Wayna
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"Wayna pop Quiz - SXSW Artist"

Wayna pop quiz — SXSW Artist
Posted by freddie beat under pop quiz | Tags: 2009 Grammy Nominee, Austin music venues, Be OK, Best Urban/Alternative, Chrisette Michelle, Daydream, Grammy nominated, Grammy Nominee, Help, Higher Ground, hip-hop, I Am, Kokayi, R&B, soul, South by Southwest, SXSW, SXSW Artist, SXSW hip hop, SXSW R&B, SXSW shows, SXSW soul, The Beatles, The Grammys, The Mohawk, The Mohawk Patio, Urban/Alternative category, Wayna, will.i.am, Yesterday |
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Based in Maryland, Wayna is a 2009 Grammy Nominee (Yes, a Grammy Nominee!) who is blazing trails with her indie R&B. She was in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Category, which tells you she’s anything but traditional. Though Chrisette Michelle’s “Be OK” featuring will.i.am was chosen over her song ”Lovin You (Music)” featuring Kokayi, it’s all about the nomination in popolio’s book. She’s popolio’s first Grammy-nominated pop quiz artist.* From the Grammys to SXSW, her show is next Wednesday, March 18, 2009, at The Mohawk Patio (912 Red River Street) at 1o:00 PM. She’s part of the urban bill there that includes our first SXSW popolio pop quiz artist this week, Kendra Ross. More info at the SXSW site here.

March 13, 2009

Name: Wayna
Genre: R&B/Soul/Hip Hop/Singer-Songwriter
Latest Release: Higher Ground
Release Date: April 15, 2008

This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Mainstream
2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)??? Both, but if I have to lean toward one, it would be Integrity/Vision.
3. Studio or Stage? Stage, I love vibing off the band and the audience. Anything can happen at any moment.
4. Spirituality OR Hedonism? Spirituality, it is at the heart of everything.
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? All of the above, but with the man I love.

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my escape, my best mode of communication, and the boyfriend with whom I have a slightly obsessive relationship.
7. I’m musically inspired by a story that needs to be told.
8. My favorite old school joint is “Yesterday” by The Beatles.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be The Bionic Woman with Wonder Woman’s jet and jewelry.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Truth, Wine, and Live Instruments.

Short Answer
11. I make music because: It is the only job I would do for free.
12. I want my fans to: Feel inspired and to keep inspiring me.
13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be: Nothing motivates me more than being underestimated.
14. Wild Card! My ideal vacation is laying on a quiet beach with a mimosa and good book.
15. I want my musical legacy to be: Making a catalogue that is appreciated many years to come and that really captured what people of my time were thinking and feeling.
- Popolio


"Pick of the Week: Wayna's 'Loving You'"


Pick of the Week: Wayna's 'Loving You,' because it's beautiful
Updated 1/28/2009
By Quiet Power Productions

Updating Loving You is all I want to do ... : Wayna offers a fresh take on the Minnie Ripperton classic.
By Steve Jones, USA TODAY

Ethiopian-born soul singer Wayna gives a refreshing update of the late Minnie Ripperton's hit Loving You. It's her music that stirs her passion.

The playlist

USA TODAY music critic Steve Jones highlights 10 intriguing tracks from Grammy-nominated projects

Lesson Learned, Alicia Keys and John Mayer: Keys sings beautifully about carrying on after a crushing breakup to Mayer's gentle strumming.

Caravan, Cassandra Wilson: The smoky-voice jazz vocal nominee's sultry rendition of the Duke Ellington classic.


Cold Rain, Irma Thomas: Stirring, piano-assisted ballad from blues queen's Simply Grand.

Never Give You Up, Raphael Saadiq and Stevie Wonder: On the same record, Saadiq collaborates and pays tribute to Wonder, one of his major influences.

Dear John, John Lee Hooker Jr.: The son of the late blues great narrates a searing tale of love gone woefully wrong.

Who's Gonna Save My Soul, Gnarls Barkley: Nobody lays bare their broken heart more painfully or more plaintively than Cee-Lo.

Paris, Tokyo, Lupe Fiasco: Rap solo nominee's jazzy travelogue ode to lover he left behind to hit the road.

Stay With Me…, Al Green and John Legend: R&B legend and contemporary star Legend lay down a succulent slice of vintage soul.

