Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!
Anayalovenote is a ball of energy, and she’s here to bless the music industry with her talents. Born in Puerto Rico but growing up in Austin, Texas, the singer, songwriter, rapper, and choreographer has been on the grind since she was born, forced to stand on her own two feet since she can remember.
Growing up in foster care is never easy, especially when you’ve become a product of the system since 5 years old. Thankfully, her drive and hustle for survival is what helped mold her into the woman she is today…and she’s not stopping until she becomes one of the greats.
To date, Anayalovenote has had her hands in every facet of the entertainment industry, from choreographing Soulja Boy’s “She Make it Clap” music video to making a standout appearance in Chanel West Coast’s “Eazy” record alongside Salma Sims.
With her own artistry, Anayalovenote unveiled her newest single and visual called “Preference.”
On the 47th episode of Shirley’s Temple, Anayalovenote opens up about the reality of being raised in foster care, and her time dating Soulja Boy.
AllHipHop: Your birthday is Christmas Eve. Do you get sad or is it a blessing?
Anayalovenote: To be honest with you, I turn up so I don’t be sad. My birthday is Christmas Eve, which means to others, it’s oh you get double presents. No. It’s I gotta scatter around to get the gift for Christmas, which I’m going to use for your birthday as well. So it’s a Christmas present and a birthday present.
But in my household, when you get to a certain age, you stop getting gifts, so there’s no Christmas present. In hindsight, it’s really a tradition to open one gift on Christmas Eve. People used to try that with me as a kid, it’s a no go. I already know that’s a tradition, my birthday’s separate. Run me my gifts.
AllHipHop: The worst is when someone shows up with no gifts.
Anayalovenote: You know what? I never got to have those moments because I wasn’t able to have birthday parties. I never had a summer party, never had any of that. Because it’s the holidays, everybody’s always gone. I don’t know what it feels like to have a birthday dinner or friends dinner. It’s not fun if you do it yourself, which is why I take my ass with a club.
AllHipHop: You grew up in foster care. For people that may not know, what was that like?
Anayalovenote: It’s funny because some people will find out I was in foster care and they’ll say “oh, so you were adopted?” No, that’s completely separate. I want to make sure people know being adopted and fostered are two different things. I was fostered, which means I didn’t have a family. I’d go from shelter to shelter, group home to group home, rent houses, things of that nature. The older I got, it became harder for a family to want me because they don’t want older people.
I started in foster care at 5 years old, that’s all I know. I had my siblings with me until they took that away. When you get adopted, you have a family. They can change your name, you’re a whole new person. You have a whole new identity. The parent cannot find that child without knowing the paperwork. That’s when they’re able to whoop you, because I wasn’t going for none of that. Me and my sister had a pact, we ain’t getting adopted. I wish you would put your hands on me. You didn’t birth me, ma’am I don’t even know you.
But it wasn’t all that bad, it all depends on what you take from it. At that age, I knew that I was not supposed to be there. It almost felt like man, I think this is a mistake. As a kid, you don’t know better. But I knew there’s something here. It’s a purpose. I know I’m not supposed to be here, but there’s a reason why I’m here. At that age, I always knew I’ll be okay.
AllHipHop: How old were you?
Anayalovenote: At 7 years old, that’s when I figured it out: you’re not going home. I got placed in foster care at 5. It got to sink in. Because to you, you think if I’m bad, they don’t want me. They’re going to send me back home. That’s not the case, it gets worse from there.
Me and my sisters, we tore up their house. First house we got put in, we tore up their house. I feel bad, I still remember it. Mr. And Mrs. White, we threw all of their dishes out of their cabinets. We knocked all their lamps on the floor. First, we cut up all the sofa couches, then tossed them on the floor.
AllHipHop: They were that bad?
Anayalovenote: Yeah, they were that mean. My sister ran away 4 times. I remember it as it was yesterday, it’s funny because my sister brought it up the other day. We were sitting there: me, my sister Latrice, my little sister Brianna. Latrice was about 7, I was 5. Brianna was going on 3. I remember us conjuring up this little plan: in the morning, this is what we’re going to do. If we do this, they have to send us back home.
In our mind, we’re going home. We were banking on if we’re bad enough, they won’t want us anymore. Each one of us knew we’re going to tear up everything. I’m talking about everything. These are older people, they weren’t a younger couple. But they were just so evil. I’d never been introduced to something like that. They’d leave us outside, all day.
AllHipHop: How long were you with them?
Anayalovenote: Not long, because we tore up their house. That was the point. That’s how I knew I was built for something. When they got home, they called our case manager instantly and told them to come pick us up. That case manager got to the house, everything was tore up. Lamps were broken. We were so bad. We took every food in the refrigerator and threw it on the floor, took all the food out of the cabinet. We thought of literally everything we could do possible, bad enough for you to send us away.
