Some voices sound like the truth. In fact, this very statement could be applied to self-taught singer-songwriter Andreya Triana, whose soulful vocal outpour is an effortless blend of blues, pop, reggae and jazz.
Citing the likes of Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott and Bjork among her childhood musical heroes, she started making music at the age of 7, practicing harmonies on two tattered cassette decks, using her surrounding south London landscape as her influence.
Nowadays, she has more than perfected her hypnotic flow, working with Bonobo and Bondax, and on her own songs, waxing lyrical about everything from womanhood, to female empowerment, independence, love and freedom.
We chatted to the singer about first crushes, dream collaborations and her forthcoming album…
How did you first get into music?
I feel like I was born loving music. And the older I got, the more my interest grew and I was determined to turn it into a career. I started writing poetry and making up melodies at a really young age. While I was at college I started jamming with local musicians and going to open mic nights which was the first thing that really gave me a supportive platform to start performing.
Who did you grow up listening to?
I loved 90s R&B, and my first major music crush was Boyz II Men. Those harmonies were to die for!
How do you think your early experiences have influenced your music?
They’ve had a profound effect on the way I write songs. I never really understood music theory so writing songs for me was very instinctual. Although I’m a lot more thorough in creating melodies nowadays I still judge it by the same thing – does it feel good?
You’ve had some amazing collaborations, with Flying Lotus, Mr. Scruff, and Bonobo – who’s your dream collab?
My dream collab would be Rick Rubin – he’s a genius!
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Life and everything within it. I live between the seaside in East Sussex and London so it’s impossible to not be inspired the minute I step outside.
Your album Life in Colour is out soon – what were the main inspirations behind it?
The main inspiration was what I was thinking and feeling at the time. I’d gone through some grown-up life changes and got to a place in my thirties where I felt really balanced and empowered. That was a new feeling for me and something I wanted to share in my music.
What excites you most about the new record?
I’m really excited to spread positivity and unite people during the live show experience. If I come off stage and people feel more uplifted than they arrived then I’m happy. The new album is also really fun and my most upbeat, so I’m looking forward to busting out some sweaty dance moves.
How do you think you’ve moved on from your second album?
I feel a lot more positive and empowered than I did with my last album. I feel really in control of my creative decisions and I think the album reflects that.
How do you want people to feel when they come away from listening to your music?
Empowered, positive, more conscious and happy.
Your music is very personal – do you feel vulnerable putting out tracks like this?
Of course, I’ll definitely feel sick the day my album comes out. But once it’s out there it’s no longer mine and letting go can be the hardest part.
What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve received?
I recently worked with a really exciting up-and-coming producer. He said “believe in yourself and your ideas more.” I thought that was great feedback, and it really gave me something to think about.
What’s next for you? What are you excited about?
I did my first DJ gig the other day and can’t wait to get out there and do more. I’m really excited to tour the world with my new album and to also develop my merchandise brand. There’s a lot to be excited about.
What’s your five-year goal?
I’m working on being firmly in the present and trusting that the future will take care of itself.
Andreya Triana’s album Life in Colour is out 24 May. Andreya Triana’s new single ‘Freedom’ is out now. The album ‘Life in Colour’ is out 24th May.