Aja releases new tune ‘Tough Love’ with album to follow

RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Aja is getting ready to release their new album, Crown, on May 21. On the new record Aja incorporates themes of Black spirituality and elevation, as well as fame, race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Aja says the new record is about them standing tall and proud while overcoming various hardships and coming to terms with their vulnerability. Instrumentation, singing and chanting throughout the album is directly tied to the Lukumi Faith; which stems from Nigeria – with every interlude having the name of the Orisha (or deity) being sung for in the title.

This week Aja revealed a second single from the album Tough Love, which features Gess, is the second single from the release. Last month, they shared lead single, 21 Roads.

Aja describes the latest single as being about relationships and finding the strength to persevere.

“This song is about toxic relationships. When I wrote this I was having a toxic relationship with social media, with people who are my so-called fans, and I was also dealing with a difficult romantic relationship. I felt so weak and vulnerable, I just really wanted to be supported for doing the things that were going to make me happy.

“I felt as if I was growing weaker and the world was just growing more stubborn. I often contemplated my own death. I was too scared to actually do anything though. I really felt like I needed to push through and finish writing the album. So I did and I figured one day people were going to hear my story and think ‘Is this how you really felt?’ but the irony was that I felt like everyone was watching me dismantle myself on social media.

“Since then I have acquired a beautiful support system in my personal lives and also have moved on to less toxic relationships including with my fan base. I started paying less attention to people who demanded what they wanted to see from me and started paying more attention to people who were just interested in what I had to say and show.

“I hope this song teaches people that they should really measure the message before they deliver it because I think one problem a lot of society has today is we are very unaware of how we hurt people that we claim to care about. I wrote this song in hopes that I would learn how to love correctly and allow myself to be loved.”

The cover of Crown sees Aja lounging and dressed in gold.

Born and raised in the heart of Brooklyn, Aja has become a role model for people of all backgrounds and has become largely impactful within the LGBTQ+ community. Aja is of Puerto Rican, Nigerian and Egyptian background, and raised by a Puerto Rican and Trinidadian family as they were adopted. Their music takes in the sounds of their upbringing in New York City.

Take a listen to the new track. 

OIP Staff


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