Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ayana: Ready for world


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ARMED WITH GUNS and roses, Ayana John seemed poised for greatness.
Celebrating her 10th anniversary in music this year, Ayana was a frequent performer at local shows and songs in regular rotation on television and radio. When she wasn’t slaying island charts, the femme fatale was rocking runways and flaunting impressive vocals in competitions.
But it still was not enough.
“I felt good but not great [about my career]. I felt like I could have been better if I wanted it to be better. I knew if I left I would be able to grow and I told myself that I had to do it and prove to people that you want to be a better artiste,” she told WEEKEND BUZZ.
The singer/songwriter packed her bags and books and headed to London for the Tech Music School in 2011 to study for a year-long diploma in popular music practice. Currently, the Paperchase singer is based there, choosing to find solace in Barbados during winter months.
She believed the move was a game-changer for not only her musical direction, but her personal development.
“I think any artiste needs to travel the world. If you are not in a position where someone is making you do it, then you have to do it for yourself.
There are so many things to be learnt,” Ayana asserted.
“So many artistes have been accepted outside [their own country] because their style fits in a different bracket,” she continued. “You have to get up and find what works for you . . . ”
Admittedly, it was not an easy road. Ayana described the programme as “intense” – a word she’s also used for London’s winter: “But I felt like if I was to grow as an artiste, I needed to do this.”
“. . . I got what I went there for, which was to become a better musician. I learnt basic keys, [the ability] to sing with a wider range and . . . go to songwriting classes . . . [because] you could be a great singer, but that does not mean that you have great hits. It can hold you back in your ability to take it to the next level . . .”.
She gained distinction in the diploma, and the education she received opened doors for her to perform in the club and pub circuit in and around London, with a band that included five other classmates.
But for some things, home drums beat first. And making an album is one of them.
The yet-to-be-titled project will be Ayana’s second LP, but fourth studio production. She is working with Quantum Studio’s Randy Eastmond with production by Farrakhan Stevens. September is the targeted month for release.
“The reason I came back to Barbados is because I have a history with the engineers here. They know my voice and what I am supposed to sound like,” she explained.
“I write all of my songs. I speak from the heart, and I don’t expect anyone else to know what is in my heart but me.”
One Life To Live was released on Valentine’s Day, and the singer reported good rotation on Love 104.1 FM. The song was dedicated to the late Xavier Mansour.
Can’t Get Enough? Another single may be dropped as early as next week.
Ayana has plans to tour London with the new material, with her sights set on the festival circuit there.

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