Photo by Jen Squires
Aphrose tackles self-doubt on soulful single “Make You Mark” in time for a new year
Just in time for a new year, the introspective “Make Your Mark” speaks to Aphrose’s own insecurities in hope to inspire others to live without shame or fear.
After experiencing a creative and personal rut in summer 2018, Aphrose (a.k.a Joanna Mohammed) decided to try writing a song that would fully embrace all her own imperfections, in hopes to release herself and her listeners from the bondage of self-doubt. Musically, the Toronto-based artist drew inspiration from icons like Aretha Franklin to contemporaries like SZA, to deliver a track with a positive message that does not compromise on a feel good groove.
However, it initially wasn’t easy bringing the track into the studio, “This tune wasn’t going to see the light of day until I ran out of songs to work on when I was recording in Nashville.” Aphrose explains, “My producer Scott McCannell asked me if I had more songs to show him one evening after we had already demoed two songs earlier that day. I cracked open my notebook and shyly played and sang Make Your Mark for him, thinking he wouldn’t dig it but he did and we demoed it just guitar and voice that night!”
Raised in the culturally diverse neighbourhoods of Scarborough, Aphrose’s musical tastes were shaped by all the various genres present in her Trinidadian household. She adopted her artist name Aphrose, her mother’s birth name, to honour her mother and the many powerful women in her life. Known for her soaring vocals, Aphrose has fronted and supported many acts around Toronto and has worked with Daniel Caesar, Coleman Hell, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Nikki Yanofsky and JP Saxe.
“Make Your Mark” was released on all platforms on January 18th, 2019. She will be performing at Halifax’s In the Dead of Winter Music Festival January 24, 2018.