Conquering the world of jazz is something that not everyone has the ability to do. However, newcomer Andra Day has channeled her inner Nina Simone and Billie Holiday to help her rise to the occasion and keep jazz alive. There are many who have yet to even hear her name or know her story, but once they listen to her music, there’s a chance they may be hooked like the rest.
Much like most of the artists who have hit the scene in recent years, Day used YouTube to share her gift with the world. Using her page to create mash-ups featuring a number of hit songs including Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine and Momma Knows Best by Jessie J, she got people talking. While those videos drew in a large crowd, the 30-year-old attracted 900,000 views worth of attention when she posted her cover of rapper Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself.”
She may have gotten a lot of attention for her online videos, but Day’s story about how she came to be signed to Warner Brothers Records is equally, if not more interesting than her music and is not like those of many artists around. Before Day’s name was in the mouth of jazz lovers all over, she was called upon by Stevie Wonder after his wife shared her music to him. Following the two meeting, Wonder introduced her to Adrian Gurvitz who would give Day the chance of the lifetime: a record deal.
Since that day, the singer has been working hard to get her first studio album completed, all the while booking performances, like the 2015 BET Awards and Essence Fest 2015. Day is no stranger to performing and entertaining a crowd. As a graduate from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, she knows how to grab and hold the attention of an audience. What makes Andra Day so unique is her style and voice. Many have tried to mimic the sound of past jazz and blues singers, but have failed. Day has both the vintage style and voice down, seen frequently rocking a pompadour hairstyle and belting out powerful lyrics to her single “Forever Mine” with her soulful, raspy voice.
At this point in time, Day does not have a tour scheduled following the release of her debut album Cheers to the Fall, which is due out at the end of August of this year. Day’s story of how she came to be known and her powerful voice are reason enough for people to check her out. People are discovered every day, but not many are discovered by the great Stevie Wonder.
It should speak volumes that such an iconic talent has wanted to invest time in Day and help her grow as an artist. The two have yet to make a song, but if they did, it would surely be great. Until that day comes, Andra Day will have to keep getting the attention of the people on her own, which is something that she’s proven she can handle.