A Conversation with Ai Bendr

Ai Bendr is an industry gem who is taking shape right before our eyes. After her recent song, “Love Me Low” captivated the ears and hearts of listeners around the world, it was only right to reach out and see what makes this up and coming artist so special. It just seems like every interview I do just continues to get better. My conversation with the Ann Arbor, Michigan Native, was fruitful, life giving and inspirational. The young singer/songwriter has an amazing journey ahead of her and its a blessing getting to share a small part of her story with you all. If you haven’t heard, “Love Me Low” yet, give it a listen right here and enjoy this conversation with Ai Bendr!

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Sam: So what does a day in the life look like for you now? Especially since you’ve probably got a bunch of people hitting you up these days: 

Ai Bendr: Well, on some days its busier than others, but now I do have more meetings than I would’ve had a few months ago and most of my days now are just spent working on music and trying to get some stuff done. 

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Sam: Amazing, so tell me about your upbringing! Where were you born? Where have you lived?

Ai Bendr: So my family is definitely an immigrant family; My dad is from Nigeria, he grew up in a small village. My mom was born in Singapore and she lived there until she was five and then moved to Australia. Then somehow the two of them met in Australia and that’s where I was born.

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Sam: Do you have any siblings?

Ai Bendr: Yeah I have a lot of siblings! Theres 5 of them. I have 2 older and 3 younger, but I kind of raised my younger siblings. 

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Sam: Amazing! So where do you live right now?

Ai Bendr: Ann Arbor, Michigan!

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Sam: That’s so dope. My baby sister is actually going to The University of Michigan this fall to do gymnastics.

Ai Bendr: I’m going to Michigan as well! I got into the music school so I’m really excited for that. I plan on majoring in music and technology which is basically like production so its kind of what I already do now.

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Sam: Well, I’ll be praying for this next chapter of your life. Your music is phenomenal and just the mature manner in  which you sing is so impressive, so give me some background as to how you got into music in the first place.

Ai Bendr: Yeah, so I’m a very musical person. I’m a Pisces by the way and its crazy because if you just search up Pisces traits, I fit all of them and one of the traits is very musical.

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Sam: What day were you born?

Ai Bendr: February 25th!

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Sam: I’m the 24th!

Ai Bendr: No way, that’s crazy! I love that! But yeah, I’ve always been very musical. The first instrument that I actually started playing was the flute and that was in the 5th grade and I played that for like 7 years. When I played, the stuff I was playing wasn’t really fun, I made my own songs which was the fun part; and that was sort of what I always did. I would make my own tunes for fun. It was really in Highschool though when I started getting in to singing more. My parents weren’t that supportive of it at first so at home, it was never really something I could pursue, but in High School, I went to a boarding school, so since I had a little more of that independence, I was able to get more into it. And then by the 10th grade, I just kind of had this collection of songs and I decided that I wanted people to hear it. So at the end of 10th grade was when I put out my first song which was called, “Stay With Me”. I did everything by myself, like the production and stuff like that because my flute teacher taught me how to use logic so thats what I went with. All of the music I write though, all comes from an experience or some sort of emotional place. It’s not just fabricated.

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Sam: So have your parents been supportive of your musical journey at all?

Ai Bendr: Before? Absolutely not. But now the they’re seeing that so many things are happening from it, they’re definitely so much more supportive. The next step though, on top of working on music at home is to actually transfer to USC so I can be in LA and work with artists.

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Sam: Wow, thats great! Good luck with that! Tell me about your hit track, “Love Me Low”. I would love to hear all about the inspiration behind it.

Ai Bendr: I had a boyfriend and I was just thinking, “I love him so much” but in the moment that I was with him, I  was always thinking into the future of when I would graduate because we lived so far from eachother and because I’d be going to college, it would just have to end basically. So the feeling of the song that I hope people will get is that I’m so happy in this moment, I feel so happy; but I know in the future, even though I love you, I am going to have to go and I am going to miss you so much.

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Sam: That’s so touching! Speaking of change, how has the whole entire Corona Virus situation been for you?

Ai Bendr: At first, it definitely sucked. I go to boarding school so it means that all of my friends live across the country so its not like I can just drive down and see them. So the last term in High School before Corona virus hit was basically my last opportunity to see them since I don’t have all of the money to go and see them. So I was really sad at first, but I started looking at it in a very positive way because even when I was at school and I didn’t know the virus was an issue, I was also looking forward to graduation and I was scared for it because it was the last time I was going to be with all the people. The silver lining in it all is, the last moments I had with my friends were all completely happy. There was no underlying feeling of sadness at all. It was just good times. But in Quarantine, I’ve been cooking a lot because I’m a CHEF!  It’s actually been really good for me because I feel like I’ve grown a lot spiritually and mentally and obviously my music grew so much bigger over quarantine and I’m so excited to see how much more it will grow.

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Sam: God has given you a gift and its just so evident when I listen to your music. And just the way you’re able to connect with people is so inspiring. To say that you’re going to get better is such an understatement so I’m so excited. You never know, your music could open up pathways for your cheffing career also haha you never know!

Ai Bender: It honestly makes me so happy to hear people like you say that because I’m a sad person sometimes and it gets hard to support myself sometimes on my own so even just you telling me this, it gives me the support that I can’t always give myself. And I definitely think its God, you know. I think He’s definitely doing it for me. 

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Sam: You’re doing a great job and its so cool to see how you’re spreading so much light already. It’s such a gift getting to connect with people and inspire people. Society is filled with so much negativity and you’re a light. You’re going to kill it. You might mess up here and there but as long as you get back up, you’ve got a bright path ahead of you. I’m just so excited for you!

Ai Bendr: No, I agree with you! I feel like I’m connecting with you right now. I feel like the purpose of this life is to spread happiness to everyone. Like if you can’t be happy, thats just sad and thats a huge reason why Im doing music today; to bring that happiness to people!

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As always, more words were shared than I jotted down, but without a doubt, this conversation has left a mark on me and I’m so lucky to have talked to such a bright light. Ai Bendr can be found wherever you shop for music. If she continues to drop statement songs like “Love Me Low”, this could be the beginning of something special for the star in the making!