Perhaps Anhayla was placed in my life momentarily to reignite my love with acoustic music. Time had passed since any of the sort had moved me to the point of spreading its gospel. Then, in less than five minutes on Saturday, she did it and these words happened.
I swear this’ll be the last time I reference the Sneaker Bar opening I attended in Richmond last weekend. One of the evening’s brightest highlights came in the form of the lovely songstress. After first tossing out a cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” she then launched into her original piece of work, “If I Was.” You know the feeling in a small, intimate setting where there’s this universal appeal and acceptance of what’s being performed? Where everyone’s head in nodding and swaying back-and-forth in unison?
That was Anhayla on Saturday as she rocked for the crowd of 70+. The emotion in the room was authentic; an even more impressive feat given “unknown” artists owning such command over an audience is a crap shoot. In my head, I didn’t want the song to end and part of me wanted to leave and Google the Richmond native’s music right then.
Maybe everyone has halfway buzzed from the open bar, but the combination of soul-exposing lyrics and that damn guitar of hers helped create the ambience of a spoken word lounge which just happened to be surrounded by Jordan 3s, Kobe 8s and various other forms of footwear. The purpose for every artist at every performance is to walk away with at least one new fan.
Eager to hear more material – if only to convince myself she wasn’t merely a flash in the pan – the equally as profound “Somebody Else” and groovy “Doomsday” from 2012’s If I Was mixtape was confirmation. I honestly haven’t felt this great about a singer since Rochelle Jordan landed in my inbox.
Below, find the official video for the aforementioned number Anhayla performed on Saturday until the acoustic footage is liberated. The video is detailed with an intricate storyline giving off the vibe ample time and consideration was taken into piecing the visual together – in other words, the exact opposite from what’s normally seen from 90% of “mainstream” artists nowadays. She might want to stop leading guys on, though. That same type of activity caused J. Cole to snap and kill Miguel.
Check the clips below and stream her If I Was mixtape before downloading via her Bandcamp.