Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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Review

Ayanna Whitter-Johnson: Rise Up (Hill and Gully Records )

AWJ 1

8

6.1

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UK release date 08.01.2021

The Queen Of Mellow Cello, Ayanna Whitter-Johnson is in strident form on this, her new E.P. "Rise Up".

Her rhythmic dexterity on her trusty instrument shines through and is always at the forefront, along with her evocative vocal delivery as she tackles an old Abyssinians roots classic "Declaration of Rights" ft. Cleveland Watkiss, whose jazz sensibilities and subtle beatboxing blend effortlessly with the main heroine.

Original track "Rise Up" is a glorious call to action too, replete with a killer cello riff and groove, perfect for special guest Akala to float on top and do his thing.

This E.P. positively bristles with energy and it's full of imagination and invention as Whitter-Johnson senses delight at new possibilities and direction. She has tapped into some vivid moments of revelation and (along with Akala) is trying to change the route that falsely promised a road to freedom. This is a good start for 2021I must say!
Words Emrys Baird

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