It’s no surprise that Andra Day caught the attention of Spike Lee while paying tribute to Nina Simone earlier this year. The singer’s voice is just that good. It’s soulful, bold, and influenced by the aforementioned Jazz legend, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and more. “Just hearing Billie Holiday’s voice creep through the speaker,” she said, reminiscing on the moment she found her own voice. “Her’s and Nina Simone’s voices are so pretty yet really gritty at the same time. That’s when I realized that you just have to open your mouth and let a song come out, that’s sort of where it fit naturally.”
While Day’s voice carries bits of her musical inspirations, her emotionally driven songs only hold her truth. The San Diego native’s honesty sits at the forefront of her forthcoming debut, Cheers to the Fall. There’s a lyric on “Gold” that speaks of Day’s infidelity in a past relationship: “Like a king is loyal to what’s his/ You looked for a ring to fit/ While I played wifey with a kid/ Oh the irony makes me sick.” “It’s kind of heavy, but those are literal things that happened,” she recalls.
Day’s willingness to tell her own truth is what she hopes will encourage listeners to do the same. “The freedom that comes with that is amazing,” she insisted. Cheers to the Fall, due out on August 28, is Andra Day’s road to redemption. From the powerful single “Rise Up” to the doo wop-inspired “Forever Mine” with its Spike Lee-directed visual, this singer’s experiences comes to life, unfiltered for the world to witness. “The message for me is very clear: I want [the album] to inspire people to be truthful, completely truthful and candid,” she told us.
Read STASHED’s Q&A with Andra Day for more on Cheers to the Fall, her journey within the industry and reasoning behind her raw songwriting.
Photo Credit: Myriam Santos