Washington, DC native Y’Anna Crawley first captured our hearts as the sassy songstress and winner of BET’s Sunday Best season 2. It was impossible to ignore the “IT” factor Crawley exuded as she enthralled audiences week after week with her commanding vocals. She would effortlessly go from a smooth, jazzy tone to an astonishing growl that would cover the audience with chills and disbelief. From her humble beginnings to living out her dream, she is still the same sister, friend, mother, daughter, neighbor and woman of God.
At what point did you know you were called to sing gospel music?
I always knew I was going to sing songs with a positive, uplifting, encouraging and soulstirring message. If that’s the genre that represents gospel music, then the answer is yes!
DC and the world love you. Other than your voice, what do you think makes people gravitate to you?
I think people gravitate to my realness and my personaility. I want them to know that I am just as they are, human; flaws, smiles, tears, joys and all.
You said in another interview that all you wanted to do was sing. BET’s Sunday Best season 2 provided you that opportunity to make a career out of doing what you wanted to do. How does it feel to live your dream, and is it everything you expected?
This journey is still a dream come true. There are many gifts that God has placed in me; however, music and singing bring me the fullness of joy. It’s everything I’ve expected and more! I love it!
With your “real life” background, what encouraging words can you give those who are going through what you went through or something similar?
I’ll say this: just stay on course. Anything worth having in life is going to be hard work. There are going to be setbacks, ups and downs; but, it’s the getting up from the letdown that makes you stronger. Never give up on your dreams.
Is there something people may not know about you that you would like them to know?
I am a very competitive person; playing games, challenges… whatever. You don’t want to go against me. I’m a winner in the end. And if you beat me, I have to go against you until I win [laughs].
What can fans look forward to from Y’Anna Crawley?
My fans can look forward to the release of my debut CD The Promise, in stores August 24, 2010; my two nonprofit organizations, “Momma’s Boys” and “The Promise foundation. “Momma’s Boys” acts as an agent to single mothers raising boys by encouraging, teaching, providing guidance and information and connecting young boys with positive mentors. “The Promise” foundation’s intent is to provide health, wellness, fitness, self-esteem building, social services and scholarships to single mothers in the African American and Latino Communities. Also, acting is sure to come because I’m quite the little actress [smile].
To learn more about Y’Anna, please visit her website at www.yannacrawley.net , Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @Yanna_SoulSings
To learn more about Brian Taylor, follow him on Twitter @BrianbjTaylor