Your childhood has been quite music-orientated. What made you get into music, and who were your inspirations?
My dad is a wonderful singer who used to be based in Soho, playing all over the country. He supported The Stylistics when they were no.1 in the charts, so I have treasured growing up being wrapped in music. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s a part of my lineage and I had to follow that passion for a career in music and do what it is that makes me come alive. My inspirations that have helped shape my music are the likes of Jeff Buckley, Carly Simon and Carol King. Only the best!
What does music mean to you?
Everything. I feel very lucky to know what it is I have to do with my life and have that burning desire for nothing else. That is such a privilege.
How is the Essex music scene?
It is thriving! We have produced some wonderful talent from here over the years. I am from Colchester and some of those people are my friends. You should check out Rhiannon Mair for instance.
Your music has been well received by the public and press and you have been likened to Joni Mitchell. How have you found the media’s attention?
I’m so grateful. My motto is ‘work for everything, expect nothing’, so I can enjoy the successes when they come and deal with disappointments as well. To hear that my music is connecting with people is so encouraging and ultimately what you need to have a career. Being likened to musical legends is hard to take in!
Tell us about your EP ‘Dear Joey’.
I am the harshest critic of my work, so I am really thrilled to be able to say how proud I am of this EP. My voice sits at the front of the tracks, which I wanted and showcases who I am as an artist. I am naming the next two EPs after my siblings as the songs are almost written like letters to them. I wanted to dedicate it to the people whom I love the most, so I’m beginning with ‘Dear Joey’. I can’t wait to be able to share it!
You were recently chosen to write and perform a track for Levi’s new commercial, how did that come about?
I was asked by a friend working on the creative side of the project if I wanted to be put forward. I auditioned with three of my friends and we all got chosen! It was an amazing experience and what you saw in the video really was a true reflection of the trip. The highlight for me was having Levi’s use the track I wrote for the advert. I was not expecting that at all! To be supported by such a huge brand so early on in my career is really cool and massively encouraging for me.
What would be your dream collaboration?
Me playing with the incomparable Jeff Buckley. If only!
Who are you listening to right now?
I adore Jack Garratt, Leon Bridges and Bob Dylan.
You have performed in festivals all over the UK, such as Secret Garden party and Glastonbury. What has been your best and worst experience when performing live?
The worst would have to be when I used to suffer from stage fright. The first time that happened I was taking part in a singing competition and burst into tears. I was terrified, but the audience joined in to help me finish the song. Not ideal as an artist, but I am out the other side now! My best was last year at my first sold out headline show in London, having people sing my songs with me. It was a moment I will always cherish.
Tell us about your US tour.
That’s something I am hugely excited about. I am a firm believer in carving your own path and creating your own luck in this industry and going touring in the US is something I have always wanted to do. I’ll be going as a double headliner with the fantastic Bryde, playing Hotel Cafe in LA, Rockwood Music Hall in NYC and more. I really can’t wait!
- ‘Dear Joey’ will be released on April 12. Check out more of Anna’s music on her website.