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Anna Nyakana's Performance @ Penn State University - Lion's Eye Newspaper

"Soulful Singer Visits Brandywine"
By Nancy Perone
Lion’s Eye World & Local Editor

Singer Anna Nyakana poses with the Brandywine Lioness on a beautiful spring day. Nyakana treated students at Brandywine with her soulful acoustic music during a recent Common Hour. (photo courtesy Anna Nyakana)


“Do you hear it calling / Don’t know if you should go but you want to sail away from this.” These lyrics, from the song Islands of Redemption, are the work of Connecticut’s Anna Nyakana. Nyakana performed not only new songs but some from her 2007 self-titled debut album for Penn State Brandywine students on April 1, 2010. Playing both the acoustic guitar and piano, she treated visitors to the Lion’s Den to a 13-song set, plus an encore of another original song, Don’t Tell Me.

The 23 year old singer/songwriter who was born in Berlin, Germany is fluent in Russian, German, and Myankole. Myankole is a dialect of the Ankole tribe in Southwestern Uganda, where her father hails. Growing up, Anna says her father exposed her to the musical talents of Chaka Khan, Bob Marley, and Congolese music. Her mother, who is Moldavian, plays seven different instruments and can also be named as an influence to her daughter.

The soulful, love-song crooner, whose sound is very reminiscent of Alicia Keys, has many of her own musical influences, as well. Nyakana gravitates towards people who sing with a message, such as reggae, ska, the likes of Bob Marely, Corrine Bailey Rae, Otis Redding, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Jimmy Cliff. The classically trained pianist and self-taught guitarist has appeared on shows such as NBC Philadelphia’s The 10! Show and won the Starbucks Music Makers Competition online vote.

While Anna is strictly a singer and a songwriter, she is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business/Management so that she can continue to shape her career as co-CEO of Voice of the People (VOP) Entertainment. If you missed her performance at Penn State, you can watch her perform at the world's largest casino "Foxwoods Resort & Casino" for Community Auditions, which is a regional singing competition. The show is taped live and later televised throughout New England and clips will be available online at on which viewers can vote. Winners of Community Auditions receive a recording contract. You can also sample this talented artist’s music on her website, On the website there are also links to her MySpace and YouTube pages, as well as the option to purchase her music on iTunes.

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