New Noise: Anneka

Talking to the alt-pop newcomer.

Brighton-based artist, Anneka, is making waves with her unique take on pop. Having recently released her debut EP “Life Force” earlier this year, the four-track record is her stunning introduction to the music world and an exciting look at what the rising star has to offer.

Eager to learn more about one of the most intriguing artists we’ve stumbled across this year, we sat down with Anneka to find out all about her…

What’s your first memory of music?

Playing with toys on the living room floor while Latin music played through my dad’s sound system. I remember feeling the bass through the floor and noticing how the music lifted the energy within the house. We didn’t have much expensive tech but my parents always had a decent sound system. Music was important and always encouraged.

Who would you say are your main musical influences?

I’m not sure how much it comes out in my own music but I’m forever inspired by Radiohead. The choral / classical side of my music has been influenced by a love of early choral music, as well as film soundtracks by Jonny Greenwood and Clint Mansell. Bjork, Clark, Aphex Twin, Actress are all artists I keep coming back to again and again – I’m sure they must influence me in various ways.

You’ve previously featured on albums by some pretty big names. What was that experience like?

Really nurturing and fun to do. I’ve learned a lot from collaborations, even if they were conducted via email and the back-and-forth swapping of files. I make an effort to meet everyone I collaborate with though – and I’ve been lucky that they’ve all be really nice people. It’s exciting to feature on albums by artists you’re a fan of, although I’ve been focussing more on my solo output recently.

What made you want to branch off on your own?

I wanted to develop my own ‘world’ as an artist. The whole sound palette that each track is built around is important to me, so it made sense to learn how to produce the sounds I wanted. It’s the same for the visual aspects that surround the music; I like to get stuck in by directing the artwork or editing and directing the videos. There has been some collaboration involved in the visual elements and final mixes of the music for the new EP –  which I believe makes it all the more rich. But it’s my vision, embellished with the help of their magic. I just want to make something honest. Plus I’m a bit of creative control freak when it comes to my own project.

You’ve just released your debut EP, “Life Force”. Can you tell us a bit about it?

My voice is the main instrument throughout – it’s been sampled and played like a keyboard, manipulated digitally, fed through guitar pedals, and layered into stacks of raw, improvised melodies. The title track ‘Life Force’ (with co-production from Ital Tek) is the most built up track with swathes of vocals, synths, bass, beats and subtle atmospheric recordings of bowed guitar. It contrasts a lot from the closer ‘End of It’ which is an a cappella I wrote while trying to recall apocalyptic dreams I often have.

What were the main inspirations for the record?

Films and books I was taking in at the time really made their mark on my music. ‘Life Force’ was directly inspired by films such as Ex-Machina, Under The Skin while ‘A Strange and Distant Town’ takes its title from Haruki Murakami’s ‘Wind Up Bird Chronicle’. 

How would you describe your “sound”?

Vocal rich, textured, dark yet always hopeful.

What else do you have lined up for this year?

Another release by the end of the year which I’m planning on gigging. I’m also starting to plant the seeds for an audio/visual project which might intertwine with the record, depending on how it all unfolds. I hope to work again with my friend and photographer Will Hartley who I collaborated with on the visual aspects of the Life Force EP.

New Noise: Anneka

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