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Musician AŸA breaks silence – In her new released song ‘Scars on a shelf’ she is talking about sexual abuse: “You are not alone. Sharing pain can be scary, but it helps to breathe better.”

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The artist AŸA (Avia Shoshani) is an independent creator based in Berlin for the last 6 years. Half Maroccan, half Yemen, she moved from a little town in the desert of Israel/Palestine to the huge and colorful city of Berlin to find her voice as a Jewish-Arab woman in modern society. We have recently talked about her art, her inspiration and the challenges of being an artist the last two years. Now she finally can make some plans for her next performances (see below for more info) and just released a new song. In 'Scars on a shelf' she is talking about a very sensitive topic - sexual abuse. It is painful to talk about these things that can crush a humans soul and it is an immense strength of every woman to decide to shed light on her own story. So we gave the opportunity to create space in this digital realm to share AŸA's story, that is targeted to anyone reading this to let you know: You are not alone. We believe you. 


Interview with musician AŸA

You just released a new song 'Scars on a shelf' Can you share with us what is it about and what inspired you to create this piece?! 

I wrote "Scars on a Shelf" back in 2019, I was right after a break up with the man I moved together from Israel to Berlin. And I was at the beginning of a new relationship with the man who was my musical and life partner for the past years. He really inspired me to produce by myself or at least to try.

For many years I'm always in studios watching hours on hours other producers back, I never felt comfortable to ask or get involved in the process- maybe it's me - maybe it's them.

Right before he went to work, he taught me some basic moves, tools, and tricks on Ableton software. When he came back from work 7 hours later,  I was still there in front of the computer completely hypnotized.

Being all by myself in the studio and being able to express myself independently gave me the opportunity to write on deeper topic.

He asked me to push on the play, so he can hear my process, but obviously, I was sure it's not good enough to be played. Surprisingly, he was amazed by my sound decisions and the structure and gave me a lot of confidence.

We started working on the track right away and I loved everything he added. Being all by myself in the studio and being able to express myself independently gave me the opportunity to write on deeper topics than what I'm usually writing about - and his support definitely pushed me forward.

Sexual Abuse is a very sensitive topic to everyone who experienced any sort of it. I believe that every woman has experienced some extent of sexual assault or abuse. From an overstepping touch til rape - there are many facets that are barely talked about. If you feel comfortable to share, you are allowed to share your experience with sexual abuse.

I wrote this track many years ago and just now I feel that I have the strength to share it with the world. Knowing that my sexual abuse experiences are not a secret anymore triggered me a lot lately and make everything difficult.

I can't say I'm ready now, but I don't think I will be ever ready to share all these dark memories that I hide for so long under the carpet.

I can't say I'm ready now, but I don't think I will be ever ready to share all these dark memories that I hide for so long under the carpet. That I'm still embarassed and ashamed although I know clearly today, it was not my fault.

In the last months, I'm working a lot on my mental health.  I try to use music and writing as tools to express myself and I see it as part of my healing process. 

I found out, that sharing helps me a lot to breathe better - to know that I'm not alone.

My main goal is to be able to accept myself & my scars. Accept that it's part of me and probably made me who I am. I want to be honest with myself and with my surrounding as much as I can and I found out, that sharing helps me a lot to breathe better, to know that I'm not alone, that it's not only my bad luck, or my fucked up life.

It's everywhere, and we have to talk about that and lead for a change.


Healing from any sort of abuse is a long way and often times accompanied by mental stress and disorders like anxiety, depression or PTSD. Have you experienced mental struggles and what helped or still helps you healing?

Oh yeah... since I started to go to therapy 8 months ago- everything is floating, hitting me suddenly in the middle of the day, random flashbacks, terrifying nightmares.

Sometimes there are days I can't speak, I can't get out of bed and I can't see myself doing anything anymore - luckily after a good sleep, I feel better and able to stand on my feet.

There is never a "right time" to open pandora boxes, but I rather do it now.

Corona's time ruined so much but somehow helped me to find time and to invest it in my mental health and dig into my past. There is never a "right time" to open pandora boxes, but I rather do it now than at an older age when I'll have more responsibilities or my own family to take care of. 

I see these days as an opportunity to grow and learn about myself.


Only since few years through #metoo movement, we as collective started talking about these things. But there is still much in the shadow and work to be done. What do you think is most important in order to lower stigma for victims and educate society?

I think first of all we should listen more than add our opinion. Every person that finds somehow the strength to talk about those things, obviously thought million times before they decided to put themself out there at the war zone and share.

I feel compassion is the key and sometimes there's no need to say anything, just to listen to someone else stories and be there fully present - it's already enough and can help.

My biggest fear is to be judged or worse - to feel that no one believes me.

My biggest fear is to be judged or worse - to feel that no one believes me. Every person that went through this horrible experience already self judge themself and already mistrust their own memories. 

I feel compassion is the key and sometimes there's no need to say anything, just to listen to someone else stories.

In my opinion, we should be there for each other and do not let the criminals be part of the normal society, we should exclude them even though they are "an amazing artist /actor/ musician/ public figure", especially when you have so much power and influence in your hands, you have to use it smartly and understand that it is your responsibility to be a good human, good to others, respect and do not cross limits.


What is your message for any woman experiencing sexual assault or abuse?

You are not alone and you don't have to share anything, if you are not feeling comfortable. But it does help. It helps to share and confront this pain.

Life is a big struggle, and it's so hard to be in a world, when you can't trust anyone, and not even yourself, but we are stronger than we think and even stronger when we are together.

Sharing pain can be scary and so uncomfortable, but with the time, it helps to breathe better.

Sharing pain can be scary and so uncomfortable, but with the time, it helps to breathe better.


Where can we listen to your music and go to one of your concerts?

In this link, you can find everything about my music, releases, and updates.

I have another release one on April 8th- a music video that I'm working on for the last 2 years and means a lot to me for a song that is already out- "LET ME GO"

Except for it, I'm working on a new album and can't wait to start releasing it. I have a show at Denver Fringe Festival - USA in June between 24th-27th with the acrobat Tim Kriegler.

And the beginning of June I'm also Co-producing directing the festival "15 Minutes Of Femme" with my briliant partner Kristine Bogan.

This is the second year we got financial support from Musicboard Berlin to create this special festival, the date is not decided yet but soon we'll announce the date 🙂

Hope to see you there!


Thank you, Aya - for sharing your story and being the amazing artist and woman you are!


Photos by Molly Irvine @whoismoli

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