901 Now: Memphis musician awarded ‘Angel’ Scholarship

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 8:54 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Music has become a form of therapy for one Memphis Music Initiative alum, and now her music is putting her in the national spotlight.

“My mom put me in piano at 6,” Walker said. “I don’t even remember signing up. She signed me up. It’s because my family is so musically inclined.”

She’s had 17 years of being classically trained in piano.

Music is all Aliyah Walker, also known by her stage name DENAÉ Music, has ever known and needed.

“I don’t think I would be alive honestly; music is big for me,” Walker said. “It was the reason I got out of rehab and the reason I kept going through all my years.”

Music is also the reason she got an opportunity of a lifetime: A scholarship and a chance to meet American singer and actress Halle Bailey.

“I was so surprised when she showed her face,” she said. “I had no idea it was her. She showed up and was like, ‘Hi I’m Halle,’ like... I know who you are! So nice to meet you.”

Walker is one of four students from around the world recognized as an Angel scholar, named after Halle’s latest single “Angel.”

The scholarship recognizes women in arts who use their talent for the greater good.

“I’m happy to bring something positive to our city,” she said. “We have so much negative light and so much crime, I’m happy to say that something good came from Memphis.”

And for Walker, that’s using her music to help people improve their health and quality of life.

“It was so surreal because I got to talk to her, and she told me how much of an inspiration I was to her, and I was like me,” Walker said.

“She was like, ‘I just love what you do with music therapy and how you help people with disabilities,’” she recalled. “‘Your music is so inspiring, and I just want to award you.’ I was like, okay! Thank you!”

Walker was selected based on her piano improvisational album, “BREATHE.” She wrote the album in 2021 to help people with chronic anxiety and depression cope with their symptoms.

Walker is skilled in classical and modern-contemporary piano, guitar, voice, and ukulele. She is also well-versed in composition, songwriting, and improvisation.

Whether it’s during a music lesson or music enrichment session, she encourages her students and clients to embrace creativity by learning the fundamentals of music to compose their own.

To listen to Walker’s music, click here.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.