Annhayla, pronounced Ahn-hay-la, is a talented soul singer and songwriter from Virginia, who plays the guitar and writes about self-acceptance. She is a refreshing new voice.
By Angelique Tyree
Growing up, Anhayla was always musically inclined. Originally born in Norfolk, VA on May 24, 1988, Anhayla began singing at the tender age of five in church. For her, music was a childhood friend she kept throughout adulthood. Anhayla grew up in a religious household and wasn’t exposed to many other genres of music outside of gospel. However, there was one Christmas when her mom gave her Aaliyah’s “One in a Million” album . This was the first album Anhayla listened all the way through repetitively, which molded her taste in R&B music.
Destined for stardom since day one, the Virginia native's determined spirit first materialized all before she'd turn a teenager. After winning Most Talented singing Mariah Carey’s “Hero” at her first public appearance in a local pageant, Anhayla began to take her musical ability more seriously. When she was 8 years old, she moved to Richmond, VA were she began to develop her own voice in music. Opera became the first genre of music that she received formal training in while performing in the Greater Richmond Children’s choir at the age of 9. With this nationally-known children’s choir, she performed nationwide at such places as Carnegie Hall in New York City.
She taught herself how to write songs and play the piano at the age of 12. Once she started playing the keys and singing, it was like a dynamic duo. Capitalizing on this talent, she began composing her own music and lyrics. “I write songs everyday, it’s my outlet,” she explains. Her style of music can be best described as infused Soul/R&b. however, it is not easily defined. “I just take a little bit from every genre and put it into my music. I sing about life so I try not to put myself in a box.”
Some of her influences include Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, Pink, Shania twain, Tina Turner, Patsy Cline, Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald,, In addition to musical impacts, Anhayla considers her family as major influences in her career. Although Anhayla wants to ultimately pursue a music career, she’s also taking advantage of her accounting major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Anhayla is multi-talented and thrives to share her passion to write, compose, and record music that will touch the spirit of the soul and keep people longing for her next project.