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First Look: Andra Day's Cinematic Soul Soars On "Only Love" [Song Premiere + Exclusive Interview]

Andra Day is a name you might do well to remember; a very old soul manifested in the star presence of a brand new artist. Her voice combines the smoky character of someone who’s lived several lifetimes of pain and wisdom with the fierce edge of a girl ready to take on the world. It’s always dangerous to reduce an artist’s complexity to a simple 1 + 2 = 3 formula but it would not be an exaggeration to describe Andra’s appeal as “Rihanna possessed by the ghost of Billie Holiday.” With flawless jazz chops that she can apply to soul, pop and doo-wop melodies with equal ease, she’s already being looked at as a scion of the dearly departed Amy Winehouse, that longed-for singer with the voice and charisma to single-handedly inspire a rebirth of classic soul.

Such talent has not gone overlooked, of course. Ms. Day has already been recruited for the soundtrack to the highly-anticipated Nina Simone documentary What Happened Miss Simone? And none other than directorial GOAT Spike Lee helmed her new video for “Forever Mine” (click through to watch below). But that cinematic quality of Andra’s soul clearly stems from within, not from proximity to Hollywood royalty; on her new single “Only Love”–which Okayplayer is proud to present here in its exclusive online premiere!–she carries the engagingly raspy torch song of the opening bars to a soaring, panoramic chorus: Only love can break your heart / like poisonous darts... epic enough to put any James Bond score to shame. Listen for yourself below and read on to find out about the role Questlove and James Poyser of The Roots played in the song’s creation (The Dap Kings and DJ Jazzy Jeff are on the track as well!) plus her collaborations with Spike and the creators of What Happened Miss Simone?.

Okayplayer: Please introduce yourself to the nice people: Who is Andra Day? Where did you grow up? What’s your favorite ice cream? Name of your first pet?

Andra Day: I am a singer, songwriter, and storyteller. I’m someone who values truth and openness and vulnerability. I grew up in San Diego, CA. Caramel Cookie Crunch. My first pet’s name was Champ. He was a pitbull/retriever mix. I love pitbulls.

OKP: Tell us what it was like working with Spike Lee on the video for “Forever Mine”?

>>>Click Through to Page 2 to Watch Spike’s Video for “Forever Mine”

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Comments

  • Elizabeth Brown

    Yeah, strong interesting voice; similar to Lauren Hill’s. You can hear the possibilities in it.