Az One
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Az One


Band R&B Pop


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"Singing sisters perform ‘Az One’"

Girl group from the Lou busts 106 & Park next week

By Chantai P. Meadows

For the St. Louis American
Up-and-coming girl group, Az One - comprised of sisters Ayanna and Niambi Rowland, age 27 and 24, respectively - are taking BET’s 106 & Park stage next week in hopes of taking their careers to the next level.

These natural-born performers hail from Springfield, IL but made the move to St. Louis to get their act off of the ground in 2003. While working with local producers like M. I. Beats, Illfidelity and Ali, Az One found their way onto the 106 & Park stage with their original R&B cut, “The Jump Off.”

“We were watching (106 & Park) one day, and we thought that we should go for it! So we sent in a DVD and they told us to come on March 29,” Ayanna Rowland said. “We were so excited.”

Their infectious lyrics and bubbly energy lead to victory on the show’s “Wild Out Wednesday” talent search, which was the first taste of national exposure for the duo.

“We were just ourselves,” Ayanna said. “We kept it real and people like that.”

When they’re not gracing the nationally televised stage, Az One, like many other independent acts, are working hard to live the dream. In the mist of working and trying to lead a normal life, Az One also write songs, perform and are in the process of finishing their debut album, The Jump Off.
“It’s a lot, between performances and rehearsing, it seems like we’re always going,” Ayanna said. “We’ve performed at Toxic, weddings, a block party back home and just recently a fundraiser at Wal-Mart. We’re just on the grind.” - St. Louis American

"Stand Up Magazine"

Interview: Az One By: Nakeyia Rimmer

Stand Up: Hey, what's up Az One?

Az One: What’s up

Stand Up: Tell us where you are from?

Az One: We are from Springfield, IL., but right now we live in Belleville, IL.

Stand Up: How long have you been performing as a group?

Az One: Officially, since 2000 we been performing as the group Az One. But, since were sisters, pretty much our whole life.

Stand Up: How did you guys come up with the name Az One?

Az One: Because when we sing, our harmonies are as one. We just blend together so well, that it sounds like one person is singing.

Stand Up: Have you guys always gone by the name Az One or did you change your name?

Az One: No, we have always gone by Az One.

Stand Up: Do you write your own material?

Az One: Yeah

Stand Up: Who are some of the producers that you have been working with?

Az One: We have a producer out in Chicago, his name is Lucky Lefty, producers in St. Louis, MI Beats, Infidelity, and some producers from other countries such as Hungry and the UK.

Stand Up: How is the music scene out where you are? Do you have a lot of local or regional support from the djs? Are you getting any radio play and if so, for what songs?

Az One: The Springfield area has been showing us love, so now we are trying to get more involved with the Belleville area trying to do like open mic nights and stuff like that. But, basically it just boils down to who you know and connecting with people when you go out to different events. And the St. Louis areas has been showing us love as well. We recently had a write up in the St. Louis American, so that was a good look for us.

Stand Up: Do you have any labels looking at you right now? If, so what label do you think would be the perfect home for you?

Az One: At one point we had a rep. from Jive in contact with us and a few other labels, but nothing ever fell thru with those situations.

Stand Up: What are some of your recent or upcoming shows and projects that you have lined up? Is there an album in the works? If so, tell us what is your favorite song and why?

Az One: We did the Blaze The Stage, of course. We did a new years eve party in Iowa. We did the 106th and Park Wild Out Wednesday in March and July of 2006. Then our album is coming out February 24th, 2007 and we are having an album release party in Springfield, IL on the same day.

Stand Up: What would you say your core fan base is? Give us an age range.

Az One: Our fan base range would be about 18 and up. The reason I say that is because we have like older fans that are 65 and up and they love our music.

Stand Up: Has the exposure from 106th and Park helped you guys out at all?

Az One: Yeah, it has helped us out a lot locally and helped us with booking more shows in different areas. A lot of hits on our Myspace page and our website. And a lot of people recognized us when we did a show in Penola, IL, we had a lot of fans that wanted to take pictures with us with their cell phones.

Stand Up: You were also a part of the Blaze The Stage talent showcase, how did that turn out for you?

Az One: We felt like it was a good opportunity for us to gain more exposure.

Stand Up: Is there anyone out at this time, that you would compare yourself too?

Az One: I would say we have the harmony style of Destiny Child. Just the whole powerful, soulful voices.

Stand Up: What makes you different from everyone else that is out right now?

Az One: Well, I just noticed today, that a lot of people sound the same. It’s not like we hatin on anybody, but I just think our style is refreshing. We get people that tell us that “yaw harmonies made me have chills”. It’s like our harmonies are so in synch, like wow. It’s like we sound like more than 2 people.

Stand Up: Tell us where fans can go listen and purchase your music? Do you have a website?

Az One: and

Stand Up: What else should the world know about Az One that they don't already know

Az One: I would say, that we are really humble people. Very loyal to our family and our friends. We love to sing, no matter how much money we get. We have a gift and we just want to share it with everybody. We also want to let everybody know that our album will be released on February 24, 2007 and we want everybody to pick up a copy. You can stop by our website to check it out.

