What does it take to be a Superstar in the world of R&B? Talent, beauty, style, poise. Well, Atlantic Records newest ingenue Ayanis (Aye-yaw-nis) offers you all that and then some. When I spoke to the up and coming diva this past week she was all to happy to gush about her work ethic, beauty secrets and her upcoming EP. Born and Texas and raised in Atlanta Ayanis is a southern belle whose musical roots stem from her coming up in the church. The gifted entertainer always knew she was destined to sing. “Gospel music and the choir was my first real introduction to music,” she says. “When I turned nine, I told my family that I wanted to be a singer.” Despite their skepticism, she performed at school talent shows, had a brief stint in a girl group at 14 and put out YouTube covers, including Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire” and Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe.” She laughs, looking back at those early videos. “Growth is real.”
She enrolled at Georgia State University and majored in PR and journalism. “I knew I wanted to be an artist, but I chose that because I could learn how the media would be.” In 2013, a cover posted to Instagram piqued the interest of songwriter/producer Mello The Producer. “He was the person who taught me how to record and taught me how to really be an artist.” She found a kindred spirit in Mello and the two cut several demos. “We have a bond musically.” Mello was working with August Alsina and others at the time. “Let’s make this a thing where we’re a team and help each other.”
Two years later, she linked with Atlantic Records’ VP of A&R Chris Jones and in 2017, she met artist and future collaborator Prince Charlez. “They gave me a chance and believed in me!” she says. Through her relationship with Jones and Charlez, she landed on the radar of Atlantic Records’ CEO/Co-Chairman Craig Kallman, who flew to Atlanta to meet with her personally. She had no clue that this meeting would prove her foot in the door. “I had been given a lot of no’s, maybes and ‘we’ll get back to you’,” she remembers.
The dream is now reality. Ayanis signed with island Prolific/Atlantic Records in December 2017. Her self-titled EP is slated to be released in the fall of 2018 and lead by the girl power single, “F.I.Y.T.” (Fuck Is You Thinking).” “It’s a feminist record with a lot of dynamics. It’s fresh, fun R&B. Every woman out there can relate,” she says. “I want to make music that’s fun. Music that makes you wanna tell somebody you love them. I’m gonna be an exciting, fun, sexy, cool girl on the block— who’s just being herself.” Producers for the upcoming project include Ayo Keyz, Super Mario and Go Grizzly. With heavy hitters like that at the helm we know that we’ll be getting some tracks that will no doubt leave us nodding our heads and swaying our hips. I inquired as to whether there was an any artist that she’d like to collab with and quick as a flash the names Chance the Rapper and SZA came up.
When I asked the Ayanis how she maintains her stunning good looks while keeping up with the break neck schedule of an R&B diva she told me straight up “Lots of water and sleep.” Our songstress envisions her self as an entertainer along the like of Janet and Beyoncé and if she keeps up with the fierce girl power anthems and sultry vocals she’ll be in good company. Before we ended our phone interview Ayanis told me that she wanted her to leave a legacy in R&B music and touch the live of those who listen to her music. Honestly, I think that she is well on her way. If you’d like to Ayanis bringing it to a stage near you catch her on the Access Granted: HBCU Tour presented by Atlantic Records starting October 4th and continuing through the end of the month. For Atlanta residents the closest stop is Savannah State on October 23rd. Look for her on Twitter under @ItsAyanis and on IG as Ayanis.