AJA (they/them) releases their new album, incorporating themes of Black spirituality and elevation.
Born and raised in the heart of Brooklyn, AJA has become an international role model for LGBTQ+ people of diverse backgrounds. AJA is of Puerto Rican, Nigerian and Egyptian background, and was adopted by a Puerto Rican and Trinidadian family. AJA’s music reflects their identity as Afro-Latino from New York City.
CROWN touches on the themes of fame, race, class, gender, and sexuality but is ultimately about AJA 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 from Nigeria – with every interlude having the name of the Orisha (deity) being sung for in the title.
“This project is about how my faith and my art intersected and I’m presenting it to the world ultimately as a labor of love but also a labor of truth. Spiritual or not, it was truly the influence of the energies and lessons these names represent that kept me going because I almost gave up. I’m glad I didn’t. I am happy to still be wearing my crown. I’ve never felt more happy and more abundant,” says AJA.
AJA shares: “Esú Elegba guarded the crossroads for me while Oggun fought my battles. Ochosi kept divine justice by my side while Obalouaye kept me healthy and alive. Shango kept me full of life and virility as Obatala taught me to speak my truth with wisdom. Obba taught me to allow myself to be loved while Oya unmasked all the artificiality in my life. Yemoja reminded me why I woke up every day and what I was fighting for while Oshun protected my crown and turned every bitter moment into something sweet.”
AJA brought non-binary visibility into the music industry with their critically acclaimed debut album, Box Office (2019). They have performed epic live shows around the world, dedicated to uplifting their fans – through fashion, an inspiring perspective, brilliant songwriting and outspoken activism – and empowering them to be in front of their own destiny.
Since the summer of 2018, AJA has performed over 180 live shows, selling out venues in the US, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Australia, Lebanon, and the UK. AJA has also toured throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands.