loading . . .
Search for tracks, artists, albums

Quick links

My library
artist page


In a world where miraculous vocals and incredible harmonies come few-and-far-between, wouldn't it be nice to be able to double the ear-pleasing sounds? Enter Philadelphia-based sister duo Ayana and Ayinke Hipps -- formally, and collectively, known as AAries... For Ayana and Ayinke, growing up in the Baptist church meant beginning to sing at an early age, and before the pursuit of a musical career even entered their minds, the two were already no strangers to gospel or classical music. Throughout their teens and early twenties, they worked steadily on Philadelphia's "new jack" circuit, finding themselves becoming fast musical soulmates with the likes of fellow Philly artists Jill Scott, The Roots and, of course, Musiq. "We started at Blue Funk and we participated in all the Philly venues," says Ayana. "Everyone was just giving off what they had to give, so we were a part of that same class, continuing the tradition of soul music." In 1998, the duo's management team, Mike McArthur and Jerome Hipps (aka/Mama's Boys), began a more intense working relationship with Musiq -- so much so that, by the time Musiq released his debut album Aijuswanaseing, AAries had already been touring with him as back-up singers. With their distinctive songbird vocals, AAries were subsequently featured on Musiq's hit, "Girl Next Door" -- a twist of fate that further led to Ayana's stunning, on-screen cameo appearance in the video version of the song. "Working with Musiq was just kinda natural," offers younger sister Ayinke, "and, doing 'Girl Next Door' was a blessing in disguise, because it opened the door for people to inquire about who we were." That open door not only led to both the start of work on the duo's official debut album "Always Remember," but also, the subsequent inking of a deal for the album with Atlantic Records. In-house, co-executive "Always Remember" Producers CarMuI -- (an acronym for the team of Carvin Haggins, Musiq and Ivan Barias), who are also managed by Mama's Boys -- have been an integral force in the overall creation of AAries as well. As Ayinke herself tells it, "Mama's Boys is a production label and management company where everything is very home grown -- we even have our own production studio called Home Cooking." As for the album Always Remember itself, the smooth grooves offer any RnB buff his/her own personal musical memoir. For the first official single from the album, the ladies have chosen Strangers to Lovers to debut their work to the world. The track is a veritable walk down Lovers Lane, with AAries vocally sashaying their way through the jazzy track, complete with warm background vocals. "Strangers to Lovers," seems guaranteed to glide its way across the airwaves to listeners' ears everywhere. Similarly appealing, with its focus on each sister's individual vocal part, is the ballad, "So Nice." AAries preaches their message over blissfully-layered harmonies, moving melodically toward the climactic crescendo of the last verse... But, this is only just the beginning... Filled with only the most spirited and calming, soulful crooning, the title-track to the album, the song "Always Remember," touches a plethora of deeply felt emotions in which listeners will undoubtedly recognize their own. "Always Remember" is about never forgetting where you came from; keeping the important things in life alive," declares Ayana. "I love the song, because it's a personal testimony," adds Ayinke. "It's about your first love, and the way you dream of always being together... but, how it doesn't always work out like that." Of course, AAries can mix it up too: There's the up-tempo "Waiting," as well as the powerhouse "Eventhough" -- a track bursting with enough edgy, funk-ridden vocals, and hip-swaying bass to prove, if there were any doubt, that this duo is anything but a typical pre-fab act. Rounding things out, the sisters also offer up a wonderful rendition of the late Minnie Ripperton classic "Baby, This Love", featuring some beautiful vocal stylings that can only be described as hauntingly akin to the late Ms. Ripperton's own. Produced by Ahmir Thompson (?uestlove of The Roots) "Baby, This Love" was a track that was a particular favorite of Ayana's to record. "I really enjoyed recording "Baby, This Love" with Ahmir," she says gleefully. "He's such a great producer, and working with him was a complete delight... the energy he brought -- it was so much fun!" Needless to say, AAries are extremely proud of "Always Remember," and with what they've already accomplished with their powerful presence, from here it's all in the stars... AAries is the new sign of the times. www.myspace.com/aariesmusic http://www.facebook.com/pages/AARIES/77975074638 http://twitter.com/#!/itsAAries

Now Playing: