With a hypnotic voice and spellbinding songwriting, Swedish singer-songwriter Anna Leone’s sound is nothing short of magical. Her debut single ‘My Soul I’ traverses the well-worn ground of heartbreak with a searing sincerity and emotive vocal that recalls the understated emotional impact of acts like Angus & Julia Stone and Laura Marling. The video, filmed in France, sees Anna perform the song in an entrancing one-take cut, and her soulful vulnerability here promises great things for the future. We wanted to catch up with Anna to talk songwriting and the future – read the interview below.
What music did you grow up listening to? Do you think it influences you now – if so, how?
I grew up listening to artists like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Nina Simone. A lot of great singer-songwriters basically. I think they’ve definitely inspired how I write today by giving me the philosophy that the most important thing is finding the emotion in a song and not necessarily doing something very produced and ‘perfect’. I listen to a lot of pop music and soundtracks for movies and video games now, which inspire me a lot as well, but I think my writing still centres around the fragility that comes from just playing a guitar.
Tell us about the first song you wrote yourself.
I don’t remember the very first but my earliest songs all had the same theme of ‘being wronged’, whatever that meant at the time. I think I just felt like making everything very dramatic. They were all written without any type of structure in mind so usually they just ended up being a collection of verses and choruses.
What do you think is the hardest part of writing a song?
I still have a lot of different ideas going on at the same time! It can be really difficult for me to keep the focus on one song and not go off in a million different directions. That’s probably the hardest thing for me. Figuring out how to tie everything together and making sure the parts don’t lose any of the magic they had on their own.
Tell us the story behind ‘My Soul I’.
‘My Soul I’ was a song that came to life pretty naturally, in the sense that both the lyrics and the melody called out to me. I feel strongly about it cause it really captured what I felt at the time. The lyrics are very direct and I think that’s one of the reasons why. It doesn’t try to hide anything, it just needed to be written at that time and in that way.
If you could collaborate musically with anyone, who would it be?
There are a lot of people that I admire and would love to work with, even though songwriting’s always been a very isolated thing for me. I’ll say Beach House though, ‘cause they have such a magical sound and it would be cool to be a part of that universe.
What are your biggest goals for the next year?
I feel like I’m very new to the music scene in general so next year I’ll hopefully keep learning what it means to share songs with the world and work on becoming a more confident musician overall. I’m terrified onstage so I’ll definitely try to challenge myself in that area. Other than that, I’m looking forward to releasing my first EP!
Listen to her new single ‘I Never Really’ below!
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