How did you get started? Tell us your story!

My name is Aáyanna, and I’m a singer/songwriter from Chicago. I grew up listening to artists like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Amerie, and Sade. I also grew up really interested in poetry and writing in general. My family was very involved in music and I think I just absorbed it all up. I started making music because writing songs and singing them was fun for me. It still is, but now it’s much more meaningful. I started taking it seriously around 2016 and I think I came a long way since then. One of the biggest moments in my career at this point would be Snoh Aalegra noticing the cover I did to “I Want You Around” and commenting on it. I wasn’t expecting it at all, I actually thought it was a fake page at first.

What is your experience in the music industry? Do you have any formal training or schooling? If not, are you self-taught and how did you learn your craft? What is your learning style? What are your favorite educational resources (ex. college, Youtube, etc.)?

I sang in the choir at church when I was younger and did musicals in middle school but other than that, I never stayed in vocal lessons for more than a month. I know it’d probably be in my best interest to pick that up again, but I think I learn how to use my voice better with time and experimentation.

What are some credits and achievements that you have? Who have you worked with? Who have you collaborated with?

The first song (“For You”) on my first EP, “Imagine”, was produced by EG and G-RY. Being the PARTYNEXTDOOR fan that I am, I wanted to work with G-RY for the longest and so that song means a lot to me.

Who are your biggest influences growing up and why? Who do you like to listen to now and why? Who’s on your playlist right now?

Sade definitely influenced me growing up because I loved how effortless everything came out. She sings so smooth and soft but it still has power behind it. I love listening to Frank Ocean, The Internet, Ambré, Lucky Daye, and Giveon. They’re always on repeat.

What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry?

The biggest obstacle hands down is myself. I tend to overthink in my free time and sometimes I think myself out of situations that might benefit me. Once you find that confidence, and that inner grit to push forward with your ideas (which I’m still learning how to do), the feeling you get from the outcome is indescribable. Another obstacle that I had to face was realizing that a lot of people you meet in this industry will sell you dreams. Don’t get your hopes up.

How would you describe your sound and style?

I would say my sound is whatever my mood is for the day. I went through a lot of different genre phases growing up, and I like to mix different ones. Most people, however, would say that my voice is relaxing. I get that a lot.

What are some of your goals this year?

My biggest goal this year is to finish the album I’ve been working on. I’ve put out two EPs in the past, but I feel like those were just appetizers. I wanna give you a full course meal.

Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?

Ooh, I definitely want to work with Smino, Brilliant Garcia, and Pharrell.

What is your creative process like?

My creative process varies. Sometimes I get random song lyrics in my head and write them down to use later, or I’ll be experiencing something and write about it whether I have a beat to go with it or not. I like to come up with songs in the shower, but (don’t judge) I started a lot of my songs sitting on the toilet.

What’s your favorite go-to order?

Recently I’ve been craving some spaghetti al limone and chicken cutlet from Jon & Vinny’s, but I’m not in LA so I learned how to make it at home. I like to think that I’ve mastered that meal by now.