Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a versatile and highly unique composer whose output spans many areas across film & TV, concert hall commissions, theatre, and dance, as well as being an established artist in her own right creating her unique blend of classical and alternative R&B music.
In film & TV, Ayanna has scored Galeforce Films’ 2021 feature documentary Hostile alongside co-composer Nitin Sawhney (and spoken word from George The Poet), which focuses on the impact of the evolving ‘hostile environment’ policies that target migrants. It premiered at the end of October 2021 at international film festivals and has been longlisted for multiple BIFA awards. Ayanna is currently working alongside Nitin again on an upcoming TV series.
In the concert hall, Ayanna has been commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, Güerzenich Orchester, Ligeti Quartet, Kronos Quartet, The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company and as an arranger/orchestrator for the London Symphony Orchestra (Hugh Masekela, Belief!) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Urban Classic).
Since releasing multiple EP’s and her debut album Road Runner, Ayanna has collaborated with artists including Anoushka Shankar, rapper and poet Akala and Nitin Sawhney, and has extensively toured the UK and Europe, whilst gaining a MOBO nomination, receiving airplay on stations including BBC Radio 1, 1xtra, 2, 3, 4, 6, BBC London, BBC Manchester, Jazz FM and Scala Radio, TV features on BBC One London News and London Live and has performed live on Later… with Jools Holland. Most recently, Ayanna supported the legendary Italian operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli on his 22-date ‘Believe’ North American tour and has performed at festivals including Green Man 2021.
Graduating with a first from both Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and the Manhattan School of Music, Ayanna was a participant in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik Young Composers Scheme and became an Emerging Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre. She was a featured artist with Courtney Pine’s Afropeans: Jazz Warriors and became the only non-American to win Amateur Night Live at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NYC.