Emerging artist Andra Day has humble beginnings from revamping songs on YouTube, including Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Muse’s “Uprising.”
She was raised singing contemporary Christian music and attending San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. Now, after 1,000,000 video hits and a discovery by Stevie Wonder, this San Diego native is taking the music scene by storm with her debut album “Cheers to the Fall.”
Produced through Warner Bros. records, with contributions from rhythm and blues specialists Raphael Saadiq and Questlove, this album is a refreshing revival of soul, jazz and doo-wop.
With inspiration spurring from the end of an eight-year relationship, Day guides listeners through a therapeutic retro-soul revival. Nostalgic “shoo-wops” and echoing vocals are sprinkled throughout the 13-song album, bringing us back to the days of James Brown and Nina Simone. Her powerhouse vocals most closely reflect those of Amy Winehouse, with similar piano riffs and soft drums that reincarnate elements of Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”
With a breakup in mind, the opening track “Forever Mine” is a play on the ideal longevity of relationships within this romantic, soul track. She highlights her bellowing vocals with the fierce lyrics, “My heart has been a chessboard, making moves and losing out, played so many times before, and there ain’t nothing to brag about.”
Emotions can be felt throughout the tracks, and they range from despair to closure, featured especially in the raw anthem “Rise Up.” The intensity appeals to listeners overcoming struggle, romantic or not.
As a new artist, Day sets a great example of creating tunes without the intent of jumping to number one on the charts. She accomplished her cathartic goal and in exchange provides us with a record that pinpoints a wide array of feelings.
Katy Radiske and Karly Kaufman