Dina Ayada talks the creative process & inspiration behind her empowering latest release ‘Girls Cry 2!’

Dina Ayada

Hailing from Belgium with fluency in five languages, 19-year-old Moroccan artist Dina Ayada creates music inspired by a deep appreciation for American hip-hop but informed by a global vision, earning co-signs from Kanye West, Playboi Carti, Ty Dolla $ign, Swae Lee, Chase B, French Montana. While growing up in Belgium, Dina was labelled as one of the country’s most promising young artists, as well as being a finalist in The Voice Europe in 2019 at 15-years-old and later named Complex’s ‘Next Best Female’ for the class of 2022.

What or who inspired you to begin a career in music?

I grew up listening to a lot of old school Hip Hop like Missy Eliott, DMX, Tupac, Lauryn Hill, NWA, … I’d know the lyrics as a little kid and then look up the lyrics in Dutch, so that’s how I learned to speak English. Apart from that, my grandpa used to buy me toy instruments when I stayed with him over the weekend and my mom could just tell that I was into music ever since then. She’d always support me and encourage me to keep singing etc.

What differs you and your sound from other artists in the music industry?

I always want my music to represent love in all its forms. Love is universal, it brings people together no matter their ethnicity or religion. I always try my best to carry high energy into my performances and when creating new music. Overall, just always spreading positivity and love.

Your latest release, ‘Girls Cry 2!’ is out now. Can you please describe the creative process and inspiration behind this song?

I recorded the song 2 years ago in a studio in Antwerp. I was having fun and just freestyling as always. 2 years later my producer retouched the beat, added a different bass and 808s to it, and I wrote the song and finished recording it in LA. The hook ‘Girls Cry 2!’ was already in the demo, so writing the song was very easy, because I already knew what message I wanted to bring over.

It might feel like I’m stating an obvious fact, but for me it’s an important reminder that even though women are on top of the game right now, it’s okay to stay in touch with our emotions too. We’re all bosses, but it’s important to remember that it’s okay and healing to cry sometimes. That’s what this song is about. We weren’t gonna put this one on the EP until the very last minute. I hit up my friend Derrick Milano to listen to the tracklist and give feedback. He loved this song and advised me to add some backing vocals to it which made the hook feel more alive.

This one is definitely one of my favorites and I’m glad we ended up putting it on my first EP. It’s even more special because I released it with my very first music video, shot in my homeland, Morocco.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

‘Way Up!’ is the 3rd song on my debut EP. This song is about my journey so far as an artist. It’s about me making progress since I released my first single 8 months ago. A lot of opportunities started coming my way which is why I decided to take a break from law school & fully focus on my music career.

I basically turned my hobby into my job so it’s giving me a feeling of high sensation to where I’m happy and don’t care about anything except for the fact that I’m having fun & I’m on top like I run the game. The feeling in this song is very special to me. The only way is up!

How do you handle the balance between artistic expression and connecting with your audience?

I believe that maintaining a balance between artistic expression and connecting with my audience is crucial for building a meaningful and lasting connection. On one hand, I pour my personal experiences, emotions, and unique perspective into my music. I want my art to be a true reflection of who I am as an artist. At the same time, I recognize the importance of connecting with my audience on a deeper level.

Throughout my journey, I’ve learned that the most powerful music often comes from a place of authenticity and relatability. I try to create music that resonates with the experiences and emotions of my listeners. It’s not about compromising my artistic vision, but finding common ground between my creative expression and what my audience can connect with.

Engaging with my fans, whether through social media, live performances, or other platforms, is a priority for me. I listen to their feedback, understand their perspectives, and incorporate those insights into my creative process. This two-way communication ensures that I’m not only staying true to myself as an artist but also building a community around my music.

Ultimately, the key is to find a balance where my artistic expression remains genuine, and my audience feels a sense of connection and resonance with the stories I tell. It’s an ongoing process, and I’m committed to evolving and growing both as an artist and in my relationship with those who appreciate my work.

Dina Ayada

Can you share a memorable or defining moment in your career so far?

What really started things for me was when I posted a freestyle called ‘Miles Away’ on TikTok. I kept telling my manager that I wanted to go to LA, and we finally booked our tickets. A few days later, the freestyle blew up on social media, and suddenly, labels, producers, and artists were reaching out to work with me. It felt like everything was falling into place, especially since our flight was just two weeks away.

When we got to LA, things moved quickly. We had two meetings and a studio session almost every single day. Originally, we planned to stay for a month, but opportunities kept coming, so we extended our stay for another month. When I returned to Belgium, I made a big decision, I decided to leave law school and jump into every opportunity that came my way.

What advice would you give to aspiring singer-songwriters who are just starting their musical journey?

Firstly, believe in yourself and your unique voice. Don’t be afraid to be authentic and share your true feelings through your music. Your individuality is your strength.

Secondly, practice consistently and embrace the learning process. Write as much as you can, experiment with different styles, and find what resonates with you. The more you practice, the more you’ll refine your craft.

Also, networking is key. Connect with other producers, artists, attend local events, and engage with your audience on social media. I reached out to artists I never thought would know about me, so dm your favorite artist/producer, they do reply sometimes.
Be resilient in the face of challenges. The music industry can be tough, but persistence pays off.

Learn from setbacks, adapt and keep pushing forward.

Lastly, stay true to your passion. Remember why you started making music in the first place. Let that genuine love for your craft be your driving force. Enjoy the journey and celebrate your milestones, no matter how small, they all contribute to your growth as an artist.

Dina Ayada

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

I just finished my first tour opening for Lil Tjay across Europe. It had always been my dream to be on stage, perform my music and share my energy with a new crowd every night. I would love to do go on the road again in the near future, preferably in the US. I can’t wait to connect with everyone. Besides that, I’m sharing the deluxe version to my debut EP ‘Superstar!’ really soon. Also very excited about that.

Collaborations are high on my agenda too. I can’t wait to work with more talented artists across various genres to bring fresh and exciting sounds to the world. Meeting and collaborating with artists I admire is not just a career goal but a personal aspiration as well.

‘Superstar’ is availbale now via all major platforms.

Connect with Dina Ayada

Instagram | TikTok | Spotify

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