By Billy Montgomery
At 22 years old, rising recording artist Zyáir Ayanna wants to do it all. And why not?
The recent college grad has big dreams, but more importantly, she takes big steps.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University (MSU), the Detroit native took a leap of faith into her future by relocating to Los Angeles.
“I can do anything that I want to do. I have a college degree, but I also want to author books, be a mayor, open a restaurant… I want to do so many things, and I believe that I wholeheartedly can do it all,” the first-generation college graduate said.
Amid all her goals, she admits that music is her biggest passion. This vision became clearer to the singer during her first visit to Los Angeles in 2020. While helping her cousin settle in for studies at UCLA, the rising artist took advantage of remote learning at MSU and connected with a producer and engineer duo to work on her music.
“I would be in the studio for 72 hours straight and I didn't mind sleeping on the couch or taking the bean bag chair for a little bit,” Zyáir Ayanna said. She continued, “I love being a part of the mixing and mastering; the creative part of producing it. I get so ecstatic whenever a song is finished because I'm like ‘I did that.’”
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Upon obtaining her degree in political science with an emphasis on pre-law, the singer left Lansing, Michigan for LA again, but this time to fully pursue her music career. Generating an eclectic mix flowing between R&B and neo-soul, the sultry singer said her musical influences range from Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and the late Luther Vandross to modern singers like Snow Allegra. Her singles like “Act Right,” “@ttention,” and “Bad At Lovers,” remind audiences of her influences as she soulfully serenades from her deep melodic repertoire.
A gifted songwriter, she also plays several instruments including violin, piano, and all guitars. While self-taught and accomplished in playing several instruments, Zyáir Ayanna said she still wants to master other aspects of her performance.
“I can't sing and play at the same time. I'm really trying to focus on being able to do that,” she said.
Because she writes her songs, the singer/songwriter says her lyrics can come from anywhere at any time.
“I can be in the middle of a conversation and then pause because an idea for a great lyric comes to mind.”
Through her heartfelt songs, Zyáir Ayanna shares relatable, intimate insights on love and accountability in relationships. An example of this flow is shown in the following “Act Right” lyrics.: And I might make you wait for it / I promise I don’t have the time/ Our night could lead until the mornin’/ But only if you act right.
As an independent artist, she is fully aware of the struggle to get her music on the level she desires, but Zyáir Ayanna said she’s willing to patiently plow away until she hits the target.
“Sometimes you get a little discouraged because you may not be at the same level as other people, but you know we're all on our own path,” the songstress said, “It'll come with time and patience.”
Her patience is paying off as she prepares new music, collaborations, and live performances. Additionally, she is also an actress and a model.
“I am currently working on a new single and I have my first studio collaboration with another singer. I'm super excited about that as well,” the lyricist said. “I am also planning to release an album next year and am booked for my first festival in Des Moines, Iowa.”
For fans who want to see her perform live, Zyáir Ayanna said a mini-California tour is under consideration, but in the meantime look for Instagram updates @zyairayanna and search for her music on all popular streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and YouTube.
“I just want to reach as many people as I can, people who really just enjoy soothing music,” Zyair Ayanna said. “I want to make people feel, so if people are down to feel, then I am down to be the person to go to for music. Photography: Billy Montgomery