Multitasking Artist: New Singer Ayona Sets Herself Apart

Wednesday, 30 December 2009 12:50 Written by  Priya A. Shah

When Ayona was exposed to R&B sensations such as Mariah Carey and Tina Turner, her love for singing began at the age of five. Her passion led to more than just singing in the shower but bigger and better accomplishments later in her life, such as opening up for rapper Soulja Boy and singer Lloyd in 2008 and working with Keith Harris, the drummer for Black Eyed Peas.

aAlthough singing is something she cherishes, she does not limit her talents to just singing. Currently, the 21-year-old Ayona has branched out her talents to acting, modeling and dancing -- she was even accepted into the Debbie Allen School of Dance in 2006.

Apparently, she is not busy enough, she is currently a junior at DePaul University in Chicago majoring in psychology.

“It’s definitely hard work,” she says. “It keeps me active [in school and music]. It gives me something to do.”

Ayona calls herself a “perfectionist,” and says though it is a challenge to face mistakes, she learns from them. She says she prefers singing and dancing, but acting and modeling comes naturally to her. She will be coming out with a mixtape soon. Her music is also available in Best Buy and on iTunes.

Ayona likes to listen to artists like Brandy and studies her music and lyrics for inspiration.

She also would like to share a quote by Bernard Edmonds that is very deer to her with GMO readers: “To dream anything that you want to dream. That's the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.”
She has a strong desire to work with the youth and strengthen the community with positive influences. “I want to be a positive role model,” she says.

She is well on her way to fulfilling this goal. Ayona is an ambassador for keeping the arts in School, and the entertainment coordinator/promoter for kids off the block foundation. Other members of the community also see something special in this young, rising star –- she is backed by IL Senator Rickey Hendon and Congressman Danny Davis, who invited her to sing the National Anthem at the 11th Annual Congressional  Black Caucus Foundation.

Check out her new single, "Irrelevant," now, available on itunes.

For more information on Ayona, visit her myspace page at; view her YouTube page at for a taste of her unique sound and follow her at www.twitter/AYONA.


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Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah lives in Chicago. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010, where she studied magazine journalism and fiction writing. She has been a staff writer for GMO since 2007. She’s written and interned for various media outlets such as India Tribune, Today's Chicago Woman, Tribune Media Services, GlossMagazineOnline and Echo (the student produced magazine for Columbia College Chicago). She’s contributed to A Fresh Squeeze (, an online publication for green living in Chicago, and her school newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle.

Priya can be reached at or