When listeners Google Azriel Clary’s name, they are likely to be greeted by controversy and revival. The on-the-rise singer’s journey has been anything but straightforward and still, she persevered. Through trials and triumphs, her proximity to music never wavered. Fresh off the release of her tell-all single “Sounds Of An Angel,” the newcomer is savoring her moment to stand in truth through the songwriting of her forthcoming debut EP and its distributor, The Blueprint Group.
Eager to reclaim her power, Clary is letting go of past narratives. And the vocalist is intentionally dropping her next alternative R&B single “Inside Me” on May 27, during Mental Health Awareness Month. She is also healing through the process of therapy. “I feel like aside from music, [sessions were] able to help me break down a lot of barriers,” Clary explained via Zoom.
REVOLT spoke to the aspiring entrepreneur about the importance of walking away from toxic situations, finding your tribe, and why she believes survivors of sexual victimization can rediscover intimacy. Tune in for our exclusive sit-down below.
You have persevered despite difficult circumstances. New listeners may share some of your lived experiences. What is your message for supporters who want to change their environment?
Change definitely comes with your choices and your state of mind. You have to really want better for yourself to be able to change the environment that you are in. That comes with anything. Something as simple as working out and wanting a better lifestyle for yourself [requires change]. You know? Those all start with choices and building better habits for yourself.
You recently connected with “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” and released the music video “Sounds Of An Angel,” singing: “You ain’t heavenly/ Came with a halo/ But that ain’t mean a thing.” Please detail the single’s lyrical inspiration further.
Today, you are using your voice in the studio. In what ways has recording music aided your healing process?
Music has really helped me. It was one of the biggest tools that helped me find myself again. It was about going back to the basics, remembering who I was, [and] relearning myself. Music was the thing that helped me when I was very depressed and at my lows. It was the only thing that I felt comfortable [doing]. That made me feel like I was in a safe haven.
You stated that you want to empower women to become comfortable in their skin and showcase “… the importance of controlling their narratives.” Now, you are walking into a new chapter. How does its narrative read?
I think that anytime someone grows, it’s a beautiful thing. I feel like this is no different. As humans, we need to evolve. We need to grow. That’s a part of life.
Anyone who has watched me [has seen] growth personally and through social [media] platforms. I think it is beautiful to outgrow your older self and continue to mature over the days. [It is necessary] to become more knowledgeable and broaden your vocabulary.
You are releasing an EP in May during Mental Health Awareness Month. What does this symbolize for you?
It symbolizes a lot of things for me because the songs [are] super sultry. You know? When it comes to your mental health, you have to be stable emotionally, physically and verbally. So, it just shows how much growth in me [has occurred]. I thought this was very important to showcase [the EP] during Mental Health Awareness Month.
Having therapy [assist patients in] learning healthy and toxic behavioral traits. I just thought that it would be very empowering to shed light on loving yourself, body positivity, and the mental health that goes into being comfortable with yourself. Embracing yourself! I thought it would be super amazing to drop ‘Inside Me’ this month.
What do you want new listeners to know about you beyond the music?
I just want people to organically enjoy the music. Honestly! I am who I am. I’m very bubbly, sincere and giving. Even after I do music, I want people to really appreciate it, enjoy it and connect with it, more importantly.
You advocate for the protection of women and your supporters maintaining their mental health. Therapy has been helpful to my journey. You have acknowledged meeting with a therapist. What have your sessions taught you?
My therapist has definitely taught me a lot [about] loving myself and self-care. I was not confident within myself. I feel like aside from music, [sessions were] able to help me break down a lot of barriers. And again, music was definitely an outlet.
During our sessions, one of my therapist’s main questions was [whether or not] I recorded. She was actually able to tell when I was happier and when I was not very positive. Those were the things that she pushed me [to] lean toward. She saw that those were healthy habits for me.
You are also evolving as a businesswoman. You recently teamed up with Cortez Bryant of The Blueprint Group (BPG) for management and distribution. How has your creative process been enhanced since?
My creative process has been enhanced a lot, actually. I have had the privilege to meet and work with a lot of phenomenal people. It is all about finding your tribe and people that actually want to uplift you and your craft. BPG does a phenomenal job at allowing me to be an independent artist. [They have] given me the range and the clarity to do whatever I please (laughs).
You mentioned finding your tribe. How important was identifying a support system to your development and mental health?
First, I came home to a support system, which was my family. It is crucial to find people who want to highlight your craft when it comes to business. You know? [They can] see and feel the same passion that you feel for your projects and your art. So, it was very important to find not just Cortez but everyone at BPG who is a part of my internal team, my publicist, and people who wanted to work with me and see me thrive.
REVOLT listened to a new music snippet. Preceding this, you spoke about shame being placed on those who have survived sexual victimization. Your project’s next single will veer against that. When can listeners anticipate the release of “Inside Me”?
So, ‘Inside Me’ will be released on all streaming service platforms [on] May 27. Visuals will be dropping with ‘Inside Me.’ It will also be available for pre-sale before it drops!
What level of safety needed to be established in order to feel comfortable while singing about intimacy?
Well, I definitely had to be comfortable in my own skin and love myself before I could get to the level of allowing someone in my personal domain. I am going through the motions just like everyone else. I think it’s a beautiful thing. [Intimacy] is nothing that anyone should be ashamed of. It’s something that all people should embrace, especially victims. It is a phenomenal thing.
What are you manifesting for yourself next?
I am definitely manifesting going on tour (laughs). I am manifesting being a lot more vocal and [becoming] a face [that people are familiar with]. I am creating my brand (laughs). I’m releasing more music [and exploring] collaborations with brands. I am rounding up my resources so that I can also be in a position to help other people who may be struggling with mental health [issues] or finding what makes them happy.