Slay, Andra, slay! 

Soulful singer, retro beauty and ESSENCE Festival performer Andra Day graces the cover of our June issue, where she opens up about her journey to stardom and where she gets her signature style (hint: She loves to channel her inner Lucille Ball!).

Grammy Nominee Andra Day: ‘Nina Simone and Billie Holiday Are Why I Do What I Do’

“I like to say I was established in the cities, dragged through the decades and picked up a couple of things [from every era],” she said.

It’s her love of vintage artists—think Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday—that has turned her into one of today’s most recognizable voices. Her debut, jazz-infused album, Cheers to the Fall, immediately garnered critical acclaim—and it landed a permanent spot on our Spotify playlists.

Andra Day Dishes on Her Signature Pompadour, Says ‘I Avoid Hairspray’

“A lot of people think that Cheers to the Fall is about making a toast to the autumn season,” she said. “But the title itself means ‘Cheers to the possibility of criticism and cheers to the possibility of failure.’ I’m basically saying that I’m going for it without allowing fear to keep me from being who I’m really supposed to be.” 

For more on Andra Day, pick up a copy of our June issue, on newsstands May 13, and don’t miss Andra at our 2016 ESSENCE Festival. Get your tickets here.

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