Talent on Tap – Apryll Aileen Tells Us How to Get Wasted On Your Love

The last time I started dancing on the street, somebody threw money at me to stop.  The last time I felt like dancing again was because of the new track Wasted On Your Love, by singer/songwriter Apryll Aileen. It’s a feel-good track with incredible vocals. Apryll delivers a funk and a groovy beat with echoes of The Weeknd backed by her gymnastic vocals with a 100 -yard range. Her voice has been described as a little Stevie Nicks meets Madonna, but I’d like to add another incredible artist to that list, Sinéad O’Conner. When I listened to Wasted On Love, I could swear that she was being channeled.  The lyrics are there to encourage and celebrate those that have loved someone so hard, so intensely and so passionately that you didn’t need a safety word because you were willing to smash the ceiling and take it to the next atmospheric level! 


Apryll traveled to the UK to record the vocals with her producer and he laid down the beats, the bass and the synths. She returned home to Saint John, N.B. to have it all mixed and mastered. The finished product is a symphony of groove, funk, playful bliss and fuzzy handcuffs.  You’ll be inspired to call up an old fling, a past crush, current crush, lover, partner, or possibly the guy/girl next door. There are no rules of attraction, are there?  This release is the first of 4 singles that will announce the launch of the album, Bad Things later this year.  


Apryll Aileen is tenacious, she’s fearless and she sings like a songbird. She enjoys spending part of the year in LA reuniting with her band there, which includes Toshi Yanagi and Jimmy Earl, players from Jimmy Kimmel Live!  Having performed in London, Hollywood, New York, New Orleans, Toronto and many more, Apryll is at home on the stage and I had a front row seat when I sat down to talk to her recently. Through the magic of Star Trek and Zoom, I reached her in Saint John, N.B.  She inspired me with her musical rollercoaster and finding her path, while sharing personal stories of a serendipitous compass that’s been guiding her passion and destination. Roll the tape!


HNMAG “Your new track, Wasted on Love was inspired by passionate love on all levels, especially on a deeper level. When did you write it and were you in a good place in your life?”

APRYLL “I was in a great place and it was one of the most incredible, romantic situations of my life.  I was completely enamored and was thinking about them all the time. When you’re together, you feel like life is everything and when you’re not, there’s this huge yearning to be together. This was being completely wasted on somebody’s love – inebriated so to speak. It’s a beautiful hot feeling – there’s all this passion.”


HNMAG “This song really sounds like everyone can relate to it.”

APRYLL “Yes, men and women. It makes me want to get up and dance and I’m not a dancer, but I do dance in the music video, I had to learn (laughing). It’s a great workout song, I turn it up when I’m cruising in the car with the girls. It’s a great song to get you ready for the club, once we’re ready to go back to them.”


HNMAG “How long would it have taken you to go from paper to the recording studio?”

APRYLL “I wrote the song on a dinky little ‘80’s keyboard in about an hour. It was just a straight flow.  I tracked out the voice note and sent it to my producer in the UK. He’s always pushing me to be a little more edgy and to explore. Up until then, it was just piano and singing. As soon as he heard it, he had a vision for it and knew what he wanted to do with it. He basically laid down the bass, synth and the beat. I went in to record all the vocals and adlibs. After that, FWLR – an electronic music producer signed with Monstercat and also living in New Brunswick, mixed and mastered it. In the UK, we spent a solid week together in the studio for the 9 songs.”


HNMAG “You’re also releasing a new album, Bad Things this summer. What types of songs can we expect?”

APRYLL “I liken it to a mix of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Alchemist.  It’s 2 books, one about a young woman and one about a young man, whose story of going off to find out about life and to experience – philosophy, spirituality, love, heartbreak, what you thought you wanted, getting what you wanted, realizing you didn’t really want it. It’s about looking at how we judge others and looking at forgiveness, when bad things happen how do you react? There’s also a touch of sassiness to it – where we want to exclaim that none of us are perfect. We’re not bad but sometimes we do bad things, like the rules are meant to be broken.”


HNMAG “I get the impression that your lyrics are well thought out and you want your listeners to engage. Is that accurate”

APRYLL “The lyrics are so important. I’m a thinker, sometimes an overthinker, but there’s also the element of letting it all go, not overthinking and just having fun. With this album, there’s a wide array. There’s workout songs, there’s a few that are your driving songs, a few are romantic – spending my life, I’m really into you, my true love. Then there’s the songs that make you want to contemplate life and where you are but also chillin’ with your friends and having a good time. One of the songs is about being with someone that ghosts you, meaning that you’ve been in a relationship, talking for weeks and having these beautiful moments, then… they suddenly ghost you. It’s about rising above it and being better than that, finding your empowerment.”

Apryll told me she grew up on Alanis Morrisette, Jagged Little Pill and the Carol King style of songwriting. She adds, “they were so iconic for the emotion and their poetic lyrics – I do miss that era; the Stevie Nicks, The Doors and Zeppelin. I have the piano singer/songwriter side to me; I’ve done the rock vibe and I’ve done totally EDM on one song. With this new album, it’s all R&B.”


HNMAG “I know you love Canada, but you also spend a significant amount of time in LA and when you’re there, you have a band that you play with, that include Toshi Yanagi and Jimmy Earl, players for Jimmy Kimmel Live!  How did that connection happen?”

