Hailing from South London, ADANNAY is a budding singer and songwriter who is already making waves in the UK music industry. Known as a Neo-Soulstress, she stands out with her unique voice, catchy melodies and storytelling lyrics. She draws musical inspiration from a variety of genres, including Alt-Pop, R&B, Caribbean Folk, and Gospel.
ADANNAY is no stranger to musical success. She has played at Cross the Tracks Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and 110 Above. Before the pandemic, she also planned to attend Cheltenham Music Festival, Oxford Pride, and her own UK tour. After reaching many adoring fans with her debut EP “Her Favourite Song,” ADANNAY is back with more soulful tunes for her listeners.
ADANNAY has just come out with a song of the season called “Summertime.” This track feels like it’s meant to accompany a long drive with windows down, a day with friends at a beach, or a late night campfire. With flavors of electronic dance music, ADANNAY does a great job keeping her song laid back and youthful. The soundscape effortlessly flows back and forth between tranquil, playful, and upbeat energies. Making use of unique electronic sounds, ADANNAY showcases her musical personality by keeping “Summertime” original and lively. Hints of Adannay’s ever-so-slight South London accent make her lighthearted vocals even more unique. The backtrack of “Summertime” occasionally cuts out to spotlight her voice.
You told us that you are inspired by Alt-Pop, R&B, Caribbean Folk, and Gospel when creating your music. How do you incorporate flavors of these genres into your songs?
I guess there are so many ways that my music crosses genres and takes inspiration from what I listen to. When I describe my music as Pop/Neo-Soul it’s because when you listen to my work you’re usually going to get one or the other! Long before I was born my Grandma started the Caribbean Folk Company, a group that performed Caribbean Folk music across the country. Every Friday the group comprised of my parents, family and family friends would rehearse at my house - so I’ve grown up with that musical style. What’s special about Caribbean folk to me is the way in which it tells a story, which is something I always try and do in my music.
At the age of 9, I joined a Gospel Choir and fell in love with the genre. So even now, when I write and record the vocal arrangement and harmonies play a huge part in how I express or tell a story.
Can you tell us about the creative process for “Summertime?”
Summertime came about in an unusual way for me! Usually, I write most of the music for my songs first, but that wasn't the case here. I have been writing a lot with Fraser Bernstein over the last couple of years - we've known each other since I was about 12 - and we have started working with producer Takooree. The two of them had a session and wrote the demo of the music for Summertime, and when I heard it I almost immediately came up with the lyrical concept of Summertime. Over lockdown, at a time when I felt the world needed a little slice of happiness, I wrote the lyrics of the song. It’s a relatable scenario – you find someone during the summer, hook up, and then wonder if, for them, it was just a seasonal fling. Then the three of us went back and forth on Zoom calls and WhatsApp messages to complete the track remotely during the lockdown. We then got Sam 'Corduroy ' Brown to mix and master the track for us and here we are!
What do you mean when you call yourself a Neo-Soulstress?
Haha, I guess It’s a fun way of saying that the way I sing is rooted in Neo-Soul. Neo-Soul is the genre I trained my voice with, from listening to Jill Scott, India Arie, Chrisette Michelle, and many other vocalists. This comes out a lot when I perform live.
You had many plans to pursue more performances and tours before the pandemic put them on hold. What do you plan to do after this break?
Yeah, it's been a strange time for live music. I think for me it's been difficult because performing live is what myself and my band really thrive on, and it's the best way for me to share my music and show who I am as an artist. But the last few months have been an incredible time to reflect and write and learn new skills musically. When things start to reach the new normal, I think my priority will be sorting out a UK tour, so I can keep playing my music to new audiences.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout 2020?
Honestly, it's been such a massive year for so many reasons, I am endlessly inspired. The way in which our lives here have all changed in an instant due to pandemic, and how that has affected the way we communicate, affected the way we gather, affected the relationships we have with loved ones far away, and the way it's changed how a city like London works, is all fascinating to me. Of course, the Black Lives Matter movement has emotionally charged me to really analyze the world and the people around me. During the global protests I felt so seen and connected with other black people and our allies - but seeing it all play out in the media a few weeks on and I'm remembering just how much work is left to do. The psychology and social dynamics of that really inspire me and have kept me writing a lot this summer so far.