Ethiopian-born singer/songwriter Wayna had a roundabout path to soul music stardom, but happily the path led to where she is today.
A member of the Clinton White House administration in the 90s, Wayna worked as a writer of proclamations and messages. But it was her background as a child singer and teen Gospel choir member that became the backbone of her professional foray into music in the 21st century.
Wayna made a surprise splash with her 2005 debut album, Moments of Clarity, a well-received album that highlighted both her attractive voice and her storytelling ability. She was hailed by Essence Magazine as "one to watch" and Billboard called her a "standout on the indie front."
She spent the next three years on the concert circuit, opening for artists ranging from Fantasia to Kindred, and playing such legendary venues as Harlem's Apollo Theater and Santa Monica's Temple Bar.
In 2008, Wayna returned with Higher Ground, a critically acclaimed album that solidified her position as an artist on the rise.
By Chris Rizik
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