Äyanna is a newcomer to the music landscape, but she’s already made some significant steps in ascending it.
The 24-year-old East London native has only released music professionally since right before the COVID pandemic upended the world, but she’s been singing for almost two decades. After her mother discovered the semblance of a special voice at the age of four, Äyanna was coached by her, which later established her singing chops by emulating some of the best ever to do it.
“I remember she would listen to me sing and would just be like, ‘No, you're singing from the wrong place, you're straining singing again,’” she described during a recent interview with BET. “She would make me sing songs like “Joyful, Joyful” by Lauryn Hill. “Even now with the way that I sing things I'm mindful of when I'm straining. It's second nature.”
Her parents were also crucial in initiating her musical taste and the type of artistry she wanted to pursue. Äyanna’s father would take her long road trips with him, allowing her to rifle through large binders of CDs and watch their favorite music together.
“That's like one of my fondest memories of listening to new music,” she says, noting that Air Supply and Tracy Chapman were in heavy rotation. “Even as I got older I had playlists on my phone called ‘Red Car Playlist’ because my dad had a red car and I would listen to all the songs that my dad used to playback.”
While developing her musical taste and chops, Äyanna began learning to write original material. In 2019, just months before the pandemic hit, she released “Party Tricks” – a ballad to invisibility and heartbreak and one of the first songs where she employed her pen. It also became her first musical breakthrough.
From 2020 to last year, Äyanna spent her time in quarantine recording, focusing on honing her craft. Being sent beat packs from producer duo Fisticuffs, she would spend hours writing to the instrumentals to sharpen her songwriting chops further. Eventually and initially, Äyanna was offered a publishing deal from Love Renaissance (LVRN) and Warner Chappell Music for her behind-the-scenes work. And while she was at first hesitant about the deal she would eventually sign, she knew she was more than a songwriter.
Subsequently, in 2022, Äyanna began attending writing camps and recording her own music, which started getting buzz among people she knew and fans nationally. This, in combination with her growing presence on TikTok, where she relayed much of her abilities, then gave her the confidence to approach LVRN earlier this year and ask that she be signed fully as an artist.
“When I had the opportunity to speak to them, I literally presented to them on a board in the meeting room my vision and what I wanted to do, including the aesthetic of the EP,” she describes. “My whole vision was a part of that board, and after that, they offered me a record deal.”
Months later, Äyanna is already off to the races. She’s released the infectious singles “Girlfriend” and “Say You Love Me” with equally impressive visuals. They’re perfect examples of how she’s setting the tone for her debut EP In A Perfect World, which could very well position Äyanna as a force in the pop world and beyond. For now, though, she just wants the project to tell her story – hopefully, many can relate to it.
“It feels to me like a really pretty beautiful introduction with a little bow on top to say ‘Hi, this is who I am, this is what I believe in. This is what I talk about, what I look like, I sound like, and I hope that you want to be along the journey,’” Äyanna notes. “When music can connect with me as a person and as an artist, that's how the project feels to me, and I'm really excited about that. It feels like it's been a long time coming because part of me has been preparing for that my whole life, so I'm really grateful and excited it's finally happening.”
In A Perfect World drops on September 13. Presave here.