Singer, songwriter, pianist, producer J’Aira Pryor is a creative musical force making powerful sound waves throughout Pittsburgh and beyond. She has a diverse musical background ranging from classical piano, gospel, pop, and rhythm and blues. She has impressively been able to fuse these sounds into her own brand of soul music successfully making her artistry memorable.
As a child, J’Aira was blessed with many creative characteristics. Her grandparents recognized her gift early on and introduced her to the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM). Seeing such musical excellence in her peers motivated her to study classical piano under Mrs. Rita Hilliard in her hometown Pittsburgh, PA. For the next ten years, J’Aira attended NANM conventions across the country and at thirteen performed ‘Tara’ from Gone with the Wind, claiming third place in the Youth Division Classical Piano Competition in Philadelphia.
J’Aira continued to study piano but to this day credits the Miss Black Teenage Pageant for her segue into singing. Mrs. Jean Bryant was influential in her road to becoming a confident singer and pianist. Gradually, J’Aira merged her two musical abilities, forming a unique talent that would elevate her career. Through the pageant, in addition to winning the talent award, J’Aira was also a semi-finalist and recipient of a full scholarship to Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
J’Aira took college by storm and wowed the campus by taking first place in the fall ’99 talent show singing and accompanying herself to “Over the Rainbow.” By day, she fulfilled her many academic and extracurricular duties, but by night, she worked diligently on her music composition skills. Soon, it became ritualistic for her to stay in the practice studio until the wee hours of the morning, mixing her classical and gospel background with rhythm and blues.
When she was ready to reveal her talent, J’Aira formed a band and began performing her compositions at Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity recitals. Over the summers, she recorded and collaborated with local hip-hop artists. She also continued to hone her craft and placed in several talent shows including the 106.7 WAMO talent showcase.
Upon graduating college, J’Aira continued on her musical path, winning several talent shows and even receiving an honorable mention as a suggested songwriter in the VH1 Save the Music Songwriter Competition. One of her most memorable achievements is having been personally requested to perform at an intimate Thanksgiving Dinner for the Pittsburgh Steelers Staff and family. There’s also performing at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York where she won second place in April of 2014. To date, J’Aira has been blessed to have the opportunity to perform at the Apollo Theater four times and is grateful her experiences at the Apollo have given her an inner confidence she can carry on any stage.
Born and raised in the Baptist church, J’Aira holds tight to her Christian upbringing and never wants to disappoint God or her fans. She loves “real music” that’s relatable. Some of her biggest influences are Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder. J’Aira’s songs are both genuine and pure, possessing just enough flare to remain relatable, yet enough authenticity to be called “one of a kind.” Her self-entitled album, subtitled "Finally Here" debuted in 2012 and features songs ranging in topics of love, friendship and self-esteem.
Currently, J'Aira is hard at work establishing her new production company. December 5th, 2014 will mark her fourth musical production under her belt. Previous productions include “The Music in Me”, “J’Aira and Friends Christmas”, and “Sweet Love.” Her upcoming production “O Holy Night” is expected to be her biggest production to date featuring a concert, food drive, and celebration of the Holiday Season.
Ever pressing forward, J’Aira will soon began writing and recording her sophomore album. Her next major concert will showcase this work under her new production company extending her brand to the role of Producer.