Ayla Nereo has built a community of beauty and understanding around her career in music. A deep believer in creating her own sound, Nereo embraces different genres and works to earn the vibe that it radiates. The singer is bringing her eclectic and inclusive energy to the Ogden Theatre on Sunday night to co-headline with Rising Appalachia.
We caught up with Nereo to discuss her upcoming show and workshop in Denver as well as her album, By The Light of the Dark Moon, which was released earlier this year.
303 Magazine: Thank you for talking to us ahead of the performance with Rising Appalachia at the Ogden Theatre. Have you performed at the Ogden Theatre before?
Ayla Nereo: This is the first time, which is exciting.
303: You have previously sold-out Red Rocks opening for Nahko & Trevor Hall and a couple of your own shows as well. Do you have a favorite Denver experience or memory?
AN: Well, Red Rocks was a crazy show. That one had a lot of magic. Even me playing before their set, the stadium was almost full. Then I got to come out and sing with them, and the energy that night was quite powerful.
Whenever I do my own show it is just different, it is so much fun. I played the Fox in the Spring as part of my album release and that whole tour was really special, getting to share new songs that no one had ever heard before. I sometimes play new songs before they’re on an album, but often I just work at recording and then start playing after the release. It is like unveiling new things, and I have good feelings about this Ogden show.
303: Really! Tell me more.
AN: It feels pretty rare that Leah and Chloe and the Rising App crew’s schedules align with mine like this, especially in Denver where we both have such amazing folks that come out independently. The co-headline together is going to be super fun. I am also excited because I have a ridiculous number of surprise guests. That’s going to be very fun.
303: How did you meet the Rising Appalachia women and begin sharing a stage with them?
AN: We’ve moved in concentric circles for a long time. We’ve sung different songs together, sometimes they have hopped on my sets sometimes I have hopped on their sets. We don’t see a lot of each other because we are both touring and doing different things. I’ve just always had a lot of respect for what they’re doing with music and using the music platform as a way to spread not only a deeper message but enact change. It is beautiful. I think there is a lot of respect and love between us, and then the friendship just grew and grew. So, it is really fun to get to do a show together.
303: What are you most looking forward to with your return to Denver?
AN: Denver is always really special to come to because there is this really beautiful feeling of welcome from the people. It is one of the bigger strong-holds where my music is received, not just in size but also in quality.
303: You have a new album, By The Light of the Dark Moon, out earlier this year. Has touring this album been a different experience than in the past?
AN: Yes, partly due to the album and partly a new phase of this new musical journey that I am in. Getting to do a bigger tour that was directly linked to a tour was really special. I haven’t done a really comprehensive North American tour before so that in itself was a new beautiful experience. Then, to have the album released shortly before the tour, I felt like the tour was giving wings to the album had a magic about it and I had not experienced that before.
303: How was the creative process of Moon different from your earlier projects?
AN: Every album is very different. I take a long time to make albums, so each one is such a different process as the music grows and the project grows I have more collaborators on each album. This one was the most collaborative. The sound changes and my life events went into all those songs which is so different than the theme of the previous album. It’s a lot about looking at different shadows and looking at places where we can grow and learn.
303: Is there anything else you would like to cover before your performance on Sunday?
AN: At The Ogden show we are doing a special VIP package for people who want to buy that ticket. We are going to do a meet and greet and then also share a couple of acoustic songs, which will be fun. It is really nice to get to actually meet people. I always get on stage and want to see and meet people, which is impossible. So, it is nice to be able to do a little of that before.
This interview has been condensed and edited. Catch Nereo at the Ogden Theatre on October 20 with Rising Appalachia, tickets here. Tickets to the Singing Life Workshop on Saturday, October 19 are sold out.