Roc Boys …, Jay-Z: A celebratory tale of a young thug's rise to power from his masterful American Gangster.

Be OK,Chrisette Michele and will.i.am: Michele's upbeat, jazz-infused ditty finds her sending a lover packing. It's a I Will Survive for a new generation.

- USA Today


"Former Speechwriter becomes Grammy Nominee"

Trading a promising career as a speechwriter to become a singer/songwriter is paying off for Wayna. The independent artist became a first-time Grammy Award nominee last December when her single, "Lovin You (Music)," was nominated for best urban/alternative performance.

"Speechwriting was exciting and challenging work," says Wayna, who spent three years in the office of presidential letters and messages during the Clinton White House. "But a big piece of me was unfulfilled. I used to pass by the Kemp Mill music store [in Washington, D.C.], which became a daily reminder of what I really wanted to do. Finally, desire overwhelmed fear."

Taking the plunge in 2000, the Ethiopian-born, D.C.-raised Wayna began gigging in Georgetown every Friday night while working part-time to help raise funds for a recording budget. Through her indie label Quiet Power Productions, Wayna-which means wine of God-released her first album in 2005. "Moments of Clarity, Book 1" went on to sell 7000 units. That was followed in 2008 by "Higher Ground," whose fusion of classic soul and jazz includes Wayna's Grammy-nominated revamp of Minnie Riperton's 1975 No. 1 pop and No. 3 R&B hit "Lovin' You."

Wayna's version of the track features Kokayi, who laid down the beat box on the track and suggested the idea of augmenting the song with lyrics about the ups and downs of struggling to make it in the music industry. The song is also special to Wayna in another way. Friend and mentor Stevie Wonder, who became a fan of her work following a Los Angeles performance, produced the Riperton version.

"That song is a reminder to me to keep my head on straight, stay focused and know my true goals," says Wayna. "And having Stevie as a fan has helped me believe in myself more."

Having opened recently for fellow Grammy nominee Jazmine Sullivan and coming off performances at three inaugural balls, Wayna will perform tonight at a special Grammy send-off party at D.C.'s LIV venue. The evening's special guests include Jive artist and current Grammy nominee Raheem DeVaughn. From there she''ll hit the road for shows in New York and Texas.

"The Grammy nomination is incredible validation," says Wayna. "But the greatest validation for me is still the active listeners. Being able to touch an audience with my music is the sweetest award." - Billboard.biz


Discography

* Moments of Clarity, Book 1 (Quiet Power, 2004)
* Higher Ground (Quiet Power, 2008)

Photos

Bio

2009 marked a breakout year for Ethiopian-born singer/songwriter, Wayna. Her single “Moonlight Rendezvous” from the sophomore LP charted the Billboards for seven consecutive weeks, peaking at #3 on the Hot R&B Singles chart and #12 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

The follow-up single, “My Love” an impassioned plea to the loved ones of abused women, spent six consecutive weeks on Billboard, peaking at #2 on the Hot R&B Singles chart and #12 on the Hot 100. Under her own imprint, Keradion Music Group, Wayna closed out the year by garnering a coveted Grammy nomination in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Category for her remake “Lovin You (Music)” featuring Kokayi. The song, which she also co-produced, is a fitting representation of her diverse musical style, a blend of Minnie Riperton, Bob Marley, and Billie Holiday.

Wayna's latest studio effort, an EP to be released in the Spring 2013, features a Toronto-based backing band and production team, "the Expats," named for their varied musical and cultural upbringings. Hailing from all over the world, Ethiopia to Isreal, Yemen to Jamaica, Japan to India, Wayna and the Expats drew from diverse musical influences to create a unique blend of African and Reggae-inspired soul fused with classic and alternative rock -- Sade and the Police meets Lauryn Hill and Radiohead.

The album's sound, both progressive and retro, appeals to world, rock, reggae, hip hop, and soul enthusiasts. Mixed predominantly by multi-Grammy award winning engineer, Russell Elevado, "Freak Show" refers to the challenges of being raised by various cultures -- creating contradictions that some would call abnormalities. But on this CD, Wayna celebrates those abnormalities and encourage the listener to do the same.

Wayna previously performed at SXSW. Her performance was featured and pictured in SXSW World, and she was invited to perform the following year.