Azjah (pronounced Asia) hails from one of the most legendary cities in America — especially when talking about hip hop culture — Compton, CA. Dubbed the “Princess of Compton,” Azjah’s roots in the city run deep. Her family, specifically her father, is very well-known. “That’s another reason why they call me the ‘Princess of Compton’,” explains Azjah. “I have a strong force behind me.” She grew up in the Wilmington Arms Housing Projects, where her parents had met when they were 15 years old attending Compton High School. She and her family moved to Bellflower, CA when she was just five years old, but Azjah would go back to Compton everyday after school. She went on to attend nearby Paramount High School, where she began to write songs. Although she hadn’t realized that she could rap yet, she was into writing because putting rhymes and patterns together came naturally to her.
Azjah’s family is undoubtedly her greatest influence. She’s close to both of her parents, both sides of her extended family, and to her two brothers — Cholo and Tahj. Azjah and her older brother Cholo were like twins growing up. She was always around him and his friends, especially their close friend Woo, who unfortunately passed away in 2007. A turning point in her life came in 2012, when her family’s house was raided by the police and Cholo was arrested and taken to jail on murder charges. He was facing a 28-year sentence, but beat the case and went home in 2015. The following year, he went back to jail on another murder charge. On December 7, 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to two life sentences — totaling 80 years. “Music became my escape dealing with the life sentences my brother was given,” says Azjah.
In 2017, using music as a way to cope with the reality of her older brother’s situation, Azjah released her first song titled “The Warm Up,” which started to gain momentum around the city. At this point, she had been recording music for a few years but struggled internally with self-confidence issues and trying to figure out how to separate herself from other Los Angeles rappers. For years she went back and forth between starting her music career and giving up, and throughout the last couple of years she has been finding her voice and understanding what it is she brings to music. Azjah describes her sound as ‘Pain Music,’ because through the emotion in her voice she makes the listener feel her lyrics and brings what she’s saying to life. Azjah’s diverse list of musical influences include Lauryn Hill, Maxwell, Lil Durk, Dej Loaf, Teena Marie, and her favorite song — “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt.
Since releasing her first record, Azjah was still unsure of whether or not she would pursue music. She gave up a few times before releasing her second single “Time For It” in October 2018, which really created a buzz throughout the city. People’s positive reactions to her music gave Azjah the confidence to go full-force, dropping another record a couple of months later titled “Spotlight.” The success of these three singles eventually caught the attention of EMPIRE who recently signed her to a distribution deal. Azjah released her debut project on April 26, 2019. She is on a mission to become the first female artist from Compton to gain national success, and is well on her way.