Starting off 2016 strongly with two Grammy nominations (Best R&B Performance for “Rise Up” and Best R&B Album for Cheers To The Fall), Andra Day is setting up for a lengthy career in the music industry.

Finding her start online covering Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best” and Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wap (That Thing),” Andra, born Cassandra Monique Batie, was picked up by Warner Brothers Music Group in 2012 at the urging of Stevie Wonder, after the legendary musician introduced Day to record executive Adrian Gurvitz.

”I want people to…not be afraid of their truth”

Compared to the likes of Eartha Kitt, Amy Winehouse and Adele, Day released her debut album Cheers To The Fall in late August 2015. Produced in part by Raphael Saadiq, the project featured collaborations from ?uestlove, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Dap-Kings. Inspired by the culmination of an eight-year relationship, the LP is bursting with confidence, as well as filled with different forms of pining regret, blending together elements of throwback R&B, while maintaining a flair of relevance.

”I want people to…not be afraid of their truth,” said Day of her debut, disclosing that the relationship discussed throughout Cheers ended due to her own actions. Her first single, the bluesy “Forever Mine” was package with a video that took direction from Spike Lee, after the film legend heard the San Diego native perform a Nina Simone tribute that took place during the Sundance Film Festival. “Forever Mine” is unabashedly a romantic testament to both and commitment.

Her breakout second single, “Rise Up” has flown up the charts, spawning a number of covers while simultaneously earning one of her first two Grammy nominations.

The empowering and inspirational number, co-written by Day and Jennifer Decilveo (Boyz II Men, Sean Kingston, B.o.B.), has touched listeners around the world with its strong message. A perfect follow up to the Spike Lee-directed video for “Forever Mine,” the music video for “Rise Up” is being directed by M Night Shyamalan, an arrangement that stemmed from a tweet sent by the supernatural filmmaker.

Day — something akin to the millennial version of Billie Holiday, complete with headwraps and vintage furs — is a musical genius, as critics have lauded and praised her knack for chord progression and fresh takes on a classic sound. Having gone from performing online, to singing for the President and First Lady, to sharing a Grammy stage with Ellie Goulding, the Warner Bros signee is a reputable (and rising) talent in the wide soundscape that is pop music, although she has expressed her choice to be more experimental with her sound.

And it’s clear that Day isn’t an artist that can be boxed in, as her music ranges from jazz to soul to funk to all around magic. Vibe Magazine accurately summed up the power of Andra Day’s artistry, stating that her “message applies to all…all we need to do is listen.”

And listen we will.

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