APRYLL “I’d say part of my music journey has been a series of serendipitous encounters with synchronicities aligning. I started going to Venice Beach after a couple of creatives from Saint John, N.B. started going there. They told me it was the most amazing place ever and they inspired me to go. I ended up meeting a guitar player that used to play with Chris Cornell and turned out to be a legend in Croatia – he’s incredible. He had invited me to sing at a club in Culver City and as it turns out, the keyboard player had played with Joe Cocker; Aretha Franklin’s guitar player was there… people with eons of experience. I got on stage and sang my little song and a little later, someone came up to me to ask if I would sing at a venue in North Hollywood, called The Baked Potato. That’s where I met Toshi from Jimmy Kimmel Live.  After he heard me sing, he asked me if I had a band and said we should get something going. He hooked me up with a drummer and then the bass player, Jimmy Earl from Jimmy Kimmel Live.  It was amazing!”


Apryll has tremendous tenacity and moxie because she told me that playing in front of your home town where everyone knows you is one thing, so before going to California, her intention was to put herself in front of a bunch of strangers that didn’t know her. She would play from New York to New Orleans and on. She said, “if I get booed off stage, then I have some work to do. If they like me, great – I still have some work to do. It’s amazing when people that don’t know you and have no reason to like you, are still drawn into your music.”       


HNMAG “When did you realize you wanted to be a music performer?”

APRYLL “I started playing piano at the age of 5. My mom and grandmother both played, and my dad’s side of the family also played. Music was always in my family but I liked basketball more at that time. At 16, I went to the UK for piano masterclasses. I had met all of these phenomenal students, who were European, Polish, and from every other country. I realized I didn’t want to be alone with a piano for 6 hours a day, practicing. I let go of the piano for several years but I’d keep circling back to it. I graduated with a science degree and worked in marketing and events for a while. Everything was going well and everything was great, but I began to feel like something was missing, like there was a hole in my heart. I moved back to Saint John, into a historical 3-bedroom apt building. One day while doing laundry, I bumped into my neighbour, who happened to be one of the six students that traveled to the Ukraine with me.  I hadn’t seen him since I was 16 and it was so inspiring. He was an engineer and had kept up with his music, was in a band in university and made an album. He also had his piano set up and was still writing. I had completely lost that part of me – so I got a keyboard and started writing again. I believe it was a year later that I left my corporate job.”       


HNMAG “How many songs can we anticipate on the new album and are all of the songs completed?”

APRYLL “There are nine songs on the album and they’re all completed. Half the album is finished with 4 songs left for the final mixing and mastering. I’ve also got 4 singles and 4 music videos…. with Wasted on Your Love as the first, Fall With Grace, Easy Love and Bad Things announcing the album.”


HNMAG “What was the experience like, making all of the music videos?” 

APRYLL “It was a lot of fun. We actually shot Bad Things a couple of weeks ago in Saint John. We used this beautiful place called the Five & Dime. It looks like a Speakeasy; the bar has a copper countertop, there’s a vintage DJ booth with all the records, and there were some really cool lights. I hired professional dancers for the Wasted on Your Love video. We filmed the dancing part down at the waterfront with these big container ships around us, so it was very industrial. They really knew what they were doing and I had to learn some full-on dancing – it was petrifying. I was so nervous… I shoulda stuck with ballet. I was pushing my comfort zone in many ways but it was fun and we filmed it right after the Area 506 Concert, which was pretty cool.”


HNMAG “I like to end the interview with a fun question or 2. What’s your favourite way to spend a free day?” 

APRYLL “Oh god, what language is that? (laughing) I just work.  It’s hard to shut the artist mind off, but when I can, I love hiking and nature, I’ll usually take my dog out. In the last few months I started cold water therapy, so I was swimming in the river until Boxing Day.  The river froze over, so I started going to the ocean once a week. I stay in for 5 minutes to really push your comfort zone.  It’s actually really good for you (laughing). By doing it, it helps to regulate your body’s temperature throughout the season as well as increasing your brown fat tissue – that helps you increase your metabolism. Because of the stress to the body, it also helps you manage stressful situations in life better too. When you’re in the cold water, there’s nothing you can do or think of besides the present moment, so there’s an awakening and clarity that comes with that. The increased brain flow – translates to the next 6 hours of playing and creating music (laughing).” 


Apryll also credits the Huberman Lab podcast for showing how you can use action, not drugs – to eliminate habits, build better habits, overall better brain and body efficiency, mental health, and depression. She says, “it’s the best thing ever.”   


HNMAG “If you could challenge anyone in the world to a sumo fight, wearing one of those big suits, who would it be?”

APRYLL “Elon Musk (laughing). I think he would be so much fun. He’s such a visionary and isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. I think it would be so much fun and I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing. Wearing those suits, I would be dying, it would be amazing!”


Canadian talent that’s making waves from Saint John to Vancouver Island. Apryll Aileen has lit a torch and the light is touching all that reach up, as they scream for an encore! Her sound is R&B, it’s fun, it’s reflective and it’s here to stay, so let’s turn on the stereo and then hit ‘Play’.


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