19-year-old Australian singer-songwriter AYDAN made a conscious decision at the beginning of 2019 to put his head down and spend a solid year honing his craft as a songwriter.
“I was just kind of building up a catalog,” he says. That 12 months of developing a unique sound for himself, through finding collaborators and sounds that made sense to him, have led AYDAN to a unique sonic palette that he feels sits in a contemporary realm between pop and RnB.
AYDAN’s journey of discovery culminates in the release of Wide Awake, his first single in over a year and a mark of an exciting new Australian artist for a new decade.
Wide Awake – co-written in the Melbourne native’s hometown with producer New Haven – is a broad, vicarious, desperate plea to let others give us the help we need in times of strife. AYDAN wrote the track with several real-life scenarios in mind, initially inspired by the situation of a friend wanting to intervene in a toxic relationship.
This milestone single release isn’t AYDAN’s first rodeo. Despite a penchant for his toy piano and guitar as a two-year-old, his upbringing wasn’t the classic “surrounded by music” story. A backseat singalong as a kid made his usually music passive Mum & Dad’s heads turn and realise their son had talent.
AYDAN began singing lessons, as well as dancing alongside his older sister, before beginning to perform in public to increasingly impressive turnouts in his early teens.
“I would have like, 20 people, that were consistently showing up and following me around to suburban festivals and the local stuff that I was doing when I was growing up. That turned into 30, then 40 and since then, I’ve steamrolled on and they’re still with me whilst I’m selling out places like 170 Russell in Melbourne and Oxford Art Factory in Sydney.”
As well as an ever-increasing live audience, AYDAN’s also found success sharing his musical journey with his now sizeable social media following (137K Instagram, 120K YouTube).
“I keep building my fan base along the way. We’re going strong and I’m thankful for them every day.”
Wide Awake comes with an immense, otherworldly and at times frantic music video, directed by Marie Pangaud (Alpine/The Teskey Brothers/BAD//DREEMS) and shot in some of the most visually impressive backdrops to be found across Victoria.
The underwater vision was shot in the dead of the Melbourne winter, in the middle of the night in a backyard pool in Narre Warren, impressive shooting techniques stopping you from seeing the wetsuit AYDAN wears under his clothes to avoid contracting hypothermia. The frenetic beach shots were shot at Anglesea Beach on the Surf Coast and the forest vision at Redwood Forest, a hauntingly beautiful backdrop in the hills about an hour north-east of Melbourne.
Sharp, sophisticated and cathartic choreography carries throughout the clip, something that was important to include for AYDAN, who’s incorporated dance and music as one since he was in his early teens.
Wide Awake is a convincing first effort for 2020 from AYDAN, and the start of a well-prepared year of releasing music that’s true to himself.
“I just want to get my music out there and see if people vibe with it. I can hopefully put some smiles on faces when people listen to my music and really start to show my artistry now that I’m grown up. I really feel like I’m starting to grow into myself a bit more. I want to grow as a team with my fans, I want us to grow together.”
Wide Awake is out now via Specific Music & Island Records Australia.