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Aviva Anastasia Payne (born 6 May 1994), known professionally as Aviva (stylized as AViVA), is an Australian singer, songwriter, musician and author from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She moved to Los Angeles, California in early 2019.
Aviva is unafraid of being different and has openly said that she is about “not fitting in and not wanting to fit in.” She has stated it is her mission to support the community of ‘outsiders’ she says she was and is still a part of. Her songs seek to “empower the listener to be who they are and embrace the things that make them unique.”
In addition to her music, Aviva revealed in 2018 that she finished writing the first book in a young adult series called “SELF/LESS”, about a girl who lives in a world where art and creative expression are banned and punishable crimes. It is a companion piece to her music and there is no known release date yet.
Aviva’s debut single, “GRRRLS” (2017), was released on Friday the 13th, October 2017 and received over 550 million streams. She described the song in an interview, saying, “This song is about not fitting in and not wanting to fit in. Sometimes that can be really isolating, but once you own it… it’s empowering. I think at some point everyone feels like they have to fight, just to be heard, let alone understood.” Upon its release, online music promotion channel, Mr.SuicideSheep uploaded “GRRRLS” and it received over 75K plays in the first 4 hours. The song grabbed the attention of the Nightcore community, which Aviva describes in an interview, saying, “Nightcore is just a genre of remixed music. It involves making it faster and higher in pitch or slower and lower in pitch. It’s a big thing for people in the gaming and anime community. I love my Nightcore family, they are some of my biggest supporters!” In 2018 “GRRRLS” went viral as a Youtube ‘meme’, receiving hundreds of thousands of shares. The song continues to remain active and is now a primary song used by the Gacha community, which uses games to create and personalize characters, and then adds the characters to backgrounds with speech bubbles or text, often accompanied by music to create stories. “GRRRLS” is featured in a vast quantity of Gacha videos uploaded to YouTube.
In January 2018, Aviva released her single “DROWN”, for which she directed her own music video. The song received over 2.5 million streams across all platforms. She described the song in an interview saying, “It’s an exploration of the isolation we experience as we go through the ‘steps of reason’, trying to rationalize life and all the choices we make.”
Aviva’s single “BRN” was released in April 2018. She has said the song, which is pronounced “Burn”, was inspired by author Tish Thawer’s quote, “We are the granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn.” The track was produced by MataisC and Jean-Paul Fung (Silverchair, Last Dinosaurs) and mastered by Chris Gehringer (Twenty-One Pilots).
Aviva was born on 6 May 1994 in Sydney, Australia where she grew up on Sydney’s north shore in a musical family, with her father and uncles being musicians. She played violin from the ages of 4 to 11. She attended high school at Mercy College in Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia and studied theatre and secondary education at the University of Notre Dame Australia.
Aviva has said in a 2017 interview that she loved The Smiths, saying, “I’m a longtime lover of the band, The Smiths. Their songs and lyrics fed my soul when I was a teenager!”
Aviva’s fans refer to themselves as ‘OUTSiDERS’, a reference she has alluded to herself as being in her book “SELF/LESS”. She is highly engaged with her fans and is known for her active presence on social media (particularly YouTube) to connect with her fans and audience. “I feel really strongly about creating an experience and a community around my music. If people are taking the time to share with me how they feel, I love to reach out and let them know I’m hearing them. Everyone loves to be heard, so as long as I can, I’ll be replying.”
Aviva has revealed in interviews that she is writing a young adult series entitled, “SELF/LESS”, as a companion piece to her music. In 2018, she announced that she had finished the first book. There is no known release date yet. In describing the series, she said “The songs are written so they can sit on their own but they’re also telling a story. My novel is taking that story and making it a more tangible thing. The story is based on the experience of the main character as she discovers the city she lives in is built on lies and is more of a dystopia than a utopia. The story follows her journey of self-discovery as an entire world beneath her feet is revealed.”
Singles and EPs
- Psycho (2019)
- Cemetery (2019)
- Streets (2019)
- Rabbit Hole (2019)
- Blackout (2019)
- Blame It On the Kids (2018)
- HUSHH (2018)
- BRN (2018)
- Drown (2018)
- GRRRLS (2017)
- Crystaleyes (2014)
- Supporting Poppy, US tour – Feb 2019
- Supporting Yungblud, AU tour – Feb 2019
- Supporting Pale Waves, AU tour – July 2018
- Supporting Tonight Alive, AU tour – May 2018
- Supporting Don Broco, AU tour – Dec 2018
- Groovin’ the Moo (Australia) – March 2018
- "AViVA Won't Be Silenced". https://scenestr.com.au/music/aviva-won-t-be-silenced-20180730.
- "Poppy drags after AViVA pops at quirky Senator show". https://theorion.com/78447/arts/community-arts/poppy-drags-after-aviva-pops-at-quirky-senator-show/.
- "The Matinee ’18 April 30th". https://therevue.ca/2018/04/30/the-matinee-18-april-30th/.
- "An Interview With The Australian Alternative-Rock Musician, AVIVA!". https://music.allaccess.com/an-interview-with-the-australian-alternative-rock-musician-aviva/.
- "PREMIERE: Get lost in the hypnotic sound of AViVA’s “GRRRLS”". https://substreammagazine.com/2017/10/aviva-grrls/.
- "AViVA - GRRRLS". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shk7qcvqDOo&feature=youtu.be.
- "ViViD AViVA". http://broaderlines.com/vivid-aviva/.
- "Gacha, Dollify and the popularity of digital dolls". https://www.superawesome.com/2019/02/18/kids-trend-alert-gacha-dollify-and-the-popularity-of-digital-dolls/.
- "GRRRLS meme". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrR1miq_Bos.
- "AViVA Releases New Video for "DROWN"". http://www.soundfiction.net/2018/03/22/aviva-releases-new-video-for-drown.
- "AViVA Tells Us All About Her Exquisite New Track 'BRN'". https://www.speakertv.com/news/latest-news/aviva-tells-us-all-about-her-exquisite-new-track-brn/.
- "An Interview With The Australian Alternative-Rock Musician, AViVA!". https://music.allaccess.com/an-interview-with-the-australian-alternative-rock-musician-aviva/.
- "SCENEzine Interview With AViVA". https://www.scenezine.com.au/scenezine-interview-with-aviva/.
- "ViViD AViVA". http://broaderlines.com/vivid-aviva/.
- "AViVA is back with latest single 'BRN'". http://fortemag.com.au/?p=39203.