When thinking of Musical Meccas, NYC, London, and Berlin will come to mind. Now add one more - Moscow!!!! An-ya hails from that city and she is a fresh new pop/R&B sensation whose debut will prove that exciting music can come from unexpected places.
An-Ya’s story begins in Vladivostok, a small Russian town near the Pacific Ocean. Raised by a schoolteacher mother and engineer father, An-ya began ballroom dancing as a young girl. Dancing was her world but that changed after her father bought her a tape recorder. “I’d wander about the apartment singing into the microphone .It felt like something had opened up and I devoted myself to making music.” She also started playing the guitar and actually learned English by harmonizing along with Britney Spears and Spice Girls.
When she was 12 An-Ya took her love of music out of the living room by performing at (and winning) numerous musical competitions. Her potential was so great that her family moved to Moscow so An-ya could study at a prestigious music/theater academy. Along with acting and vocal training, An-ya started writing songs reflecting her love for artists like Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Take 6 and singer/producer Brian McKnight. Notes An-Ya, “I love to write ballads so he’s a big influence.”
In 2005 while she was still in school, An-Ya answered an ad, auditioned for, and then beat out hundreds of girls to become one third of Yes! The video for the trio’s hit “I Imagined It” aired on Russian MTV and their cd Best Songs of the Radio earned awards in Europe. An-Ya’s career took a new direction when one of the contest’s judge’s -Oleg Shmelev- approached her about going solo. She and Oleg began collaborating and after establishing herself in Europe, An-Ya knew it was time to go big and came to the US. Singing one of the songs she’d recorded in Russia, An-Ya auditioned for Ashlee and Jessica Simpson’s father/manger Joe Simpson. “I guess he liked me”, An-Ya laughs. With that, the girl from Vladivostok had a record deal.
A mix of emotional ballads and club bangers, her project boasts production from heavy hitters like Teddy Riley (Michael Jackson, Guy) Timbaland associate Jerome Spence and American Idol’s top dawg Randy Jackson, who’s responsible for the party ready first club single “Nightlife” featuring rapper David Banner. Bumping with an irresistible groove and pushed along by An-Ya’s soaring vocals “Nightlife” is about dancing till the break of dawn and is tailor made for the clubs. “The first time I heard “Nightlife” I knew it was the one,” An-Ya says, “and to have David on the track was unbelievable because I’m such a fan.”
No doubt An-Ya’s life has changed. The weather’s nicer in LA, she spends more time in the studio and she’s added Lil Wayne to her play list. But the change goes much deeper. She’s grown as an artist, as a person and is eager to see what happens next. “When I was a little girl, An-Ya says, “I’d see the people that I’m now working with on TV and now it’s my reality. I still can’t believe that this is my life now. It’s really amazing.”
She is an artist to watch in 2009…