Interview with Aphrose

Written by Divine Magazine

Joanna Mohammed (aka Aphrose) is a Toronto-based soul music artist. Raised in a Trinidadian household in the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Scarborough, Aphrose’s musical tastes run wide and deep with apparent reverence for soul greats like Aretha Franklin to Amy Winehouse.

What first got you into music?

Being exposed to music at a young age through the many records and vast musical styles played in my childhood home is what got me into music and shaped me into the musician I am today. 

Who inspired you to make music?

I’ve always been drawn to big voices, so listening to the greats like Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney made me want to sing like that one day (or attempt to!)

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I tend to create a blend of R&B/Ne0-Soul that borrows from other genres such as folk, jazz, hip hop and even country to create something that sounds familiar but has a unique twist to it. I don’t intentionally go about trying to blend genres, it just sort of happens by nature due to the vast variety of music I am inspired by. I’ve learned not to fight it and just go with the flow.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I really love Frank Ocean SO much, that would be a dream to collaborate with him! He is so unafraid to be quirky, unique, and unapologetic in the brand of R&B he brings to the table and is highly inspirational to me as a producer and songwriter.

If you could go open a show for any artist, who would it be?

Jill Scott. She is such a vocal hero to me.

If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next musical generation, what would it be?

Be you and do so unapologetically. Create from the heart. The right audience/people/fans will find you.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I can flare my nostrils to the tune of Happy Birthday

What would be the ideal food to have cooked for you on a date night?

Ramen (like proper ramen, not the 99.cent kind you find at a convenience store haha)

Would you rather be the one in a movie who gets the hero/heroine or the baddie with all the good lines?

The baddie 100%!

Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?

A gold $5 American coin pendant minted in the 1800s passed down to me from my great-grandmother.

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?

Keep going, girl. You are going to do amazing, beautiful things with your life. I’m proud of you.

What would you bring along to an idyllic picnic?

Good wine and cheese. That is always going to be the right move.

Aphrose reveals her sophomore album, Roses, a captivating amalgamation of neo-soul, traditional soul, hip hop and R&B that delves into the wellspring of ancestral strength and love.

This album offers a little something for everyone, catering to enthusiasts of neo-soul, traditional soul, hip hop, and R&B. Produced by her longtime friends/collaborators at SafeSpaceship Music (Scott McCannell, Chino De Villa, Ben Macdonald), the album serves as a compelling testament to the collective creativity of Aphrose and this exceptional production trio, delivering a kaleidoscope of soundscapes, textures, rhythms, and grooves.

Roses stands as Aphrose‘s homage to her history—her grandma Rose and the ancestral trailblazers who paved her path to the present life she enjoys; her current experiences—her self-discovery, her relationships with her partner and friends; and her aspirations for the future—her daughter and the generations to come. This album crystallizes these temporal dimensions, prompting introspection, celebration, laughter, and tears. Roses is a musical odyssey that scrutinizes the multifaceted beauty of existence, inviting listeners to partake in this thing called life.

© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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