By Sharee Silerio
Singer and Yonkers, New York native Aisha Badru was three years into college when she realized that she’d had enough. The daughter of Nigerian educators was living a life that she didn’t choose and it was taking its toll. So after much contemplation, she did what would seem crazy to many and she quit.
“I didn’t leave school with the notion in my head, ‘I’m going to become a singer.’ I honestly just dropped out because I was miserable. I started pushing myself to do things that made me feel more fulfilled, and that happened to be writing, music, playing the guitar and sharing my songs with people,” says Aisha.
Choosing a life that she would love freed Aisha to express herself in various ways – from the music she writes to the way she wears her hair.
“Before, I was wearing a lot of extensions and braids. I almost felt like I was hiding behind them, like my natural hair wasn’t good enough. I knew that my music was building a platform for me to be a role model or someone who inspired other people, so I wanted that to come from a place of authenticity, and I wasn’t being authentic if I wasn’t being my truest self. It felt so natural to cut my hair. And then, of course, I colored it because I like to make my family freak out, like, ‘What did you do?!’”
One step at a time, Badru walked the path that honored her happiness, gifts and who she hoped to become. She overcame her fear of speaking in front of people, ceased her concern with what people were thinking about her, and consistently did what was best for her. In liberating herself from her fears, what she’s “supposed” to do (go to school, get a job, etc.), look like, think, feel, and become, she’s discovered what it means to love herself.
|Photo of Aisha Badru vi IG|
“Self-love is the journey that I am on now, and it started with making the decision to leave school. I followed that up with cutting my hair, and being more authentic to myself. Now, I’m at a point where I’m trying to eat better, be more active. I’m getting into yoga. I’m letting go of relationships that are toxic. There are a lot of people who glorify makeup, weave, and butt injections. We need more authentic role models who truly represent what it means to love and accept yourself.”
“I pull from so many places when I write [music], so you can’t really put it in one category. It’s a little pop. It’s a little soul. It’s a little folk. It’s a little electronic. It’s a little bit of everything. And that represents me as a person because I’m not someone who can be put in a box either. Growing up in a low income neighborhood, we were automatically stamped with a sticker telling the world who we’re supposed to be. I feel like I obliterated all the stereotypes that were put on me, and that’s what I want to do with my music, too.”
Aisha’s songs have a combined total of over 20 million streams on Spotify. Her debut album, “Pendulum”, will be released on April 27th. Make sure you connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, because she’s changing the world, one melody at a time.