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Wayna WondwossenBowie, MD
Grammy-nominated, Ethiopian-born, singer/songwriter, Wayna possesses a voice as pure as it is passionate. Stevie Wonder says “she’s incredible.” Essence Magazine says “Wayna is one to watch,” and Billboard Magazine calls her “a stand out on the indie front.” With two Billboard chart-topping singles from her sophomore LP, Higher Ground, and a coveted Grammy nomination in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Category for her remake, “Lovin You (Music)” featuring Kokayi, Wayna’s star is on the rise.
“The Expats” is the third and latest LP from this innovative artist, and the Washington Post calls “brilliant!” The project – distributed by Yebo Music and mixed by multi Grammy award-winning engineer Russ Elevado (D’Angelo, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu) draws on diverse musical influences to create a unique blend of African and Reggae-inspired soul, fused with classic and alternative rock — Sade meets the Police.
Bringing the Expats to the stage in 2014, Wayna engaged audiences across the US — from the Lincoln Center to the Kennedy Center, from the Essence Fest to the Black Star Film Fest, and from the Blue Note to Blues Alley — creating energetic and passionate live performances that earned her new followers. Having shared the stage with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, Common, and the Roots, her vocal and lyrical delivery, showmanship, and improvisational skill brought even first-time listeners to their feet.
Throughout 2015, Wayna joined the iconic Stevie Wonder as a soloist and supporting vocalist in his live band, touring extensively in the Songs In the Key of Life Tour and in various additional performances throughout the US and Canada. 2016 kicked off with a 3-month performance residency in her native Ethiopia, where she played weekly at the newly-built Marriott Executive Apartments in Addis Ababa, backed by the city’s most celebrated musicians.
This Spring, audiences will be treated to a new music video for Wayna’s single “Amazing” shot in Ethiopia; and in the year ahead, she will continue to tour with Stevie Wonder in the US and abroad, while writing and recording new music. The best is yet to come!
“My Love” is an impassioned plea to the loved ones of domestic abuse. It was inspired by an article in “Essence Magazine,” which profiled the county in which Wayna lives for being the most affluent Black community in the United States, but for also having the highest rate of domestic violence in Maryland.
Singing with Stevie Wonder
Throughout 2015, Wayna joined the iconic Stevie Wonder as a soloist and supporting vocalist in his live band, touring extensively with the Songs In the Key of Life Tour and in various additional performances throughout the US and Canada.