Behind the Music: Interview with Anaté

‘As long as our music is honest, constant exploration and change may always be a big part of our journey.’

With evocative new single ‘ 3 am’ catching our ears, we chatted with Berlin-based collaboration Anaté to find out more about Ana’s effortlessly natural musicality, and the personal reflectiveness that lies at the heart of forthcoming debut album ‘Confessions’.

Hi Anaté, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Which words would best describe your sound? 
Hey! Thanks for having me 🙂 Our sound could best be described as downtempo, with influences from various genres such as trip-hop, jazz and blues.

What are your musical and non-musical influences?
Morcheeba and Massive Attack when it comes to sound, Dido and Amy Lee when it comes to vocals, Pink Floyd for the reflective and contemplative approach, and Led Zeppelin in terms of style and vibe.

Who is involved in the creation of your tracks?
Producer Andrea with myself writing the lyrics and song ideas.

Turning to your stunning single 3am, what is the story behind it?
First of all, thank you for the appreciation! 🙂 The chords of the song were born while I was jamming on a piano in an airport and they gave me blues vibes so we decided to go for that in terms of production. The lyrics were written in the middle of the night and the recording itself felt like a very honest, live performance, rather than a recording in a studio. 

On the track, there is an incredible sense of the expression within the vocal coming about naturally. To what extent was this the case?
I was imagining an almost empty bar, at 3am – hence the name – which was dimly lit, with a girl singing the blues on the stage about a guy who might or might not be there in the audience. I tried to transpose that intimacy into the lyrics and the way I sang the song.   

So how does the direction of your vocals affect the overall development of your tracks?
I think it has a big influence on how the tracks are produced. I know Andrea always prefers to have the vocal line as fast as possible on the track, even if there are no lyrics yet, just so he can sense the intention of the song and build it around that.

‘When it comes to songwriting, I take a reflective, contemplative, and introspective approach.’

You mentioned piano earlier, but how does being a classically trained pianist affect your songwriting process?
It helps me because I can jam on the piano in different ways and find inspiration for new songs. You can find a lot of inspiration from classical songs as well.

Thinking back, when did you first know that music would be a big part of your life?
The first time I started playing the piano at 5 years old and then later on when I discovered dancing. The two just make life better.

Which 3 artists are you most excited by right now? 
I’m looking forward to the debut album of the newly formed duo Silk Sonic as I absolutely love the sound of their first single. Another two artists would be Glass Animals and Two Feet.

With your forthcoming album ‘Confessions’, you are encouraging listeners to ‘discover who they are when no one is watching’. What led to this being the concept for the release? 
I have quite a reflective, contemplative and introspective approach to how I write lyrics and music, and think these deep questions and thoughts always happen when we are alone. For me, this album meant looking inside and asking as well as answering some questions and attempting to realise who I truly am and what I truly want without the exterior pressure. It is something that I invite everyone to do.

And linked with this, which of the tracks on the album took you on the most surprising personal journey?

I think it is Confusion, which is probably why we chose it as a first single. It is the epitome of the album concept, that conflict between emotion and reason, who we truly are and who we are expected to be, what we want and what we are ‘allowed’ to want, which ultimately ends with embracing ourselves and loving ourselves the way we are.

It’s clear from the live studio versions of your tracks that you love performing. What are your pre-performance routines? 
Thank you! Just warming up my voice and listening to a song that makes me feel like a badass.

Which of the other tracks from the album are you most looking forward to playing live and why? 
Might be 3 am.. so I can live on stage that image that I had in my mind when I wrote and recorded the song.

And finally, what has been the biggest learning curve of your career so far?
Discovering our sound remains the biggest learning and challenge at the same time. We are doing music out of passion not ‘fashion’, so it is sometimes tricky to stay in one lane when it comes to genres. We are still discovering and as long as our music is honest, constant exploration and change may always be a big part of our journey.

Thanks Anaté for chatting with Listen to Discover
Photography Credit: Max Guizzetti

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