The Sunshine world has its origins, 9 miles south of Philly, in Chester, Penn., and like many of us, she has her parents to thank for her music fixation. At house-party jams, they’d drop the needle on records from Jimmy Smith to Nina Simone to Miles Davis. Those memories from as young as 5 years old remain lodged in Avery’s brain. “We had a silver stereo, and we had The Whispers 8-track, an eggshell color,” she recalls vividly. “I remember playing As The Beat Goes On in the morning before school and smelling the Thomas English muffins that my mom was toasting for me. I also remember that if the toast was too dark, I wouldn’t eat it.”
From there, young Avery, a quiet loner, added more achievement badges to her uniform-from playing piano at age 7 to songwriting. “My mom said, ‘Look, if I buy that piano, you gon’ practice everyday,’ And she meant just that.”
By 13, Avery had earned a gig as choir director at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church for $175/hour. Dreams of being a corporate lawyer turned into faded pictures when she realized music was tugging harder post-college (she was a piano major at Spelman College).
AWARDS: Since then, she’s been putting in work. And the accolades have continued to pour in. In 2010, Avery won Best New Artist at the Reader’s Choice Awards. The following year, JET Magazine named her one of their 5 rising Indie Artists. Flexing her theater and thespian skills, Avery starred in the musical drama, I Dream, directed by Jasmine Guy, in addition to appearing on BBC 2 Live with Jools Holland. Her song “Like This” was featured in the TBS series, Franklin & Bash. And she appears on Will Downing’s latest release, Silver, on the duet “You Were Meant Just For Me.”
With over 200-plus reviews and features, including VH1.com, Vibe.com, BET.com,JET, USA Today, The Washington Post and more, Avery has made her presence known. Expect an encore with her anticipated sophomore project, to be released in 2013. These days, with a divorce behind her and loads of life experience, Avery finds solace within the melodies. Listeners will draw inspiration and strength from her lyrical sermons.