Watch List: Anhayla - If I Was (I Think I Love You)
From Norfolk, Virginia, Anhayla is a singer/songwriter with a musical grounding in the church. Her mother is a preacher, and she began 'singing in church' ,with music being 'part of my childhood, (I) started singing in choirs', and she was even 'trained classically for a year when I was young'. She was influenced initially as a singer by her mother, and, as she grew up, her influences broadened to include Aaliyah, Dru Hill and Green Day, and, in particular, Nina Simone and Patsy Cline. In terms of her own musical style, she doesn't like to put herself 'in a specific genre, 'cause I grew up listening to so much music, so it's hard to, just, put myself in R'n'B, or alternative rock or soul.' After progressing from writing poetry to putting poetry to music, she learned the guitar and began to take music seriously when she entered college. She began posting videos on YouTube, and has accumulated a following of over 35,000 subscribers and a view total of over six-and-a-half-million. She released two projects in 2012, firstly, an EP, U.G.L.Y., in March, and then a mix-tape, If I Was, in December. Anhayla feels she is able to 'talk better through a song', and for her 'music is just so amazing because it is universal...I try to make my music as universal as possible...my music is me, I sing about life.' Here, from her mix-tape, she sings 'If I Was', and, below, 'Doomsday'.