Many of you may know this phenomenal singer from the Stevie Wonder Christmas commercial , or maybe you know her from her hit single “Rise Up,” but I know Andra Day because I got to spend one morning with her.
Meeting a celebrity for the first time is always a weird and kind of nerve-racking experience. During the car ride to the hotel, I was trying to think of what I’d say to her – maybe I’d ask her about an upcoming album or her concert later, but everything seemed so generic. When my dad and I arrived at her hotel, sat down at a circular table with two other groups of people. We said our hellos and waited for Andra to arrive.
Andra walked through the door and I instantly knew that I had nothing to worry about. She was warm, inviting, and friendly. She sat at the table with us, found out our names, and asked each us of to share something about ourselves. Many people told stories about their life, and I proceeded to tell her about my photography. She asked us many questions about Houston and what the best restaurants were around the area.
Andra raved about her love for Mexican food such as tacos and Californian burritos. She claimed that each state had its own interpretation of her favorite type of food. She was also sure that her home state of California had the best Mexican food around, clearly she hadn’t had any TexMex.
Many questions and laughs later, Andra told us that she loves to sing because of the connection it makes her have with people. She explained that when she sings her hit “Rise Up,” she can’t help but feel moved at concerts when people join in to sing with her. The song is very powerful and I can’t blame Andra for feeling moved by the inspirational lyrics. She loves singing “Rise Up” because everyone in the audience sings it with their own interpretation.
“Rise Up” is Andra’s most motivating and moving song from the album with lyrics saying,
And I’ll rise up, rise like the day,
I’ll rise up, I’ll rise unafraid,
I’ll rise up, And I’ll do it a thousand times again,
And I’ll rise up, High like the waves,
I’ll rise up, In spite of the ache,
I’ll rise up, And I’ll do it a thousand times again
The encouraging tone of this song makes it one of my favorites from the album, Cheers to the Fall. I also like “City Burns,” “Mistakes,” and “Forever Mine.”
After we talked for a bit longer, Andra got up to take pictures and selfies with each of us. She claimed she only knew how to do one selfie face, the duck face.
She finished taking pictures with us and sat down at the table again. She gave us each a CD with a personalized note on it. I realized she had listened to every word I said when my note wrote,
“Nia, Pleasure meeting you. Congrats on the award! Future Photographer! – Andra Day.”
She also visited my photography page on Instagram, @goodallphotos, and commented on some of the pictures!
I hope you check out Andra Day, singer, songwriter, motivator, performer and joyous person. Thank you, Andra.
Have a lovely (Andra) day,