2018 is looking to be the year of female R&B artists vying for mainstream success. From the slick piano soul of Ella Mai to the mysterious melodic gems of H.E.R., women have a shot more than ever to rise to the top of the urban and pop charts. And 24-year-old Ayanis is carving out her space in the industry with the Friday (Nov. 16) release of her debut EP Direction.
Ayanis, born Samantha Ayanis Miller, was musically inclined from a young age singing in her church choir, later performing at talent shows and briefly joining a girl group at one point. She was discovered by Mello the Producer (who has worked with August Alsina) in 2013 via a cover she did on Instagram. After connecting with Atlantic Records VP of A&R Chris Jones two years later, she met Prince Charlez, who has written and produced songs for Rihanna, Usher, Kendrick Lamar, and B.O.B.
In the winter of 2017, the former Georgia State U student officially signed to Island Prolific/Atlantic Records and spent the last couple of weeks building up her fan base via the Access Granted: HBCU Tour.
Her debut EP Direction features her first two releases “FIYT (F**k Is You Thinking)” and “Aww Yeh.” On songs like “Wait a Minute” (which interpolates Next’s 1998 hit “Too Close”) and “They Don’t Need to Know,” Ayanis brings slick, sexy and mellow vocals to midtempo melodies. However, Ayanis then pulls a 180 by the end of the project with let-loose island influenced dance hits “Me Too” and “Direction.”
“Wait a Minute” is currently Ayanis’ new single as she released the video on Friday (Nov. 16) which features the former 90210 actor turned singer-songwriter Mack Wilds as her love interest. Wilds, who plays the cute new neighbor in the singer’s apartment complex has her falling in love at first sight.
Check out the video for “Wait A Minute” and the EP below.
READ MORE: Premiere: Newcomer Ayanis Wants To Know “FIYT (F**k Is You Thinking)” In New Music Video