An Interview With The Grammy-Award Winning Songstress ANNA WISE!
Posted On 16 Mar 2017
On February 17th, the GRAMMY award-winning musician, Anna Wise self-released her sophomore EP, The Feminine: Act II.
Wise has garnered a dedicated following amongst musicians and music fans alike ever since her collaborations with Kendrick Lamar on Good kid, m.A.A.d city (“Real,” “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “Money Trees”) and To Pimp a Butterfly (“These Walls,” “Institutionalized”). Their song “These Walls” won Best Rap Song Collaboration at the 2016 GRAMMY’s.
Wise‘s debut EP project, The Feminine: Act I, released in late 2016 has received high praise for its strong lyrical content on the topics of womanhood and feminism, while her alt-pop and RnB influenced sound has publications like Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, The FADER, NME, Nylon, Brooklyn Vegan and more buzzing about her promising solo career.
Keep up with Anna Wise Here:
Learn more about Anna in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What were some of the highlights for you and your music in 2016?
Releasing my first EP, winning my first GRAMMY, touring & traveling, meeting new people, experiencing new things, maintaining my independence, being my own boss, not having to answer to anybody when it comes to my art.
What are you most excited about for 2017?
The revolution of the collective unconscious…
Can you recall your first musical memory?
Composing at the piano with my mother’s hand on my back keeping me upright. There’s a picture of it. I’m 1 and a half years old.
This month, you will self-release a new EP called “The Feminine Act: II.” Can you talk about writing these songs and finally putting this collection out?
I am constantly working on music, so it was natural for me to release a new project 1 year after the first. I wrote every word, and every note myself. I produced or co-produced every song. This takes a significant amount of energy, but I never feel drained. I worked primarily with one additional producer (Dane Orr) who also served as my engineer and mixer. One song I’m particularly proud of (“Balance In All” produced by M. Constant) I wrote and recorded 6 years ago, but it sounds like me now. I had no other material that could stand next to it for 6 years, so I just waited. I love that. The creative process is so individual and unique for everyone. There are no road signs.
How is it a continuation of your 2016 EP, “The Feminine Act: I”?
If Act: I was the sledgehammer through the wall, Act II is stepping into the new room surrounded by flowers, some roses with sharp thorns, but still beautiful. It’s a less direct vision of female empowerment, but somehow feels stronger than Act I.
What was the inspiration for the EP’s lead single out now, “Coconuts”?
“Coconuts” is about self-confidence, inter-sectional feminism and female friendship. It’s my hope for the world, that the old ideas will die off (specifically: misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, xenophobia) and the new world will rise up. A world where we celebrate our diversity, a world where we love and accept each other.
I’d love to know what it was like working with Kendrick Lamar on “Good kid, m.A.A.d city” and “To Pimp a Butterfly”?
Invigorating, magical, validating, spiritual, pure, easy, time disappeared.
How do you hope to be a good role to young women today?
I hope to show young women that they can be themselves and love themselves and talk back to boys and ask for raises and be confident and understand they are magic.
Do you find that you make that effort on your social media?
I try to share what I’m thinking and feeling; although I would prefer to sit down one-on-one with everyone.
What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I’m infinitely inspired by Kate Bush, Nina Simone, Debussy, Grace Jones, Kendrick Lamar, Joni Mitchell, Frank Ocean, Sonia Delaunay, Bjork, Kehinde Wiley, Teebs, Claw and Miss 17.
I’d like to work with Kid Cudi, Kate Bush, Kaytranada, Phillip Glass, Grimes and Nai Palm.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
I hope they take away a sense of confidence in themselves. I hope the message is empowering.