Maybe it’s her wild hair and funky clothes. Maybe it’s because she stands an unassuming 5 feet and sports those hazel eyes as if they were the mold. Perhaps it’s her message of love and peace through fascinating sounds and beguiling hooks. It could be her ability to do what a lot of hip-hop isn’t doing much of anymore: real stories about real experiences from real people. Whatever it is, music lovers and freedom-seekers around the world have been changed by experiencing the resonating tunes and spoken word of YaNi. And that’s peace!
Iyana Ife Jendeyea Davis, also known as YaNi, is a graduate of Spelman College with an English degree. She has always been passionate about words and the transformation that can be found in writing them down and sharing them aloud. YaNi believes firmly in our power as storytellers and sets this example everyday of her life. YaNi has a deep commitment to the progress and transformation of youth. She does this work through teaching about the arts, spirituality, and by sharing her personal testimonies, while using a heavy emphasis on Peace and Community Building. YaNi is the founder of The Peace People's movement and hopes to continue impacting the world with spirit-filled messages of freedom, love, liberation, communalism and peace! YaNi has been a featured speaker, preacher and teaching-artist around the United States, throughout Europe and in Hyderabad, India.
Gigging in schools and press-heavy community events alongside noted names in the literary and music world such as Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Pearl Cleage, and opening for headliners like Janelle Monae, J. Holiday, Jars of Clay and Dwele has aligned YaNi with industry leaders that continue to propel her purpose in this world. She has been a guest panelist and performer at some of the nation’s most noted venues and institutions, including Spelman College, Morehouse College, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, St. Johns University, The GTU, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Kentucky
State University and Barnard College.
YaNi currently resides in California, but calls Atlanta and Queens, NY home. She is a graduate student at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, pursuing a Masters of Divinity and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction. YaNi is the essence of Peace Personified and continues to exude authentic qualities of what it means to be this generation's griot and storyteller!
Photographer: Kelley Raye