I believe ford. made the beat in his bedroom and I also wrote and recorded the vocal in my bedroom, so it’s a classic bedroom collab.
2. How were the creation and production process?
f: Shortly after I had settled into my new place, I was really lucky to be sent a new midi keyboard by the FFC label as a sort of welcoming gift. I had never owned a proper keyboard like this so I remember being super stoked to start making use of it and integrating it into my music-making process. The beat that ended up becoming “Hold On” was one of the first things I made using that keyboard.
A: When I first heard the beat, I was going through a breakup and had a lot of emotions to sort through and this prod became the perfect canvas for it.
3. This is the second time you are working together. The first was in 2018 in the song “The Unknown”. Do you think you have undergone many transformations from 2018 to now? Did something different arise in this collab that hadn’t come before?
f: I think that we are both definitely in many different places in our musical careers now, in a good sense. I think that while we both might have a lot more on our plates and have evolved in the way we approach writing music, it was nice to be able to keep the writing process consistent because it felt like it gave us both the chance to connect with the music in our own way, in our respective locations.
A: I think a lot of things have definitely changed for both of us since then. For one, I haven’t been writing and recording from my bedroom as much haha so working on this felt like a kind of throwback to those times. It’s nice to be able to sort through your feelings in complete privacy sometimes though. While it becomes somewhat of an oxymoron as you know you’re intending for lots of people to hear it when I write I try not to think about that so I can be as brutally honest as possible.
4. Ayelle, you are a Swedish-Iranian singer based in NYC. How having all these different cultures in your blood and life influences your art and your creative process?
I’m definitely a product of all of those influences, in a multitude of ways that I don’t really think about but I think becomes somewhat apparent in the way I like to genre blend and pivot between different styles. I love experimenting, traveling, and working with lots of different producers. I crave fresh blood in a sense, haha, it stimulates me and brings out different influences in me.
5. ford., you were nominated for the 2020 Grammy for your remix work on “SWIM”. How was the feeling to participate in the biggest music awards in the world?
I mean it was kind of a surreal moment within a surreal moment, you know? The morning of the Grammy’s tragically turned out to be the morning Kobe passed away. So being at the Staples Center where he quite literally made his career was crazy to think about. It was an amazing and unique experience to be in there with everyone and feel that energy as they paid tribute. Definitely a lot to take in but most certainly an experience I won’t forget. Was very lucky to be in the presence of so many people that have inspired me.
6. What changed in your life after the Grammy?
Not much haha. I mean you get the occasional joke here and there when I meet someone new but honestly never want to feel like an award/nomination like that changes the way I think about writing music.
7. For both of you: An artist you would die to work with?
f: Too many to pick from but would be a good time working on something with Mura Masa or Toro Y Moi. Been heavily influenced by their music for a long time.
A: I grew up adoring Beyonce so I think she’s always gonna take the number one spot on that wish list.
8. Do you guys have any upcoming projects together? And individual?
f: Always got some fun stuff in the works but don’t want to give anything away, just spoils the fun ;^)
A: I’m planning my next moves at the moment, and just writing lots and lots of new music, we’ll see what happens!
Well, we are excited for your new projects!
Don’t forget to listen to “Hold On” and to follow ford. and Ayelle on social media.