Singer-songwriter Ayia Gold released her soul-laden, R&B-tinges debut track ‘Blue Skies’ via Two Way Street and Awal, just last month. Delivering heartfelt, spine-tingling vocals, the artist’s powerful songwriting shows emotional and musical maturity, putting her next to the new generation of thoughtful empowering female singers currently shaping the UK R&B/Soul scene, including Jorja Smith, Mahalia and Grace Carter.

Born and raised in London, the Moroccan-Italian artist began singing at an early age – influenced by “timeless artists” – she says as she mentions her love for the likes of Whitney Houston, Aaliyah and Alicia Keys. Using poetry and songwriting as an outlet, Ayia went on to join the renowned BRIT School, where she honed her craft as a songwriter and performer.

For her FMS playlist Ayia shares: “A selection of some of my all-time favourite romantic female love songs by artists who inspire me. Classic, timeless, beautiful music. Enjoy ❤️”

1. Des’ree – ‘I’m Kissing You’

“’Kissing You’ is achingly beautiful. I remember hearing it for the first time whilst watching ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at school and I was completely in awe. Des’ree’s voice combined with the orchestral arrangement is just magical.”

2. Aretha Franklin – ‘Angel’

“I adore Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul! She has so many wonderful songs and this is one of my favourites.”

3. Whitney Houston – ‘Run To You’

“Not only was Whitney technically an incredible vocalist, she had the ability to convey emotion beautifully. She has always been a huge inspiration for me and one of the artists who made me first fall in love with music.”

4. Alicia Keys – ‘If I Ain’t Got You’

“This takes me back to being young! The track is so distinctive- you hear the piano riff at the beginning and it’s instantly recognisable. I love the aesthetic of the video- the snow, the big coat, the hair. Alicia Keys has always been so effortlessly cool.”

5. Brandy – ‘Have You Ever’

“’90s R&B at its finest! Brandy’s voice is like honey and the lyrics are so sweet.

6. Aaliyah – ‘At Your Best (You Are Love)’

“Aaliyah’s rendition of this ‘The Isley Brothers‘ track is beautiful and the concept will forever be relatable.”

7. Billie Eilish – ‘Ocean Eyes’

“This is such a pretty track. So dreamy.”

8. H.E.R. – ‘Focus’

“Such a jam! So chilled. I’m really into her music at the moment.”

9. Jessie Ware – ‘Say You Love Me’

“I love this track! So soulful. She has the most beautiful tone.”

10. Lana Del Rey – ‘Video Games’

“I saw Lana perform live at Brixton Academy a couple of years ago and she was incredible. This track is special.”

‘Blue Skies’ is out now. Listen to it HERE.

You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.

Find Ayia Gold’s playlist below and HERE.

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