- Nakeyia Rimmer

"Belleville Sisters Relish Their Win on BET Show"

By Jaime Ingle, Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.

Singing together Az One lead to a first-place finish for sisters Ayanna and Niambi Rowland.

The sisters earned the most online votes from viewers during their March 29 performance on Black Entertainment television's "Wild Out Wednesday." They were the last of three acts to perform live for a studio audience.

Filmed in New York City, the show is an extension of "106 and Park," a show that lets viewers rate their favorite R&B singers and dancers.

"It was a lot of preparation for a minute and 10 seconds," said Niambi from her cell phone. She and Ayanna had just landed in Chicago. Ayanna was driving them back to Belleville.

"We had a mike check during the commercial break and then we were on. It went so fast I almost don't remember singing," said Niambi.

Ayanna, 29, and Niambi, 25, went to the edge of the stage to shake hands with teen audience members during their performance of "The Jump Off," an original song.

"During the sound check, we realized we had enough time to go out there when we sang 'Bounce With It.'"

The extra attention paid off.

"It was mainly 16- and 17-year-olds, and they were so excited," said Niambi. "That might have gotten us the extra votes to win."

Ayanna's 4-year-old daughter, Kobi, was excited too. She stayed with her grandparents while her mom and aunt performed in New York.

"My dad said she kept saying 'Go mommy, go mommy,'" said Niambi.

What's next for Az One?

"We'll be going back on the show July 12," said Niambi.

There, they will compete against other weekly winners. A final prize has yet to be announced, but the women hope the exposure will lead to a recording contract.

"Hopefully this will mean more shows back home," Niambi said, "and we'd like to finish our CD."

- Jaime Ingle, Belleville News Democrat, ILL.

"Az One sings on Fox 2 News Live, St. Louis"

After the 2009 American Idols Finale, Az One performed live at the Idol Watch Party on Fox 2 News - Fox 2 News

"Az One in California Magazine"

I Met these Young Ladies Online & Struck a Friendship with them. I didn't Know they Could Sing. We Struck Up a Friendship and I'm Proud to Say I Listened to their Music. I Most Def Support it. I call em My Play Sisters But Enough From Me I Welcome Yall to "AzOneSing":

#0 Who are You? I Know who You are But tell the People who Az One is.

A R&B/Pop Duo, sisters from Springfield, IL. Niambi and Ayanna Rowland. Now living in St. Louis. We have been singing together forever, since we were little in church. The group Az One started in
2000. We are song writers also.

#1 Where are You right now?

In St. Louis, answering these interview questions. Just got off the plane from Detroit. We performed there this weekend. We met Martha Reeves, (you know the hit songs, Heatwave and Dancing in the Streets). She loved us and gave us a lot of great advice.

#2 Go Ahead & Tell us a Little about the Project you're bout to drop.

Our next project is a mixture of Pop and R&B. Something different than from what we have done in the past.

#3 How have You welcomed the challenge to stay fresh?

We listen to all genres of music, rock, pop, country, hip hop, jazz.. By listening to all genres and being open, you can get different ideas. Now everyone has talked about every topic you can think of. So you can't re-event the wheel... but with our singing style and our harmony we have a different vibe that is not out here right now.

#4 How do you feel about the current creativity level in Hip Hop right now?

Rap and hip hop is two different things. we feel the hip hop artists out here are good. But some of the rap songs are Not!

#5 What is your mindstate when You decide to do a song?

We have different ways of writing songs. If we have a beat, that beat may put us in a certain mood. When we have stuff on our mind, happy or sad, we will write it down in poetry form. Lyrics are in our head all day. We will call each and say, "I just thought about this concept."

#6 I know a lot of people say that music is supposed to be entertaining. they don't have to talk about what's goin on. Will you on your album?

On our first album, we have a song called Make a Change. Some of the lyrics go, "why is this world so crazy, babies having babies, brothas in the system, when is it gonna change." We also have a domestic violence song called "I Never Thought". We wrote this song for our Aunt Jennifer who was a victim of domestic violence. It's a song for a man or a woman getting abused. The bridge goes, once it happens, it will happen again. You can listen to this song on

We did not put this on the album but we wanted the message out there. We like to talk about serious situations. But a lot of those songs don't make it as singles because you know how the music industry is. But we can still get the message out there at our shows and on our album and in interviews.

#7 Can you tell us sum details about your album. Like some of the producers you worked with and some of the content?

Our 1st album was called "The Jump Off" still available online (Itunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and our our site

We wrote all 12 songs. Producers were Lukky Lefty, MI BEATS, Ill Phill, Joka & Pixa (out of the UK and Hungary) and Cornbread. It's an R&B album. Now our new project we are working on, we are working with Lukky Lefty, he is a great producer and works well with our style. We will reveal when the project is over!

#8 Do u think that in today's Music there's too much pressure for artists Not to Talk about everyday Life Or What's going on in their Personal Life?

Well you can talk about your personal situations because that is what makes the song powerful because when you sing it, you can feel it and your fans can feel it. Now of course you can't tell all your personal business because you know people can take it and run with it. There is a lot of pressure in the music industry because it's seems like they want you to stay on the same formula.

