With debut EP twenty one, twenty two by somegirlnamedanna recently released, we speak to the up and coming artist about mental health, dealing with lockdown and interviewing herself…
“I was playing on my little midi keyboard before you called and just putting together a track. I’m just working on a bunch of music to keep myself sane.”
This is the artist known as somegirlnamedanna all over. At twenty-two years old, Anna is perfectly content to spend her days writing music and figuring herself out in more detail. Her new EP twenty one, twenty two is a glimpse into her life during these ages, full of pop hooks and layered vocals, but also featuring a real sincerity and unique sound. Her frank honesty and analysis of what’s going on in her own head has won her a bunch of fans during the early stages of her career with this process of delving into her own thoughts used to create the brilliant EP opener, hello i am. “At the beginning of last year, I was driving down from San Francisco to Los Angeles and started recording voice memos, really just interviewing myself. It was kind of funny. It was as if I was talking to you and you were asking me how I grew up and what I was nervous about, how I viewed relationships, etc. I was just talking which turned into singing and I ended up writing sixteen verses! I got to LA and my friend DQ who worked a lot with me on this EP helped me condense it down. It was originally called interview, and then I called it prologue and then I ended up at hello i am. I wanted to literally say, ‘hello, I am somegirlnamedanna’ before I told the rest of my story and got all up and personal with the rest of the music.”
And get up and personal she does. The great thing about Anna’s music is the relatability and life lessons she can portray to her listeners. For instance, Abandonment delves into her insecurity and how she’s learned to cope with it. The EP as a whole doesn’t hold back on any issue, with Anna even left a little worried before the initial release: “Never having music out there before but doing music my whole life has been such a weird thing because I’ve always kept it to myself. Now that it’s out, it’s a really surreal feeling. I got really anxious when the EP was first released. I was so excited and then realised that songs like Abandonment are so personal and for a minute I was like ‘I am literally putting my heart on the chopping board right now’. It was definitely a weird feeling. Hearing people relate to it, like people going through divorce or people who have issues procrastinating as I do is great. I’ve even had some people saying that they’ve finally decided to break up with their toxic significant other because of that song. That was a really cool thing to hear.”
With the world in a state of unease and an unclear future due to our current pandemic, it’s left the music industry, and artists like Anna, in a strange place. Anna is currently residing at her family home in Minnesota which has bought some solace and reflection for her while things (hopefully) get back to normal: “I’m usually based in Nashville but due to quarantine I’ve been spending a lot of time at home and writing. If you could see my house right now it’s in the middle of absolutely nowhere, the only thing around me are a bunch of cows! I had always viewed writing as escapism growing up and I love reading. We grew up without TV and with all this space around me, it gave me that ability to be able to create. I don’t think I was born with a crazy gift or anything but it was just being surrounded with only a couple of options: Either go outside and entertain yourself or stay inside and paint, draw, read or write.”
It’s this atmosphere away from the shining lights of big cities and distractions from box sets or other electronic entertainment that has really shaped Anna as a singer and songwriter. Her passion for music and performing was present from a young age, even if she still struggles a little with other parts of being an artist: “I’m not great at social media. I’m well aware of that but I am trying. My heart is in writing and playing live. I did this talent contest in Minnesota when I was 11. It was the first time I’d ever performed. I wrote a song and ended up making it to the finals. It was so dope! It was at a place called The Grandstand which had something like 12,000 seats. I didn’t win the contest or anything but I did realise at that moment… this is freaking cool! Connecting to people in person is a whole different thing. It’s a whole different feeling from when you write the song. A different euphoria.
Unfortunately, the current pandemic has put a bit of a halt on Anna’s plans to play more live music and tour but she’s hoping to get out in the world as soon as possible to experience this integral part of the music business: “I’ve never gone on tour. I’m really excited for when I do. I’m a newbie. I can’t wait to learn. Right now I’ve been performing on my own. I play guitar and piano so I’ve just kind of been holding it on my own for a little bit. I can’t wait to play with tracks and a band and meet people along the way. I’m still working on music every day, I’m writing every day. It’s been weird because my life was extremely busy before the quarantine. I’d just gotten signed in 2019 and there was a lot of travelling. Then suddenly the world just stopped around me and the only thing I could do that was good for my mental health was to just get back to my roots in Minnesota.”
So, what can we expect from Anna in the future? “Definitely you can expect more music. When… I don’t know. I have hundreds of songs written. Its about what feels right. I never stop writing. I do want to use my platform for what’s going on in the world right now with all these really important current events. I also have some really special songs that I’ve written this year that I can’t wait to share, so I guess it’s just a matter of time and when it feels right. Right now, everyday is different. Especially in the U.S. It’s hard because we need music more than ever… it’s such a hard time for our mental health. We’re reaching out to music but we have so many other things going on right now that it’s hard to focus on it at the same time. I’m trying to test the waters a little bit to feel what’s right and when is right.”
The fantastic debut EP ‘twenty one, twenty two’ by somegirlnamedanna is available now on all good streaming services and for purchase online.