The last time Drew Ryniewicz covered the Flashdance hit “Flashdance… What A Feeling,” she was just 14, performing to the judges panel for the U.S. debut season of The X Factor.
Now — six years, two EPs and multiple national tours later — the singer becoming known as Drew Ryn is releasing a cover single of the song that first set her on the track to fame.
Ryn’s rendition, premiering here on Billboard, strips down Irene Cara‘s 1983 release to just stark piano chords and breathy background vocals, showcasing her own soulful, stunning voice. Listening to the track, it’s no surprise that Ryn was a top-six finalist and fan favorite during her time on X Factor, impressing even the known cynic Simon Cowell.
“In 2011 I sang ‘What A Feeling’ as my first live show performance. It became a fan favorite not only to the judges, but by millions around the world,” Ryn tells Billboard. “When I was contacted about doing a cover single, I couldn’t think of a better song. Since my first live performance, it has been one of the most requested songs by my incredible fans.”
“I love how passionate the lyrics are,” she continues. “The original makes you want to get up and dance and I’m excited to release this version with a different twist that gives me the ability to truly express myself vocally. I look forward to reliving that first magical moment with all my fans, new and old!”
But Ryn’s stellar resume includes more than accolades from the talent show series. The Nashville-based artist followed up X Factor with two EPs — Hello, It’s Me in 2012 and 180 in 2016 — along with numerous radio appearances, nearly 100 performances with anti-bullying program Allstar Nation and even her own TEDx talk. And there’s more to come with the singer working on her debut album, dropping later this year.
Listen to Ryn’s newly-released “What A Feeling” cover in full below, and stay tuned for more from this up-and-comer.