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(Photo provided via Jacob Jackson)

Aizayah Hills incorporates Hawaiian roots into modern emo music, establishing his own subgenre

Reigning from Hilo, Hawaii, Aizayah Hills established the “beach emo” subgenre, and uses his creative mind to engineer the entirety of his music himself.

Hills describes the genre of his music as “beach emo” because it combines relaxing vibes with a feeling of nostalgia. He started out experimenting with hip-hop sounds, but he decided to drift away from it because of the oversaturation of emo rap. Hills wants to be different from any artist out, and he knows he has what it takes to stand out.

“I just started making music that gives off beachy, summer, long road trip vibes, but for the people that like emo hip-hop stuff,” Hills said. “I think my sound is very reflective of me too, so I like it a lot.”

Hills said that by engineering his music himself, he has the power to control how he wants the song and his vocals to sound. He said there is no specific process for the creation of his work. He generally mixes until every piece of a song sounds perfect to him. Hills used to send his manager, Jacob Jackson, three songs everyday.

“I need my music to sound exactly how I want it to, or I just can’t be confident in it,” Hills said.

Hills’ most streamed tracks on Spotify are “Frozen (feat. Badkidhan)” and “Fallout,” which both combine lyrics about heartbreak with beats that include upbeat, beachy undertones. These tracks are great examples of how he puts his soul into his voice to deliver a purely organic sound.

“Fallout” is easily the track that makes Hills stand out, as he incorporates a ukulele beat with lyrics about the frustration of unrequited love. It is clear the lyrics of this song are very personal to Hills, because his emotions are heard through his singing. He is representing his Hawaiian roots with the use of the ukulele, an instrument much different from the typical emo hip-hop sound.

Hills uses his distinctive sound to describe the ups and downs in his relationships. The artist’s latest track, “Radio,”  switches up this usual theme of his. It is a laid back, happy song about becoming completely carefree about every stress in life and moving to California.

Some impressive accomplishments for Hills thus far in his career include winning the Promoting Sounds Unreleased Track Competition, getting featured on Elevator Magazine and receiving attention and interest from multiple labels.

Although Hills has an original sound to his music, he has inspirations who motivated him while establishing his sound. He said his musical inspirations are MAGIC!, Aries, Dominic Fike and Fike’s brother ALX. 

It is clear that Hills’ outlook on the music industry is to stand out and trust his own process. This is clearly working for him, as he has only been making music for two years. He said he was just messing around for fun when he first started making music, and gradually started taking it more seriously. It seems he truly found his sound in February of 2020, when he began dropping tracks on Spotify.

Since releasing his first Spotify track, “Frozen (feat. Badkidkhan),” Hills has stayed rather consistent in producing more music at a fast pace. He has released nine singles since February 2020. His musical, lyrical and vocal growth and experimentation is shown through each track. Listening to his music feels like sitting in the sand at a beach at night with some friends and sharing each other’s deepest feelings.

Listen to Aizayah Hills’ latest release, “Radio”


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