Interview by {Dean Derby

Photography by {Jason Bush

Shot on Location at {W Hollywood

Hair by {Samella Nickerson

Makeup by {Aris Esparza

As a child in the foster care system, Anaya Lovenote turned to music to cope with her misfortunes by singing songs from legends such as Monica, Whitney Houston, and Toni Braxton. Music helped her find the power in her voice and the confidence to overcome any obstacles that came her way. Anaya recently released her single “Secure the Bag” featuring Chanel West Coast and the Ying Yang Twins and is set to perform on the West Coast leg of The Millennium Tour in Spring of 2020, proving herself to be the next star on the rise. In the midst of living her dreams, she is using her voice to help foster youth follow in her footsteps through her involvement with Philip Bailey of  Earth, Wind, & Fire’s Music is Unity Foundation

At what age did you decide to do music? Did you draw from any inspirations?

I’ve been singing since I was 7-years-old. At the age of 10 I joined the church choir. After finishing school in 2015, I began recording music and during this year was when I also moved to Atlanta to pursue my music professionally. Then I moved to California in search of bigger opportunities and to push my career further. I was surrounded by all types of music while I was growing up. Monica, Whitney Houston, and Aaliyah were all big inspirations for me. 

What’s your process like in the studio?

I normally write my music before recording because it makes it easier to record a full song in one session instead of coming back to them.  I am not big on having a lot of people in the studio with me, I feel like it’s a distraction. But I do like to have fun and create an environment that’s stress free in order to help with my deliverance. 

When it comes to your actual vocal style – were there particular vocalists you emulated or were attracted to?

Yes! Whitney Houston. Her voice is so soulful but graceful. Every run she had, she hit it. It always would give me chills and you could feel how she felt in her music. My voice is very big and soulful. She is my number one reason for singing.

Who would you choose to collaborate on a song with you? Why?

I would love to collaborate with legends like Common, Nas, Erykah Badu, Monica, or Missy Elliot because they have a sound that can’t be duplicated and I’m in love with the era of 80s & 90s music. With regards to new artists, I would love to work with Chris Brown, Justin Combs, Meek Mill, Ariana Grande, or Cardi B because they also have their own sound and know how to live up to every song they’re featured in. 

What is your newest single “Secure the Bag” about?

It’s about being on my grind. Being a boss, the new me, and my new journey. All about leveling up and being in my bag. No more drama and distraction. This is my year and we are securing bags.

How did you come to present yourself and your personality in your music? Was that a process or was it natural? 

It was very natural. I think once I knew who I was as a person, it was easier to know how I wanted to be presented as an artist. From my music to my image, it all had to start with knowing who I was behind the mic. My personality has always been big and confident so once I was able to be myself as a person and love the person looking back at me in the mirror, I started accepting my own true self. That was really the icing on the cake as an artist in which the love and confidence that I have in myself is reflected in my music and the delivery of my words in each song.    

What have you learned about yourself while working with distinguished writers and producers? 

I have learned that in order to deliver a hit record, I can’t be afraid to express myself or put it all out there as far as being my authentic self. These amazing writers help me put my emotions into words. I am a better songwriter and I have more confidence as an artist when it comes to not caring what others may say. I hope the world is ready for me. 

You’re about to open for the upcoming Millennium Tour which features renowned artists such as Ashanti, Bow Wow, and Soulja Boy. How does it feel knowing that you will be sharing the stage with these legends?

I am still in shock and beyond excited. It feels so surreal. It’s definitely a dream come true. I feel as though that day will be the day that I will be looked at as an artist in a different light.

You grew up in the foster care system. What was that like and how has it contributed to your growth as an artist? 

Now that I’m older and looking back into the past, I feel as though the foster care system saved my life. When I was younger it felt like torture, I felt lonely, misunderstood, and a lot more things but it also gave me motivation to make something of myself. It made me want more things in life. As an artist, you have to know that the fight for your dream will be worth it in the end. You just have to keep going. Being in foster care has molded me into the strong, optimistic, and persevering artist that I am. My past has made me fight for the better, not for me but for my family and future kids. The road to success is not always easy but that’s also how life is. Any kid in foster care finds something they love and their happy place. Whatever they cope with is what will give them a chance at a better life. 

We’ve also been informed that you’re involved with Phillip Bailey of Earth, Wind, & Fire’s charity Music is Unity Foundation. What upcoming projects do you have with this organization?

I’m very excited to be working with the Music is Unity Foundation. We’re planning a talent show for kids who are in foster care in the Los Angeles area. As a foster child myself I feel it is very important to give each child a chance to express themselves in a fun and creative way. Music and performing helped me through the darkest times. I want to create a space to bring awareness to the foster care systems.  This show is going to not only give kids the opportunity to show everyone what they got but it also gives everyone a chance to connect with one another in the foster care community. We’re hosting the show this upcoming May and it’s going to have celebrity guest judges along with special performances. It’s going to be amazing, you wouldn’t want to miss out!

What do you see as your overall message? 

No matter the cards you were dealt with in life, you can do anything you set your mind to. Every dream is worth fighting for as long as you have faith the size of a mustard seed then you will achieve what people may say is impossible. Let your past be your growth. 

What are you the most excited about for 2020?

I am mostly excited about opening up on The Millennium Tour but I’m also excited for all of the unknown opportunities that God has for my music.   

Find Anaya Lovenote at www.anayalovenote.com, IG @AnayaLovenote, Spotify  and itunes.