London-born Ayanna Witter-Johnson is back with the release of ‘Rise Up’ featuring Akala. She has combined it into a new EP, set to be released on the 13th November, with two exclusive new tracks ‘Declaration Of Rights’ featuring Cleveland Watkiss and ‘Rise Up Cello Cadenza’. Mixing reggae with soul and classical to give a unique sound and vibe, in continuation of the celebration of Black history and culture beyond Black History Month alone.
Ayanna who studied her craft at Greenwich’s Trinity Laban and the Manhattan School of Music and is often referred to as the Beyonce of classical music is THE definition of eclectic. A singer, songwriter, cellist, composer, producer and arranger with phenomenal musical prowess, mesmerising vocals, uncompromising lyrics and mastery of the cello.
Speaking about her latest release, Ayanna said “‘In ‘Rise Up’ I created a song with a strong message specifically influenced by my Jamaican heritage. The starting point was a dancehall rhythm that informed the main cello riff. Lyrically, I challenged myself to create something uplifting with an uplifting message and it just flowed. I wrote the song for the next generation in the black community to remember they are the key to the future. To celebrate their culture, and to be proud of it. We are in the midst of having our basic freedoms challenged by something outside of ourselves and it’s easy to give up hope. We need to gather personal strength and remain purposeful, inspired and on track more than ever. Now is not the time to give up on your dreams. No matter how hard things seem, Rise Up. With the EP, I wanted to release a body of work that celebrates and pays homage to my ancestral heritage and act as a wake-up call for us all to understand our rights and stand in our glory. To inspire us to embrace our history and claim our birthrights of freedom and joy. It feels fitting to continue the Black history celebrations after October. Although Black History Month is so important to celebrate and mark achievements and contributions made, I firmly believe that every month is a month to recognise Black History and firmly move from a marginalised position to a permanent place in World History.”