The daughter of jazz chanteuse Ann Marie Schofield and the late jazz pianist Walter Davis, Jr., Alana Davis made her own stand as a singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New Yorks Greenwich Village, Davis learned to play the guitar as a youngster. Music remained an avocation, however, until her late-teens. Although she began writing songs at the age of eighteen, Davis didnt turn to music as a career until briefly attending Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York. Leaving school to devote her full attention to music, Davis recorded a demo tapes of her original tunes. Signed by Elektra, she released her first single, a remake of Ani DiFrancos 32 Flavors, and it reached the top forty of Billboards Hot 100 in early 1998. The singles success also led to an invitation to participate in the Lilith Fair. But Davis and Elektra disagreed about the direction of her career. While the label hoped for a straightforward R&B sound, Davis was more interested in fusing her rich mix of influences. Her 2001 sophomore effort Fortune Cookies was powerful, original, and unique; it also went un-promoted, and drove a wedge between she and the label. Striking out on her own, Davis formed Tigress Records imprint to release her third album, 2005s critically-acclaimed Surrender Dorothy.