Not knowing that that separated us. After that, they separated us. They told us because we could not behave together, they felt it’d be better to separate all 3 of us. So Latrice went to another home, I went to a home, Brianna went to a home. [starts crying]
I’m not ashamed because I’m here.
AllHipHop: Up to 80% of children in foster care have significant mental health issues, compared to approximately 18-22% of the general population.
Anayalovenote: It’s true. I have my moments where I break down, but it comes from being alone. You always having to figure it out by yourself, always having to figure out what to do because you don’t have what the normal person is supposed to have.
I found my mom on MySpace. Me and my older sister in school, we found her on MySpace. I typed her name in and she came up, because my mom did music. She was an artist. I went to her Friends list. If you remember, if you go to their page, it’ll have their top friends that you know are people they talk to.
I was a freshman in high school, I went in and I went to all of her friends and I messaged them. I said hey, my name is so and so. I’m her daughter. I’ve been looking for her for a long time. Can you please tell her, her daughter’s looking for her? The next school day, I looked on MySpace and my mom wrote me. She said “I got your message. People were calling me saying, ‘your daughter’s looking for you’.” She couldn’t believe that we had found her.
I found my little sister on Facebook. I found my little brother on Facebook. My case manager came to me and said “you have two choices. You can find your dad or you can find your sister.” I chose my sister.
AllHipHop: Why do they only give you…?
Anayalovenote: Was no longer technically in care anymore at that time. I was in college, I just graduated high school. I called my case manager and said, I have to find my little sister. She’s my first little sister, the one we were in a group home with. I need to find my dad and my sister. Now that I’m out of care, I need to know who my family is. She said “because you’re no longer in care, I can only do so much. I can only find either or, you’re going to have to choose.“
I chose my sister, they found her. At the time, she had a son. Now, I have a niece and a nephew. I was in college, in the boys dorm room. I wasn’t supposed to be there, but I stayed the night. I got a phone call out of nowhere, 6am. She’s like, “hello?” I’m like, hello. She’s like, “Somebody gave me this number to call, they said that you’re my sister?”
I’m like, Brianna? She said “yeah.” She got quiet, she said “no it’s not.” I said yes, it is. I’m your big sister. I’ve been looking for you. Do you remember me? She said “yeah, we were in foster care. I remember you.” People kept telling her, “what if this is a kidnap? Somebody playing games on the phone,” blah, blah, blah. I said where are you? She stayed in a shelter in a group home for girls that had kids. At that time, I had my own apartment.
AllHipHop: You took her under?
Anayalovenote: I did. When I found out where she was, I said you gotta come stay with me. I don’t care what we gotta do. I’m new, I’m in college. I’m a freshman, but I don’t care. You’re my sister. Now that I have you, I’m here. I can’t consciously know my sister somewhere in a group home shelter for women with kids, and my nephew is there. Who in the right mind would do that? What would be the point of me trying to find you?
So I took her in. Did it go good? Whew, I almost wanted to fight that child. Me and my sister, we bumped heads a lot. That’s my baby. But at the same time, when you meet as adults, you’re getting to know this adult. Not this little girl no more. I done missed all those years.
AllHipHop: At the same time, she’s staying with you. She has to respect you in some type of way.
Anayalovenote: Yeah, but I’m a realistic person. You gotta earn respect to get it. We don’t know each other. I’d rather me not run her off. I don’t want her to leave. We just found each other. I don’t want her to feel like she’s back in a shelter or back in a home and she don’t have the freedom to be out here and live her life. I’d watch my nephew, I helped p#### train them. I got him when he was 2 years old.
Discipline and love is what I learned that I didn’t get, and that’s all kids need. When I was in care, they put kids on drugs. They put them on pills, they give them a therapist. That’s why they don’t make it.
AllHipHop: Prescribing them Adderalls and s###?
Anayalovenote: Yes. They make these kids feel like they got ADHD. Make them feel like they’re crazy because they’re misbehaving. You misbehave, go to another home. Misbehave, go to a shelter. Misbehave, go to a group home. Misbehave, go to a juvenile detention center. Misbehave, go to the psychic clinic. I’ve been to that. You know the psychic clinic where they put you in a robe? I was in that as a kid, for no reason.
AllHipHop: How old were you?
Anayalovenote: I was 7 years old, because I was misbehaving. To them, I was crazy, so I needed to be put in. That’s what they do, and that’s why these kids grow up the way that they do. Because realistically, at some point, I realized I don’t need a therapist. I told my foster parent, I’m not taking these pills anymore. I told my therapist, I’m not talking. They set up all my therapy sessions, I would not talk.
It got to the point where the judge said “don’t give her a therapist anymore. I don’t need that. I got put into a really good foster home. Finally at 14 years old, I got put in a really good foster home. She disciplined me. Even though she wasn’t supposed to, she did, and I needed that. Other foster parents, they give up on you. They toss you away. But she didn’t do that, she took me in.
