ShareTu caught up with singer Aaron Soul (Anyia) and Antony James England to discuss their new single, “Starlight”.
You may remember Aaron’s big hit “Ring, Ring, Ring” which featured in the “Bridget Jones’s Diary” Soundtrack back in 2001.
Hi Aaron, it’s great to meet you. What inspired you to write this new single?
Aaron: Having started out selling CD’s to fans on the streets (more than 10 years ago now), I noticed the sheer amount of young homeless people that lined the streets surrounding me. I kept thinking that they shouldn’t even be there at all. That is why I decided to set the music video in the German Christmas market with everyone rushing by those left on the streets.
It’s a very spiritual song to both me and Antony. My Aunty died last Christmas Eve so the song is dedicated to her and my Sister who passed away recently.
It brings home the true meaning of Christmas being about family and those special memories, not the presents.
What have you been up to since your big hit “Ring, Ring, Ring”?
Aaron: I now own two hair salons in Southampton and I’m a hairdresser.
I am also under Def Soul UK’s label who work alongside Universal. Plus, I work alongside Band Four who have just released their second EP. Their last track went to number three in the iTunes dance charts.
Plus, I’m looking after my six kids too, so that always keeps me busy!
Have you always been interested in music?
Aaron: I’ve been actively involved in the music industry for more than a decade now, although when I was younger I wanted to play basketball professionally. I had trials with Southampton City and had trials for Hampshire, then that was when I couldn’t decide between sport and music.
I then went back to London from Southampton and got four different jobs and whilst working at one I suddenly heard my mate Craig David on the radio. After that, I decided to head back to Southampton, quit my job and told my mum I was coming home.
I saw Craig David back home and asked to join him but he turned me down and I was devastated. It turns out he turned me down so I could get my own awesome deal instead, separately!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Aaron: Follow your dreams, don’t be too hard on yourself but be hard enough. And sometimes even though you may not think so it’s very beneficial to listen to elders if you don’t understand at the time.
Is your new single the same kind of genre as before?
Aaron: I have an album coming out later this year and I have changed the genre of music which I produce now. Previously, I was focused on grime and house I like it and grew up on it but that isn’t where my heart is.
Antony and I have been working on music together for 10 years now!
Who are you influenced by musically or otherwise?
Aaron: I am inspired by Antony (James England) – following a bad experience selling CD’s on the street he came up to me and said I had great melodies on my guitar. That experience really gave my confidence a boost and we remain great friends and colleagues to this day.
Other inspirations to me musically include Fred Hammond, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Craig David (we are old school friends), Goldie and Artful Dodger as I worked with them when I was younger.
Antony: I would agree with you. Stevie Wonder was a great influence for me, people like Marvin Gaye, George Benson with his guitar melodies and Aaron of course.
Do you perform regularly?
Antony: We do, all around the UK.
Recently we performed at The Broadway Theatre in London for the Miss Caribbean UK event, they asked Aaron’s mother who featured in Brown Sugar in the 70’s and 80’s to sing. Plus, both myself and Aaron performed too. We also perform at several festivals each year, our highlights being BarFest, Sound on Sound Festival, Mutiny Festival, Isle of Wight Festival and Coco Beach in Bournemouth.
When is your single out? Where can people buy/ download it?
Aaron: My single is out now and available to download on iTunes. I hope you enjoy listening to it, as much as I enjoyed making it.
It is a nice song and if you purchase it, it will bless your heart.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Aaron and Antony, it has been a pleasure!