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Aarika Lee, singer-songwriter from homegrown Hip Hop band SIXX, is pondering the role of music in romance. "How many of us have used songs to say or express what we feel? How many songs have been played to set the mood?" she asks. "Sometimes, the music just says it better," Aarika declares. "I, for one, love going to gigs! So, if a guy took me to an awesome show, I'd be sold. I think music is an excellent romantic tool."
The 28-year-old started her own love affair with music since she was a kid. Growing up in a family of musicians, her talent was apparent from an early age. "My mom and Nan (grandmother) will tell you that I started singing and putting on shows as soon as I knew I had a voice, and could somewhat garner the attention of a small crowd," Aarika shares.
"I can't imagine anyone who doesn't listen to ANY music! I don't think I could (go out with a guy who doesn't listen to music)," she exclaims, "Especially if it was his choice to stay away from music, it would be too hard for us to do much together." Aarika, who is currently single, continues, "And I guess I wouldn't see him at any of my shows either! I wouldn't be able to get excited about music with him, let alone my own music!"
Being One Of Sixx
From performing at church musicals 12 years ago, Aarika is now lighting up the stage with her band SIXX all round Singapore, and beyond. "Kevin (Lester) gave me a call one day and asked if I wanted to start a band with him and I said yes! I don't think I asked too many questions!" she recounts, "We rounded up the rest of the gang and before we knew it, we were nine people building a musical family, playing at Sunburst KL in 2009."
While SIXX is versatile enough to perform Rock, Top 40s and even Indie in their repertoire, their vibe is predominantly Hip Hop, Funk, and Rock. "The music we play and create showcases the plethora of influences that all nine of us bring to the table," Aarika says. She herself is a big fan of R&B, Soul and Funk, and starts rattling off a list of artistes that she grew up listening to: Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, The Whispers, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Prince, Naughty by Nature, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul. "The list could go on forever!" she adds, "but I try not to close myself off to any particular genre. There's magic in the music, whether it's Hip Hop, Pop (Michael Jackson!), Rock or Folk."
The band is planning to release their music in 2012, Aarika reveals, and she might be releasing her own solo music project, too ("if I find the guts to"). "This is the first time I'm putting it down! Aah! The pressure will now be on. But I'm not going to put a timeline as to when this should happen," she says, "I think it'll come naturally when the time is right. For now, SIXX is my baby."
Catch Aarika perform with The Next Movement (residency arm of Sixx) on Monday nights at Wala Wala (9.30pm - 12.45am); Wednesdays (8.30 - 11.30pm) and Saturdays (9.30 - 11pm) at TAB Orchard; and Fridays at CM-PB (9pm - 12.45am).
Get the latest updates at www.wearesixx.com and on Twitter @wearesixx
Her unique name... My dad named me. Aarika means Norwegian Princess, apparently. But the story goes that my dad was watching a film (to this day, I have not figured out what film this was) and according to him, the leading actress was very attractive. Her name was Aarika. My mom had a list of names planned. They were all thrown out.
Her dream guy...
I think a motivated man is very attractive. There is something appealing about someone who knows what he wants and is working toward it. I'm also really close to my family, so I guess I'd like a guy that wouldn't mind hanging with my crazy family! It wouldn't kill if he had a great smile, good arms and an amazing voice…. like say, Mr. Jose James. Mmm… perfect man in my books.
Three things she finds sexy in a man... a. Confidence.
I think all women love this in a man. Someone who knows who he is and is comfortable being that man, but still sure that he is on the way to being the man he wants to be. b. A sense of style.
I have never not looked twice at a man in a good suit. c. Hands.
I like guys with nice hands. Just because… :)
Having common interests...
I think having shared interests is a vital factor in a successful relationship. It's the basis on which two people can spend time. The strength of any relationship, even a friendship for that matter, is about how much time you put into it. If two people can't enjoy doing things together, that's got to be tough after awhile. When all the busyness of my youth passes, it'd be nice to still be in the company of someone I enjoy doing things with.
Common dating mistakes guys make... Over-thinking it. If a girl says yes to going out with you, you must already have been doing something right.
Impressing a girl is great, but I don't think there's a need to go completely out of your way. I say if you've got to work that hard to impress a girl, she's probably not for you.
A playlist when you invite a girl over..
Try DJ Neil Armstrong's Bittersweet Mix. When you're in love, nothing is too cheesy. And even if it is, you laugh about it and still think it's sweet the guy made you dinner.
The best way to a girl's heart...
Through her heart. No tricks there. Or is that the biggest trick to get around?