When I found my oldest sister, who coincidentally happened to go to the foster home of her husband’s sister. My foster dad’s sister had my big sister in her home, and I didn’t know that. She was auntie to me, but she had my oldest sister staying at her house. I found out and I asked my foster mom, could she take me and my sister in? She did that. Years later when I found my little sister, she took them in too. She’s still mom to this day.
AllHipHop: Where’d you get your start? What was that first moment?
Anayalovenote: I didn’t get my start in Austin, because we don’t support each other. I left Austin to go to Atlanta, Atlanta is my second home. I’ll be there all day. I love Atlanta, they do support. When you got s### going on, your people will pull up. We pull up deep all the time. I love the support. It’s black cities, black Hollywood. You better be supporting. Atlanta gave me my start. Had I never moved to Atlanta, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.
AllHipHop: Was it scary for you to just move?
Anayalovenote: No, I just needed a reason to go. I sent a car to my foster mom. I said mom, I just know once I leave, I’m gon’ make it. I told her that: I’m going to make it, watch. I just have to leave home. She said “just always pray. I trust you, you got it.”
I was just talking to my mom about this. I used to sit my family down in the living room and perform for them. I’d go, BET would play BET Jams or the Top 100. Bobby Brown “Every Little Step” came on, you could rewind and pause the TV at the time. I learned that dance, ran into the living room like daddy, look what I learned. I did the whole dance.
I’d print out lyrics at the library. I had this big ass box, full of lyrics. It’d be lyrics of Disney songs, Alicia Keys. I was a huge fan of Alicia Keys, Tevin Campbell, Brian McKnight. I just learned songs. You do stuff like that, you take interest, it gotta be something there. Why do I take interest in printing out lyrics at the library and singing them in my bedroom? I even learned the Stars-Spangled Banner that way.
AllHipHop: It’s crazy because I met you at the Soulja Boy “She Make It Clap” video shoot.
Anayalovenote: Yeah, I was directing it. Shout out to Soulja for allowing me to do that.
AllHipHop: How did you guys first meet?
Anayalovenote: I slid in his DM. I didn’t even say much either, that’s the thing. I put an emoji and said hi. Back then, when you grow up listening to these artists, you always want to know what a conversation would be like with them or how they are in real life. Instagram has made a way for artists to connect with those people a lot better and a lot easier. It can make you either really grow to love that person more, or be like ehh, I’m over it. Instagram definitely is a kudos for that.
AllHipHop: How was it dating him?
Anayalovenote: Souja is a very chill person, realistically. He’s just chill. He stays recording. He’s always working, it doesn’t matter what he got going on. He’s on Twitch, he got his gaming thing going on. He has an engineer that’s there all the time, he’s always recording consistently. Or he’s working on something new, as far as his branding. He got his own Lemonade, he got his own Soulja game. It’s nonstop with him, so I never really got to see anything outside of that.
It was inspiring in a sense, his work ethic is ridiculously lit. He’s a genius at the computer. That’s why he likes to be the first person of everything. He stayed on a f###### computer all day. [laughs] I don’t know if he’s Googled something that somebody hasn’t done and then decided “okay, I’m going to do that.”
He needs to be in the World Book of Records. They’re tripping right now. They need to put Soulja in the World Book of Records for him being the first to do a lot of s###. He got a lot of firsts. He’d be the first rapper in the World Book of Records. [laughs]
AllHipHop: What ended up happening?
Anayalovenote: With Soulja, I always kept things cool and collected. Because I’m very protective over my own business, over my own information. I’m very private. I’m one of those you don’t ask, I won’t say nothing. But if you ask, I’m going to tell you the truth because I don’t like liars. We’re adults, we can keep it real. If you can f###, then you can be real.
I don’t mean go around telling your business and all your tea, it’s the way that you go about it. It’s the way that you say what you gotta say. In interviews, you can’t get that out of me. I like that, because I never want things to be misconstrued. Of course, people are going to think what they want to think and it’s going to go the way they want it to go. At the end of the day, regardless of what you say. I don’t have time to be sitting here convincing a million people that don’t even know me. That wasn’t there, don’t know the ins and outs.
That’s a lot of stress and unnecessary drama to take on. At the end of the day, I could have been on the Shade Room. I could’ve been out there. The amount of tea that AnayaLoveNote holds can start at a war. I’m not new. When it comes to being around people in the industry, knowing who knows who in the industry, or whatever the case may be. The thing is, I pop out when I pop out. Otherwise, I stay to myself. Mind my business and stay out the way. That’s how I live. That’s how I stay peaceful. That’s how I stay happy. I stay focused to myself. If I wanted to be out there and been famous by now, I could have.