Warner Bros. Recording artist, Andra Day, took the stage at the Ebony Magazine/CoverGirl Lipstick on the Mic event. I caught up with the jazzy, soul singer and learned about what inspired her to pursue a music career and discussed her hip hop influences. Also, enjoy her cover of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.” Super dope! But first, here’s our Q&A!
What can we expect from your show tonight?
Well, you know, I’m a soul singer so you can expect soul music, a couple of fun covers that I like to play around with, so a little hip hop surprise and I hope people like it.
I saw on YouTube that you did a cover of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”
Yeah, I did. I’m a big fan of hip hop so it’s kind of fun to just grab songs and cover them. So tonight is not Eminem, it will be Biggie.
So although you are going to cover Biggie, with you being from San Diego, you still do believe the West Coast is the Best Coast, right?
[Laughs] We have Tupac! I respect every hustle, you know what I’m saying?
How did you get started in music?
Well I went to performing arts school. And originally I started in Musical Theatre, so that’s what I was going to do. But you know? I still love it, and I still enjoy it and go absorb it. So I did a lot of stuff on stage, and in church, and finally started pursuing it commercially once I graduated.
So why an R&B and Blues style when you’re a big hip hop fan?
I think it’s just my upbringing, what my parents were into, and also my training at the performing arts school. I was listening to a lot of jazz and did a lot of local jazz performances there, too, so we listened to the Ella’s, and the Sarah Vaughan’s, and the Billie Holiday’s, and I fell in love with Billie Holiday so that’s what inspired my music.
Is Billie Holiday your favorite?
Yeah. It’s the emotion, that’s music. It’s her way of being able to convey a story and emotion that’s like heartbreaking sometimes.
Do you have any singles that you’re working on where we could hear?
Yeah, actually the album will be out this year. I’m really excited and all the news of it will be on my website, AndraDay.com. And we have a single out right now, it’s called “Coolin in the Streets” that we did with Ziggy Marley. It’s a really fun, family-oriented, summer, party track.
How did you link up with Ziggy Marley?
A random phone call! [Laughs] We were just in the studio, I was with my Producer, and we were like ‘man it would be so cool if we could get a Marley,’ so my Producer just reached out and was like let’s see what they say, and they actually just hit us back and he agreed to do the video and everything!
Check out her single, Coolin in the Streets Featuring Ziggy Marley below.
Here’s Andra Day’s Live cover of Big Poppa. So dope!