By Michele Salinas
After a full day of NYC interviews and appearances at Nylon, Tidal and Essence, Atlantic Record artist, Ayanis, took the time to talk with The Girls Room just an hour before we attended her EP release party. During our conversation, the Atlanta raised singer was in awe of her success thus far and gave us a gist of what we what can expect from her fresh take on R&B.
The singer was born in Texas and at six years old moved to Atlanta, a move which she feels greatly influences her music. “We are the culture,” she says when referring to Atlanta. Ayanis goes on to list the names of some of the well-known artists who have come out of Atlanta like Monica, Outkast, Ciara and even newer artists like Gunna, Lil Baby and Young Thug. Ayanis’ ATL “swag” not only influences her music but is the reason for her refreshing take on R&B. She describes her music as not your typical slow-paced R&B but as music that despite having you “in your feels” will also make you want to get up and dance! Ayanis says her music is for the women! She describes it as a “confidence builder” to make us feel sexy, which, I can vouch for.
Ayanis was introduced to music through her parent’s booming stereos which blasted Michael Jackson. Music runs in her bloodline. Her great uncle is the songwriter who wrote Mr. Big Stuff that was recorded by Jean Knight, and her grandmother was also a singer. However, it wasn’t until Ayanis joined her church choir that her passion for music ignited. Needless to say, she’s been singing ever since.
Ayanis knew she wanted to pursue music since 14 years old. The dream began when she was asked to join a girl group with two other girls; after a month of doing vocal lessons with the girl group, she realized she wanted to venture into her solo career. Although the girl group was short lived, she was able to learn her strengths and weaknesses in the music world. Ayanis has been consistently posting song covers on Youtube and was finally discovered after posting one of her clips on Instagram by Mello The Producer. Mello saw Ayanis’ potential which she then began recording independently. Yet, after four years all she had to show for her music career was two independently released songs and no record deal.
On her pursuit to fame, Ayanis studied PR & Journalism at Georgia State University where she would work in the studio until 6 a.m. and would go straight to her 8 a.m. class. In 2017, she was 23 years old and was finally offered a deal with Pacific-Atlantic Record. That’s when she knew she couldn’t juggle the two anymore. Ayanis made the decision to drop out of school and put all of her energy into her music. Although her parents were not the happiest with this choice, they have also known for years that their daughter was not going to let go of this dream and have been her biggest supporters throughout her journey.
Since signing with Atlantic Records, Ayanis has released her visuals for her singles Awe Yeah, F.I.Y.T, and just finished up her first tour Access Granted: HBCU Tour where she opened up for Lil Baby and Gunna. When asked about the tour, Ayanis confidently said, “even though a lot of the audience didn’t know my music, you’re supposed to make sure they don’t forget you.” Now that she’s back home from her tour, she released her first EP titled “Direction” (which quickly made it to top charts). This is her first project and no matter who you are or what you’re going through, Ayanis promises there will something on it for everyone. The project will include visuals aside from Awe Yeah and F.I.Y.T, with one of them starring actor and singer-songwriter Mack Wilds. Ayanis said, “as long as you live, you’re going to try to figure yourself out. Who you are. What you want,” which became the reason behind the name “Direction.”
The inspiration behind her music has always been through personal experiences. Ayanis copes with getting things off her chest by leaving it all on the track.During our interview, Ayanis expressed that she aspires to be as great of an entertainer as Beyonce, as she said she’s studied her performances whether it be the way she sings, dances or entertains the crowd. When it comes to Ayanis’ music, she hopes to one day create with artists such as Drake, Missy Elliot, Chance the Rapper, SZA and of course Tory Lanez. The Girls Room agrees with Ayanis when she says “my music is fun, has personality and incorporates that throwback sound of R&B that everyone loves.” Ayanis is a triple threat with so much more to come and you’ve heard it here first at TGR.