Born to Be a Raver!
on drum & bass singer Ayah Marar
By Jawanna Sawalha
photos by Ricky Chapman
Six-inch heels, dark pants, a colorful top, and a fabulous white blazer all topped off with bun on the top of her head. She sits with her rolled up cigarette in hand, laughing and joking with some friends
The journey of this simple ‘Ammani’ girl in the UK music scene all started when she was only 17. Now at the age of 32 she has hit it big with an album, and a hit single with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris.
Ayah Marar, the fabulously stylish girl with the signature bun on the top of her head is someone that is definitely worth looking up.
After her elated performance at “Demencia Music Festival” in Amman, My.Kali sat with the Jordanian star to discuss her music, rise to fame, and future plans.
Marar who was born and raised in Jordan to a Jordanian father and Czech- Bulgarian mother left to the UK at the age of 17 to go to university.
As soon as she moved to the UK after graduating from a well-known private school in Amman, she fell deeply in love with music, especially the underground drum and bass scene.
“The underground drum and bass scene is hard for people to accept,” Marar said puffing her cigarette. “I found that in Jordan they have come to accept it more than the UK.”
Ayah used to DJ at clubs in London way before deciding to be a performer. She had tested the waters from being a DJ, and after getting to know the scene she was able to join the performance side.
Marar grew up with music surrounding her; her father played everything from The Beatles, Deep Purple, to Pink Floyd. She feels that she was lucky to be raised in such an environment that encouraged music.
“I was very fortunate to be raised in a musical environment,” Marar said. “I want to show people in Amman that no matter what background your from you can do it.”
Ayah started her own UK based label “Hustle Girl”, ever since she started her musical career. Marar believes that after she is done performing she wants to start signing artists from all over the world.
“Lets face it,” she said. “I’m not getting any younger and I can’t jump around on stage for much longer, my next plan is the label.”
Marar released her debut album “The Real”, after 5-6 months of being locked up in a basement with a well known K-pop French producer.
Marar’s genre of music is very different than many people on the scene, even though she is s drum and bass kind if girl, she also loves other types of music of which she had integrated into the album.
“It took around a year to finish the album,” Marar disclosed. “We had to change it around a bit to go back to the drum and bass roots, and now we’re on tour!”
Marar first met DJ Calvin Harris after he rented out a room in a flat she was living in at the time. They then went on to record “Flashback”, which after release went straight to number 2 on the UK Dance charts.
She later on released her single “Follow U”, of which was played in clubs all over London. Soon after that Marar released “Mind Controller”, “Unstoppable”, “The Raver”, “Alive” and “Thinking About You” with Calvin Harris once more.
Marar is now going on her world tour, which included Jordan, and her next shows will be in the US, Canada and she is planning on returning to Amman in the New Year.
“Some people find it hard to see a girl performing heavy music like mine,” Marar added. “At first people were not accepting, but the people in Amman have supported me the most.”
Marar agreed that dance music even though popular now will start to fade away, and believes that later on in life she will start experimenting with other types of genres.
She also added that she would love to work with Arab producers and integrate some classical Arabic tunes into her music.
“My Arabic singing is not good,” she said while taking a sip of water. “But I would love to have some classical Arabic in my music.”
Marar deeply believes in self-expression, she is a big supporter of the LGBT community and loves her gay fans “My dream is to perform in G.A.Y. in london”. Her biggest gay following is in Canada, something she was very excited about sharing.
“Don’t change who you are for anybody,” She said. “Be who you are, and love who you are because no one will ever do it for you.”
Ayah’s new single ‘Beg Borrow Steal’
Stay tuned on Ayah Marar’s music through her official Facebook (here)