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Happily surprised to be 'Condemned'
Aya Peard never expected her song "You Say," a haunting reflection on love, loss and regret, to be associated with World Wrestling Entertainment and a film starring "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. But the singer-songwriter loves irony and is excited to be a part of the soundtrack for The Condemned.
"No, I never really expected it, but I'm pleased I am part of the project" Peard said. "It was a great surprise, and I love great surprises and irony in life. In this case, it was perfect."
In The Condemned, Austin is Jack Conrad, one of 10 death row inmates who are dropped on a remote island and must compete against one another for their lives -- and their freedom -- in a webcast that may be too real for any edition of Survivor. For Peard, an eclectic classically-trained musician, the WWE film showcased two of her loves: action movies and exploring the dark side of society.
"Growing up, I was a huge live action movie fan. I loved kung fu movies," she said. "And I really love dark social commentaries. So, I am really excited about the movie."
Peard's involvement in The Condemned soundtrack started with a chance meeting with the film's director, Scott Wiper, at a dinner party for a mutual friend.
"He looked me up online to see what kind of music I sang and heard an older version of ‘You Say,'" Peard said. "He then went off and made the movie, and it just stuck in his mind. It seemed to be best for [the scene featuring] the early interest [of the main character]."
Peard's friends and fellow musicians have been supportive of her involvement in The Condemned soundtrack; fellow indie rock band The Maids of Honor recently started wearing wrestling masks onstage in honor of Peard and WWE.
Peard's music has evolved as she has collaborated with several artists. When she was the lead singer of the now-defunct Phremyl, her music was described as both piano-acoustic and folk rock with an edge. Today, she pays tribute to her classical training and dance roots with experimental mixes in electronica that complement her ethereal sound. Her musical influences range from Kate Bush to Alice in Chains to Fryderyk Chopin.
"[With] Kate Bush, I was inspired by her lyrics, the stories told in her vocals, the things she chose to write about," she said. "I liked early Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Chopin… David Bowie, anything Ziggy Stardust."
The soundtrack for The Condemned will be available on iTunes starting April 24. The Condemned opens nationwide on April 27. (WATCH)