Interview: Ayanis, Texas Born + Atlanta Raised, This R&B Star’s Only Direction Is Up

Photographed by Jimmy Fontaine

The Texas-born and Atlanta raised singer and dancer began singing in church choirs and did youth beauty pageants ultimately deciding at a young age that she wanted to be a professional entertainer. Ayanis recently caught the ears of industry notables and inked her deal with Island Prolific/Atlantic Records. Ayanis talks with us about her sound, how participating in beauty pageants helped influence her career when she started music, her musical influences, her big break, and what it was like working with Wiz Khalifa on the single, “One Night.” Read on to find out more about this talented singer and songwriter.

GLITTER: Where are you originally from, and when did you learn you could sing?

AYANIS: I’m originally from Wichita Falls, Texas, but we moved to Georgia because my father was in the military so I was raised in Atlanta.

GLITTER: What was your experience like participating in beauty pageants, and how did that influence your career?

AYANIS: It was fun, and such an excellent tool for my confidence as a young girl. The aspect of self-esteem and poise really influenced my career.

Photographed by Jimmy Fontaine

GLITTER: When and how did you start writing music?

AYANIS: I started writing music in high school, around age 14. I would write songs or ideas in like a composition notebook and then try to create them in my friend’s home studio set up.

GLITTER: Who have been your musical influences?

AYANIS: I have a few. Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, Rihanna.

GLITTER: When was your big break, and what was the experience like?

AYANIS: Meeting with A&R Chris Jones & Prince Charlez to create records and then in turn, being able to meet with the CEO of Atlantic Records Craig Kallman, was literally a dream come true. This was something I always dreamed of since I was a little girl. It such a blessing to see it all happen. I’m just so grateful.

GLITTER: Can you describe your sound?

AYANIS: Shero music. Here to speak up for my girls. It’s a refreshing version of R&B that’s sexy, fun, and confident with nice grooves and heavy production, as well as touching on subjects of relationships and self-worth.

GLITTER: How does your music empower women?

AYANIS: My music is all about and for women. I want women to feel good, sexy and know that they can have and be whatever they want in the world. We are such a force and such beautiful beings inside and out. It’s only right to make soundtracks that speak to us.

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