While London based singer and songwriter,and producer Anna Straker may not be a name known to many, sheisn’t exactly new to the music industry. In the past she’s worked with and provided background vocals to hit singles from some of London’s other bright talents, including Years & Years and Rudimental. But now, Straker is finally ready to step forward from behind the scenes and breakthrough as a solo artist. As she drops her a her debut EP, Serious, L Ø S T C U L T U R E caught up with Anna to talk on her creative process, her production kit wishlist and her latest project…
What was the first record you remember having a impact on you as an artist?
“Alicia Keys‘ Unplugged live album was the first record I bought. I thought she was the most amazing performer and was so inspired to be her! I also bought Demon Days by Gorillas that day!”
You’ve commented before that your music is about “being young” – how do you think that will evolve as you get older?
“I write about what is happening to me in this current moment. And what is happening around me – right now, that’s being 19 and everything that comes from that age. As the years go by I’ll be experiencing new things and that will be new material to use for songs. It’s exciting!”
What would you say your biggest influences are when writing a song?
“My songs really show what mood I’m in. That’s where I draw the most from. Or I love looking at interesting pictures on tumblr when I’m stuck for lyrics. I find images really powerful for writing. But I always write the music first, then singing comes second”.
Who would your dream collaborator be for a joint project?
“Such a hard question! I guess I’d love to write with Daft Punk. Or James Blake”
Whats your favourite piece of music equipment? And whats next for the production wishlist?
“My favourite bit of kit is my King Korg synth. The preset sounds on it are so rad, but you can create the most incredible patches on it too. The main synth line in ‘Late Night Swimming‘ is from it. Im dying to get a teenage engineering OP-1. They are crazy little portable synths that you can run on battery power!!!”
If you were to do a Live Lounge tomorrow, what track would you choose to cover and why?
“‘Rock With You‘ by Michael Jackson. Or Kelis – ‘Millionaire‘. Me and my drummer Josh have been messing around with some covers in rehearsal and those are the most fun to play!! I love putting a new spin on things
Your visuals have also impressed, especially with your track ‘Serious’. How much do you have to do with the video process?
“I really wanted to be heavily involved in the process, otherwise the video wouldn’t have been totally Anna Straker! I’m a perfectionist and had a clear vision from the start of how it was going to look. So I was involved in everything! The ideas, the outfits (I even did my own hair & makeup!) the editing, the choreography, the title fonts etc… it was definitely the most fun thing I did this year”.
Last week, you dropped your latest project, Serious EP. How long had you been working on the project and were you happy with the result?
“I’ve been working on those 4 tracks since about March this year. I didn’t intend to release them as an EP, but when I put the video for ‘Serious‘ out I thought it would be a rad way to tie all the tracks together. I’m delighted with how it came out”.
What are you hoping people take away from your debut EP? And what’s next for you?
“I want give people an insight to my emotions and my life, but also motivate people to do things. ‘Serious‘ & ‘Desert Floor‘ are empowering songs and I want to tell people (especially young women like me) that they can do anything! Don’t be afraid of life”.
And with Christmas around the corner, what are your plans for the festive season?
“After a few xmas party gigs I’m going home to the countryside to see my family, I have little siblings and it’s too cute to see them be so excited! And eating & drinking too much obvs”.
L Ø S T C U L T U R E