Born in Newfoundland, the easternmost province of Canada, Helene Hilary Jean Baird, better known as AADJA, was entranced by music from an early age. Growing up in nature made a profound impact, the surrounding woods, rugged landscapes and nearby ocean inspiring her innate music language. She tpicked up a guitar at age five, and went on to play clarinet, piano, flute and baritone saxophone, as well as receiving classical vocal training.
In 2009, she spent a year in Brisbane, Australia, where she explored electronic music culture and stood in front of a pair of CDJs for the first time. Back in Newfoundland, she learned to DJ and soon after secured her first residency at the now defunct after hours nightclub, Spin.
In 2011, she moved to Toronto, where she continued her pursuits as a DJ until deciding to take a break from it in 2015. She turned her hand to producing after the hiatus, which proved rejuvenative, and simultaneously landed her eponymous residency at the esteemed Canadian underground techno collective, Format.
Within a year of returning to DJing she was already touring internationally, playing shows in Berlin and at Red Light Radio in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, she’d picked up a TB-03, and later, a Prophet-6 synthesiser, the hardware which took her production to a new level. Having a physical connection to the music — traced from the machines to her fingertips, through to her mind and spirit — turned producing into a meditative process that brought her sonic expressionism to life.
In 2019, AADJA made a major breakthrough when she was signed to cult Italian techno label Pushmaster Discs. Her first Pushmaster EP, Celestial Path, included remixes by underground heroes Deniro and Hector Oaks.
The following year, she was signed to Nina Kraviz’s Trip Recordings, with her tracks added to the label’s Hot Steel compilations 1 and 2. Kraviz was so impressed by AADJA’s tracks, she also signed a seven-track EP, and declared its title track “Thought Dealer” one of her favourite tracks of 2020.
Since Thought Dealer’s release, AADJA has toured everywhere from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic and Switzerland to Colombia, Chile, and Mexico. She’s performed at some of the world’s most coveted clubs and parties including Paris’ Possession and London’s Printworks, and has appeared alongside some of techno’s leading acts, including Richie Hawtin, Ben Klock, Len Faki, Marcel Dettmann, Amelie Lens, Charlotte de Witte, and Anetha. Recently, she played her second Boiler Room in Toronto in front of some 12,000 enraptured fans.
AADJA’s music can be broadly defined as fast, ethereal and trippy techno, often incorporating her own hypnotic vocals, but she’s reluctant to put a label on her sound. She does not limit herself to any particular genre, but instead gravitates towards colourful music that reflects her multifaceted personality.
As AADJA's career continues to gather steam, it's increasingly clear she's not just a DJ/producer but a true abstract artist, holding a growing number of fans spellbound by her unique, ever-crystallising vision.