Many may say classical music is a lost art form, but in Ayha’s world, it is not only relevant but amazing. Ayha Simone is a renowned harpist who has performed her angelic melodies from Detroit to Scotland. Her phenomenal skills as a harpist and her successful bout with modeling have allowed this beautiful trans woman to dabble in many forms of self-expression.
She’s not just an artist. As the co-founder of Trans Sistas of Color Project, a Detroit-based organization that works to impact the lives of trans women of color. She uses her voice for social justice and opportunities for trans people. As well as being against the discrimination and murders of trans people.
Seldom do you find someone with a beautiful face, spirit and talent, so it is obvious that Ayha is one in a million.
What inspired you to play the harp?How long have you been playing?
January 2017 marks about 10 years.
I accidentally stumbled upon the harp. I was 15 at the time and a voice student in choir at Cass Tech High School. At the time I didn’t even know harps existed; let alone had the idea of playing one. Part of my required classes was Health. However, all the health classes were full that semester so my counselor assigned me to Harp class- I needed an elective anyway.
So on the first day, I walked into a room with 9 harps going all at once. I honestly wasn’t impressed. For at least the first week of harp class, I had every intention of dropping it next semester, but the more I played, the less I wanted to leave. The harp started to intrigue me and slowly I was advancing passed my classmates, playing more intense pieces. Harp became my outlet in a very confusing and difficult time. To put it succinctly, harp saved my life.
You majored in Harp Performance at Wayne State University, how do you think that helped you as an artist?
College taught me how to perform. It taught me music theory and history and what it takes to be a professional classical musician. I’ve honestly learned so much in college. Much more than I ever wanted to learn.
You have performed at many amazing places, what has your favorite performance been?
My fave? Hands down would be Glasgow, Scotland with an amazing performance artist and DJ Juliana Huxtable.
Who is someone you’d love to play the harp for?
There’s SOOOOO MANY I can’t name just one!!!
My top 5 would be Solange, Flying Lotus, Dwele, Kaytranada, Kelela. Continue Reading