We recently caught up with Aisha Jawando, who will play Martha Reeves in Motown the Musical in London’s West End. Read on to discover where her love of Motown came from and how excited she is to be part of the show.
How excited are you to be stepping into the shoes of such a legend?
Aisha – I am super-duper excited to be stepping into the shoes of Martha Reeves, she’s an absolute legend! Herself with the Vandellas and herself as a solo artist as well, I’m just so excited and privileged to be playing the part.
Did you grow up listening to a lot of Motown music?
Aisha – My dad’s a DJ, so for me it’s considered old school. These were the kinds of songs he’d play in the car on the way to dance school, just on the way anywhere. So I grew up listening to these artists.
What do you think makes the Motown sound so special?
Aisha – It transcends through the years, it never grows old. It talks about the same topics; about love, about heartbreak, about being happy, being joyous. It just touches and speaks to every single person from the oldest to the youngest. The rhythms are just so catchy as well!
What was it like auditioning in front of Berry Gordy?
Aisha –Auditioning for any role is nerve-racking, you have so many girls up there and everyone’s trying to be polite, so that in itself is nerve-racking. Then when I heard Berry Gordy was coming into the auditions I was like, OK kill me now! How am I going to ever live up to the standards of the people that he signed onto his records? How am I ever going to be as good as them? But it was amazing when I got in the room; he was such a sweet man so it was fun.
Are you looking forward to rehearsals starting in January?
Aisha –I am so looking forward to starting rehearsals in January. I actually have my first Christmas off in about 4 years so I’m going to enjoy that month and then I’m going to come back ready to start!
Check out our interviews with Lucy St Louis and Cedric Neal.