Who is this beautiful woman with an equally beautiful voice? It’s Avery Sunshine, that’s who.
Since late 2009, I’ve been a fan of Avery Sunshine, her music and her words. I’ve followed her on Twitter for many years and in addition to giving listeners great, music, she offers encouraging words to her social media friends.
But back to her music.
The thing that attracts me to her music the most is her ability to deliver songs about the female experience in an understanding way that we can all comprehend. In her bio she says, “I want people to get my music.” Well, I’m here to confirm that not only do we get it but we can’t get enough of it. Perhaps it’s her gospel roots that bring us in, or maybe it’s the truth she delivers when she sings. Whatever it is, it’s magnetic and if you are a true lover of good music, you’ll be a true fan of Avery Sunshine.
DailyVenusDiva.com had a chance to speak with Avery Sunshine about her musical upbringing, the depth of her lyrics and her dreams of being an actress.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Do you prefer that people refer to you as Avery Sunshine, Ms. Sunshine or by your birth name?
Avery Sunshine: Whichever name your learn of first! If you meet me as Denise, don’t call me Avery. If you meet me as Avery, DO NOT CALL ME DENISE. LOL!
DailyVenusDiva.com: How did you get the name Avery Sunshine?
Avery Sunshine: It’s a funny story. Dana and I wrote a song some time ago and had it produced by a gentleman by the name of Chris Brann. Before the release of the song I was asked how I’d like my name to appear in the credits and I blurted out “AverySunshine!” I don’t remember ever “working on” a stage name so I attribute my moniker to my love of these two characters: Shug Avery from The Color Purple and Sunshine from Harlem Nights. Go figure.
DailyVenusDiva.com: I read that as a singer-songwriter you can¹t help spilling the truth in your music. Why is it important for you to be honest with your music?
Avery Sunshine: Soul music has to come from the soul. I think it’s impossible to create authentic soul music without being honest. It comes from our experiences and the emotions that go along with them.
DailyVenusDiva.com: What was the most honest song that you’ve ever written and why did you feel it was important to share that message with your listeners?
Avery Sunshine: Hmm. That’s a hard question. I feel like all of my songs are honest. It’s hard for me to write about things that are not truly a part of me.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Your song “All In My Head” touches on how we allow our imagination to run wild when we¹re in relationships. Do you think our imaginations running wild is justified in some situations? If so, what are they?
Avery Sunshine: Ha. Yes. In those instances when you don’t know your companion. Which was 80% of my romantic relationships!!! You have no choice but to create and make up what you “think” might be going on. But when you KNOW someone… Whew!!! Yes! (I feel this right here!) There’s no need to take the reins off of your imagination unless you are assuming the best!
DailyVenusDiva.com: You have a devoted group of fans, yet you¹re not a household name just yet. What do you feel needs to happen for that to happen and how close are you?
Avery Sunshine: I think if we, BigDane and I, continue to work and make music that people like and relate to, it eventually will happen. Now, it doesn’t hurt when I’m able to tour with other household name artists like Ledisi, KEM and Anthony Hamilton. That’s ALWAYS welcome! Lol!
DailyVenusDiva.com: You’ve toured with some amazing artists and musicians. What was the best advice that you¹ve received from a musical peer, who gave you the advice and how have you benefitted from the advice.
Avery Sunshine: Wow, I’ve had so much good advice from so many great people, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. However Jazzy Jeff encouraged me to do exactly what makes ME feel good musically. People will either like it or hate it, but I will be happy.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Your music has been described as Soulful and Therapeutic. Who do you listen to when you need a little soulful therapy?
Avery Sunshine: I listen to The Clark Sisters, Stevie Wonder, my good friend Anita Wilson, 4Korners, Kindred the Family Soul… Andrae Crouch’s latest CD “JOURNEY” ALWAYS gets me right!
DailyVenusDiva.com: Speaking of other artists, what are three songs that you’re listening to right now and what makes those songs worthy of your ears?
Avery Sunshine: Well… songs have to make me feel something. The three songs right now are: Kindred ‘s “What I‘ve Learned“, Sheri Jones – Moffett’s “There is No Failure” and Gino’s Vanelli’s “I Just wanna stop“
DailyVenusDiva.com: Your new album The SunRoom was recently released. How is this album different from your previous work?
Avery Sunshine: I think this album is a further extension of the first album. In some ways it’s very similar but we’d like to think that there was some growth in the performances, songwriting and production.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Who did you work with and artistically, what did they bring to the album?
Avery Sunshine: Well, I always work with my musical partner Dana “BigDane” Johnson. We write and produce all of the songs together. There are a host of very talented musicians that we work with to help make the songs come to life. We also worked with some other very talented producers and songwriters like Jamie “Jamm” Portee, Demien DeSandies and Clarence “T- lee” Hill.
DailyVenusDiva.com: This particular album has a song that everyone can relate to. Was there ever a time that you felt pressure to appeal to your fans varying interests?
Avery Sunshine: Of course. Then I remember that I have to do what is real and authentic to and for me. If people like it, it’s a “win-win.” If people don’t like it, it’s still a win because I like it. 😉
DailyVenusDiva.com: I understand that you enjoy acting as well. How did that come about?
Avery Sunshine: It’s something I became interested in while in middle school. I played a character named “Sheri” in the high school play “The Upside of Down”. I’ve been blessed to work with some awesome local productions, but I would LOVE to be on a sitcom and movies. YES!
DailyVenusDiva.com: Do you have plans of pursuing a long term career in acting or are you going to stick to singing/songwriting?
Avery Sunshine: Absolutely!!!!! ‘Cause if this singing thing doesn’t pan out… 😉 😉 😉 Jokes aside, I’d love to do them both. Like Barbra Streisand, Queen Latifah and Diana Ross, to name a few.
DailyVenusDiva.com: The Sunroom was released on May 27th, how did you celebrate the release?
Avery Sunshine: I believe the day before the album release, Dana and I spent time RELAXING in one of my favorite places, Santa Monica. We may have to make that a ritual! The day of the release, we found ourselves in the Big Apple doing an online CD release chat with Friends and Family on Spreecast. It was Awesome!
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