#9 You have done a lot with keeping your name out there. What's the Next Move for You?

Take it to the next level.

#10 Who do you see in Your Field in general coming up on the R&B side?

Keri Hilson

#11 Who would you like to Callab with? Why?

T-Pain because he has nice writing skills Ludacris, we love his flow and delivery Whitney Houston because she is our all time fav.

#12 What's Your Next Move? I wanna Know as a Fan and as a Journalist.

We would like to go overseas, keep writing, travel on the west coast, more shows and keep networking.

#13 What's your Top 5 albums You Love and Why?

Donell Jones (Where I wanna be)- We just think that was a great R&B album
Brandy (Never Say Never)- Album was on repeat
We love UGK
Tyrese we just love Tyrese
Tupac all albums

#14 What advice would u give to sumone who wants to Follow after you?

Patience, Go for what you know, Network, Stay true to yourself, hustle and grind, and do not degrade yourself, and write!

#15 If I wanna Do an album with AzoneSing For a Feature How do I find You? How do I contact You? Do I go thru a Manager or what?
E.C. Rowland (

#16 How do You Feel about Obama Being In Office?

It's a mark in history, we pray for our countries success with Obama being in office.

#17 What's Better for your direction Being with a Major Or Being 100% Independent?

It depends on the paperwork

#18 I told a lot of People I was Going to Be Interviewing You and A Few males wanted me to ask You Both "Where You Single"? LOL


#19 Do You wanna Give out any Shout Outs ?

Parents, God, Based Magazine, Fans, Lovely Cuts of Detroit, The Neelys, Anyone who has believed in us. Rowland, Flowers, Price family, Springfield, IL. St. Louis, DC

Az One


The Jump Off : February 2007
Eyez On Me: 2008



Sisters Ayanna and Niambi Rowland have been patiently waiting for their time to shine. For years they have sacrificed and given so much of themselves, since the two formed the singing duo Az One, eight years ago. They coined the name Az One because their voices blend and harmonize as one.

"We have done so much on our own," says Ayanna. "We have to encourage each other to keep pushing. We both work full time jobs, and I'm a mother. “It can be hard but we are ready to soar.”

Ayanna and Niambi are no amateurs to hard work. A principle instilled in them by their supportive parents. Both graduated with bachelors degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale; while running track, holding down jobs, and still receiving honors in their academics.

Singing for the sisters started early in church, in their hometown of Springfield, IL. Their parents made sure they were at choir practice every Saturday morning. What started out as something their parents made them do, turned into what Niambi and Ayanna wanted to do for life.

"Sometimes you don't know why your parents make you do certain things," says Niambi. "But when we were the only females selected by Billboard Magazine to perform at the Disc Makers Music World Series, in 2006, I truly appreciated what our mom and dad did for us!"

It did not stop there for the dynamic duo that year. Az One performed live on Black Entertainment Television's (BET) 106 & Park, Wild out Wednesday Contest. They took first place in the R&B competition. They were than invited back to compete for the All Star title. Az One received close to 300,000 votes, a record for the show.

"It was so exciting to win," says Ayanna. "It felt like a dream. This is what we have been waiting for. We won it for our family, friends and fans."

To keep the momentum going, in 2007, Az One released their freshman album, titled The Jump Off. Niambi and Ayanna wrote, arranged and were the executive producers of the album. They worked with a well rounded blend of talented music producers from Chicago, Springfield, St. Louis, and Europe. The Jump Off was a perfect name for the album because it was the single that landed them on BET. With the ladies on the grind, they sold a couple of thousands out the trunk. They received great reviews on the album, especially on the track, Got Me Thinkin'.

One fan wrote, "I really enjoyed your song Got Me Thinkin' because it hit home for me right now. Especially because I ask myself everyday, how I really feel about the man, who I think and feel is the love of my life."

"Comments like that just make you realize how special music is," says Niambi.

The Jump Off album can still be found online through ITUNES, Rhapsody, Amazon and E music.

After the release of their independent album, Az One has kept busy performing and promoting. They were selected as artist of the week on Clear Channel's NEW website. They opened up for Common, Twista, Cassidy, and Ginuwine. Az One was also honored to sing the National Anthem at NBA Star, Andre Igudola's, celebrity charity event.

With their consistent work ethic; Az One's 2008 single, Eyez On Me, was placed on the Apple Iphone game ThumStruck. The single produced by Lukky Lefty, and written by Niambi and Ayanna Rowland, is a catchy, fun and upbeat R&B track.

"Hot track, good sound, beautiful women... U can't lose,” a fan wrote.

So you ask what's next for Az One? The sisters are also in the studio recording a Christmas album to be released during the 2009 holiday season. The album, titled Christmas With Az One, will be a mixture of R&B, Gospel, Pop, and Rock.

Their schedules are so busy. How do they do it all? They do it because the passion they have for music. Az One is the breath of fresh air the music industry needs. With their humble beginnings, positive spirits, great writing skills, and don't forget those unforgettable voices; Az One is ahead of the pack. With all their hard work and consistency, they are destined to succeed.

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