Caught In The Middle with Aphrose

It took .2 seconds for me to personally fall in love with Aphrose when we exchanged some words about her single “The Middle,” the best character on Netflix and of course what she was penning songs about when she was a mere kindergartner with a melodic brush in hand. That love only continued to grow when play was hit and her soulful voice flowed vigorously through my cherry red notebook in the middle of a quiet night in the hospital lobby. Now it’s time for you to become emotionally invested in this Toronto songstress.

Kendra: What did six-year-old you write songs about?

Aphrose: You know, the usual stuff…the affairs of the heart, the social relevance of the Care Bears, the eternal battle to have Fruit Rollups for dinner…the struggle was real. Jokes aside, I’ve always had a knack for creating melodies and words. I grew up listening to a wide variety of music and at that time, I was listening to what my parents were listening to, which was mostly Soul and Country music (weirdly enough). So my predisposition for songs about love and heartbreak started quite young. It was just me, a mirror and a hairbrush against the world.

Kendra: Years later you started to make your career as a backup singer. When did you realize you wanted to step out and be center stage?

Aphrose: First off, I absolutely love being a backup singer. I feel that they are an integral aspect of music. I love what good vocal harmonies can add to a song, and you will hear that in my material. But then I saw the documentary by Morgan Neville, 20 Feet from Stardom, and the stories of these incredibly talented singers behind the scenes, it inspired me to go forward with my own project. Shout out to Lisa Fischer!

Kendra: Was it after the six-year hiatus? What sparked that by the way?

Aphrose: During those years, I continued to write with the dream of one day having the chance to put out new original music, but being a working musician and having to pay the bills took most of my focus and energy. Getting into that rhythm as a working musician, as exciting, fun and gainful as it is, can be all consuming. I started to feel like my creativity as a writer was waning, so that’s when I chose to take a step back from that world to focus on my own project again.

Kendra: Now you’re back and have “The Middle,” a song about being stuck in a long-term relationship. Can we assume this was biographical at all?

Aphrose: It’s not so much about being “stuck” in a relationship, but rather about finding it extremely challenging to grow as individuals and as a unit when you and your partner are not on the same page, for whatever reason that may be. As for it being biographical, yes. I wrote “The Middle” at a time when my partner and I were in an extremely stressful and depressing place. Writing was my catharsis and in that time, I was able to create some of my most honest work to date.

Kendra: What is your best advice for leaving a stale relationship?

Aphrose: In a relationship, as in anything, it’s important to take the time to self-reflect and evaluate things, good and bad. Once you have these answers, you can decide for yourself whether the relationship has the potential to add something positive to your life. And if not, hopefully, those answers will encourage you to find what you’re missing.

Kendra: Back to the music, we’ll be able to find “The Middle” on an EP out this fall, right? Will we hear more relationship based tracks?

Aphrose: The EP is still further down the line but I’m currently working on releasing my next single that will be due out in October. There is definitely more relationship based tracks on the way…and possibly a track about Fruit Rollups.

Kendra: Okay, so I couldn’t help but notice you’re a bit of a dog lover. What type of pup always steals your heart?

Aphrose: I’m a sucker for pretty much any dog. It’s a problem. I have a four-year-old Maltese pup named Taylor (not named after Taylor Swift, but after 80’s pop sensation Taylor Dayne) and she is the love of my life.

Kendra: Time to play a quick game. If you had to pick one of the following to duet with, tour with and simply cover out of Aretha, Titus Andromadon and The Beatles…what would your choices be?

Aphrose: This is fun! Ok, I would LOVE to tour with Aretha who is my absolute favourite. I would cover The Beatles because their songs are timeless. And I would duet the s#!* out of “Pinot Noir” with the incomparable Titus Andromadon. (Pinoooooooot Noiiiiirrrrr!)

Kendra: Will some tour dates come with your EP this fall?

Aphrose: There’s nothing in the works yet with regards to tour dates but one of my goals is to get on a few music festival shows next season. In the meantime, you can catch me doing shows in Toronto, and New York, with more to come.

Kendra: Looking back on your time away from music, if you had to make a mixtape featuring songs during those six years that kept your love of music alive and well – what five would have to be on there?

Aphrose: Another fun question! This is tough because I listen to literally EVERYTHING, so I will limit it to artists that have emerged in the past six years and have stolen my heart.

Sound & Colour” by Alabama Shakes
Bad Religion” by Frank Ocean
Am I Wrong” by Anderson.Paak
Never Knock” by Kevin Garrett
Losing You” by Solange


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