Growing up in New Orleans, Anitra Jay was surrounded by the sounds of jazz, blues, and R&B. Gospel was also influential in her life and when she was a young girl she joined the church choir. “When everyone swayed from side to side, I began to move to my own tune and bumped into everyone around me, including my Mom,” she says. Needless to say, she learned how to keep a rhythm.
In high school she had taught herself to play the piano, but it wasn’t until after college when she found her true calling. A dark blue guitar caught her eye while in a music store one day, so she bought it on a whim and taught herself to play. She’s been singing and writing songs ever since.
With a musical style often compared to India.Arie and Chrisette Michele, Anitra Jay offers a sweet down-to-earth blend of soul and poetry with modern sensibilities. Charlotte's Creative Loafing calls her sound "something like the lost unvarnished tapes of India.Arie," and her personality along with her expert improvisational skills set her performances square between the raw edge of improv comedy and sultry soaked soul. She effortlessly combines soul-catching melodies with tales of real life experiences wrought with motivational messages that leave the listener entertained, inspired, and ready to take on the world.
As a singer-songwriter, Anitra takes full advantage of the freedom of being an independent artist, writing every song from the soul and for the soul. Watch Anitra's episode on HGTV's Tiny House Hunters and see for yourself how both her and her husband Rob have made a commitment to being full-time musicians! Her self-discipline, sacrifice, and pure will to press on have paid off as she released her debut album, Keep The Faith. Completely self-penned and self-produced, this record was designed to empower others. “It’s a reminder that when life knocks you down your job is to get back up and start again because it’s not just about you,” she explains. “Other people are depending on you to carry out your purpose on this earth.”
In her sophomore album, Genesis, released in the Fall of 2012, Anitra Jay explores the radical rejuvenation of starting over with songs such as "An Angel," and "On a Dime and a Dream." This album combines sultry vocals with harmonic sounds of the guitar that will captivate its listeners and bring them on a journey of new beginnings.
She tours the south and east coast promoting her third album - "Crown & Glory," a project all about the beauty of natural hair. She is also currently working on another project, a whimsical take on life called, "Work in Progress," which will be released sometime in 2018.
Pursuing music full time has taught her to celebrate the little things in life. With a move to Houston, TX she plans to meet the challenges of being a full-time musician head on by providing music in the Houston area as she carves out her very own version of bluesy soul. She plans to continue to write and perform and dreams of someday touring the world. Her hope is that everyone who hears her music will be inspired to actively live out their true purpose in life by getting closer to God, our creator. (To learn more about Anitra Jay's mission click here.)