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Friday, December 30, 2016

Andra Day: Celebrating Success, Using Platform for Good

It's official: The world has fallen in love with Grammy-nominated recording artist Andra Day.
Photo Credit: Myriam Santos

Before she took the stage at the 2016 Grammy Awards to perform her single "Rise Up with Ellie Goulding, the message of the single was brought to life during the commercial for Beats by Dre featuring Serena Williams. On May 9th of this year she released the inspirational official video for the single with over half a million views in less than a month--- at the time of this article in November 2016 it has almost 5 million views---and that isn't all. The lyrics from "Rise Up" have appeared on 40 million Coca Cola cups in select McDonald's restaurants across the nation and include a Shazam-powered portal into a digital experience where they can watch the "I Rise" short film starring Day.

As the year comes to a close the single "Rise Up" has been featured  by the television show BLACKLIST and in the promotion of movies like THE BIRTH OF A NATION as well as performed by Day during the Democratic National Convention and in programs around the world meant to empower young girls. The sought-after artist took out a few moments of her schedule to talk Cyrus Webb about the journey, the success and what it shows all of us about embracing our own inner power.

C.W.: Andra, when you began this musical journey could you have imagined that your ability to tell a story through song would reach individuals around the world the way it has.
A.D.: I wanted my music to reach whoever it was supposed to reach. I didn’t expect my journey would happen like this, so quickly and with people rallied behind. This is what I desired and what I never could have imagined. I’m so grateful.

C.W.:As part of the promotion for your album CHEERS TO THE FALL you have been hitting the road, meeting your fans. What has it been like for you to feel that energy from the audience coming back at you as you perform?
A.D.: It’s amazing because when you’re onstage, you’re being open and vulnerable while still entertaining. It allows them to tear their walls down. We’re able to actually engage and connect. I get to talk to them about their achievements and struggles. It’s very cathartic for me.

C. W.: Congratulations on the official video for your powerful single RISE UP. What has it been like for you to see the way the visual is resonating with your fans?
A.D.: It’s been amazing. It’s rewarding that the visual is resonating with fans because the content in the video is sensitive. A woman came up to me and said she was in a wheelchair for years and that was her life.



C.W.: This year for you began with an amazing performance at the Grammys, followed by lots of appearances and now with the announcement of your partnership with Coke words by you will be all over the place. Is it part of your mission to remind people of the power of words in their own lives?
A.D.: Yes, part of my mission is to remind people that words are powerful. A lot of times we use them in destructive ways, but sometimes you need to remind people that our words can manifest. It’s a duty to ourselves and our community to use them wisely.

C.W.: Thanks for your time, Andra. Last question: Based on your own inspirational journey what do you tell people about the importance of believing in themselves when it comes to pursuing their goals and dreams?
A.D.: First, it’s finding who you truly are and your purpose. Then, you need to understand your personal journey is one that comes with criticism and failures or perceived failures, and to not be afraid of those things. Criticism and failure are not to stop you, but instead help you grow and become stronger.

Stay connected with Andra Day through www.andraday.com and on Twitter at www.andradaymusic.com.




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