“The Middle” & “The Midde” (Bus Up Shop Remix) – Available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Etc
APHROSE – The soulful songstress easily conquers your ears after one listen, welcoming you into her world. Joanna Mohammed, now known as APHROSE, is an Indie-Soul artist from Toronto, Canada. Raised in the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Scarborough, Joanna’s musical tastes were shaped by all the various genres present in her Trinidadian household: genres such as Soca, Calypso, Reggae, Soul, Gospel, classic Bollywood soundtracks and Country. Since her debut EP “Joanna Mohammed” was released in 2009, These life-changing experiences inspired Joanna to honor her family history, and return to the industry under the artist name of Aphrose.
Aphrose released her first single “The Middle” (produced by Scott McCannell, Giordan Postorino & Jim JR.) under this new artist name in June of 2017 and has subsequent single releases spread out over the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. The upcoming EP will reflect her new outlook on life, love and overcoming hardships through the vantage point of being a fully actualized woman hitting her stride and finding her true voice as a writer and vocalist.
PG: Is there a meaning behind your artist name Aphrose?
Aphrose: It’s significance is actually something very close to home. My mother’s birth name was Aphrose. When her family chose to convert to Christianity, her and the rest of her siblings were given new Christian names. I chose to use Aphrose as my new stage name to honour not only my mother but all of the strong women in my family.
PG: You were raised in cultural versatility. How has that impacted your creativity and molded your artistry?
Aphrose: Living in such a culturally diverse environment has given me a rich cultural heritage to draw both inspiration, and perspective, from. It has definitely shaped my musical tastes, and creatively I am blessed to be in an city that constantly provides me with stimulation and innovation.
PG: Since your EP “Joanna Mohammed” in 2009, you have spent a few years away. How did you spend your hiatus, and what inspired you to return?
Aphrose: I spent most of that time figuring out my place in this crazy world, trying to find balance between living the life I want to live and actual adulting (not always the same thing). I would be content in being part of other people’s projects, all the while working on my own craft, becoming a stronger singer, a stronger writer, etc. This was my life until several things happened to me personally, both joyous and devastating, that inspired me to put all this writing and practicing to the test and actually put it all out there.
PG: What made you decide to step back and focus on self?
Aphrose: Nothing made me decide to step back per se, but rather that was the path that was presented to me. It was in that time though, that I learned that to get where you want to go, that sometimes you have to make your own path.
PG: Was there ever a thought about not continuing to create music?
Aphrose: I’ve always known that whatever I chose to do with my life, it would always be within the realm of music; whether that was as a vocal teacher, as a gigging musician, a background singer, or writer. That thought had never left my mind, that music is my life.
PG: What inspired you to deliver “The Middle”?
Aphrose: The Middle was written about a time of my life where I felt like I was ready to take a step towards personal growth, but was held back by forces beyond my control. It’s me voicing my frustrations in a way that’s both cathartic and therapeutic, purging these angry feelings out of my system.
PG: Compared to your original self titled EP, would you consider “The Middle” a reflection of growth and new beginnings?
Aphrose: Definitely. Even just in my voice you can hear the changes that I’ve gone through sonically. But also I feel like I’m a much stronger writer now than I’ve ever been, which is an area that I’ve absolutely put the sweat equity in. Hopefully you will all join me on this new journey of mine.