Rising Star Ayoni Celebrates What Makes Us Beautiful With “Divine”
Photo: Caleb Griffin

Barbadian singer and rising star Ayoni is here to remind you that you are divine.

The singer’s new single “Divine” is a celebration of those who’ve felt marginalized and a reminder of our strength.

Ayoni told ESSENCE that the single was originally written as “affirmation for myself – being a Black woman in this world.”

“Growing up in the church, and having an appreciation for language, I wanted to use a word like ‘Divine’ that I had mostly experienced in a biblical context to reiterate the beauty and grace that is existence,” she said. “Being Bajan has also definitely influenced Divine, as the Caribbean flirtation of this song genre-wise is owed to the influence and pride I’ve taken from my beautiful culture.”

The singer added, “I was really fortunate to be performing this song while I worked on the production. It helped to see where it lived in peoples’ bodies and to see it empower others outside of myself. It’s become the peoples’ song to me, in the sense that the Black community, the queer community, femmes, the larger community of color, and every other single soul society has ‘Othered’ can celebrate our divinity daily, and hopefully celebrate it, even more, when it plays. Our divinity is within and that can never be taken from us! The bravest thing we can do is to simply be, so I hope this song aids our revolution. We are definitely noble enough.”

The single arrives ahead of her upcoming debut project Iridescent, set to be released this fall.

Ayoni leads our playlist this week, which includes new releases from Stormzy, EarthGang and more.

EarthGang – Mirrorland

Atlanta duo Earthgang have released their latest album, Mirrorland. It marks their major-label debut after signing with J. Cole’s Dreamville in 2017.

The album includes features from the likes of Kehlani, Young Thug and T-Pain.

Stormzy – “Sounds of the Skeng”

Stormzy’s new single has arrived.

“Sounds of the Skeng” dropped Friday after the UK grime star teased last week that something new was on the horizon.

The single’s release comes as fans anticipate a new album from Stormzy, who dropped his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer back in 2017.

Mahalia – Love and Compromise

You can add Mahalia to the list of new R&B artists you should be watching.

Her debut album, Love and Compromise, includes features from Burna Boy, Ella Mai, Hamzaa and Lucky Daye. The album sees the R&B singer bouncing between a range of genres, which the singer told Billboard came from a decision to “not limit myself and work with loads of different people. And be completely experimental and authentic.”

Rico Nasty – “Fashion Week”

Our favorite hip-hop headbanger has arrived with “Fashion Week,” a two-minute track that sees Rico rattling off the big-name designers she gets to flex in.

It’s not as rowdy as some of her previous tracks but it still hits the spot.

Dana Vaughns – “Lovey Dovey” feat. Jordan Ward

Dana Vaughns is gearing up to drop his debut EP but ahead of its release he’s giving listeners a little taste of what to expect with “Lovey Dovey.”

“Lovey Dovey is sure to liven up the party,” Vaughns said. “The perfect excuse to make your move on that person you’ve been eyeing down all year.”

When he’s not busy with music, Vaughns can be found on set as he preps for season two of BET’s American Soul, where he’ll play Curtis ”Fresh” Edwards.

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