Andra Day

A week and a half ago, my twin brother wanted to sing karaoke for our birthday, so we went to Chinatown and I watched him sing karaoke. I've watched a lot of people sing karaoke. I've always admired people who can let themselves go in someone else's song. My brother sang Eminem. He nearly lost his breath a few times, but he did it. When I was in college, I watched my best friends sing karaoke every Thursday night at a sticky bar in Greencastle, Indiana called Moore's. It had a (plastic) gold tile ceiling. One of my friends could kill it on anything Elvis. Another friend had a crowd that would come out just to hear her sing Janis Joplin. And the guy you'd never expect, memorized Eminem. People are drawn to his songs, I think, because they're raw--sometimes ridiculous--but always honest. Andra Day gave us this version of "Lose Yourself," and completely changed the song. Day is known for her impressive renditions/covers. What you prove when you take someone else's thing and make it your own, is that your range is enormous, and that you can work with everyone. But she's also got her own thing. It makes sense that she grew up singing in a gospel choir: that's where you really learn about sounds and words and range. And movement, and beat, and solos. I'm convinced that there's nothing she can't sing.