The demands of any job can wear on a single mother. But when it comes to the sometimes ridiculous demands of succeeding in this overcrowded, extra-competitive music industry, the job almost seems next to impossible. For R&B singer Avery Sunshine, juggling two full-time jobs is the only way she can manage both of them. The mother of an 11-year old son and a 9-year old daughter is also one of R&B music's best kept secrets. But not for long.
Quickly becoming your favorite singer's favorite singer (in a recent interview with BET.com, R&B songstress Ledisi mentioned Avery Sunshine as the one to watch), Sunshine is grateful for the accolades that she's received from Ledisi and others.
"It’s overwhelming...because you don’t see a lot of artists supporting each other. When you first get started, there aren’t a lot of artists coming to your shows, and you don’t think about. Ledisi is a different creature; she’s just a different creature."
Avery tells BET.com that not only did Ledisi offer to help her, but she actually carried through on that offer. At one of her release parties, Avery says Ledisi almost brought her to tears when she invited her up on stage and gave her the mic.
"That means you are so comfortable in your skin and what you do. I am honored to be in your presence. She’s encouraged me to do the same thing. At my shows now, I ask, 'are there any artists out there?'"
Avery knows that having a strong support system is vital to anyone's career, be it at work or even at home. A year ago, her parents left Philly, sold their house and moved to Atlanta with her to encourage her to focus on her singing career. With that system in place, Avery has had time to get to work. Last week, the singer just released The Summer EP, a three song EP featuring the new single "Bags Packed" and two remixed tracks of "Ugly Part of Me" and "I Got Sunshine" (from last year's self-titled debut album).
"Music has served as a healer, as another way of communication for me," says the singer/songwriter. "Before I decided that I was going to be an artist, I would sit down and write music for me. It served that purpose first. When I was eight years old, I told my mother I wanted to play the piano."
Now, a mother in her own right, Sunshine is living proof that music is a reflection of life. And that down-to-Earth spirit is what connects to listeners. "It's easy to pull from life, when you wake up and your baby is looking at you in your face. I have no choice to be in mommy mode," she explains. "It’s not hard to draw from that experience. There’s a song on the album called “The Most," it’s an ode to my children. My kids help me stay balanced and grounded. My mind isn’t able to get that far away." Thankfully.
(Photo: BigShine Music LLC)