Artist Spotlight: Aneesa Marie Interview

Soulful. Sweet. Spiritual. Just a few words that can describe the music of young, songstress Anessa’ Marie. Her frank song writing and silky vocals provide something different to the flourishing U.K. music scene, and her recent release ‘Son of Ankharchy’ further emphasises her talent as an artist. The EP is only 5 tracks long, but it is clear to see the emotion and soul that goes into Anessa’s music, which makes for a very impressive project.

We Part-timers, luckily, had the opportunity to sit down with the lovely Anessa Marie to discuss her recent project; the influences behind her music; what’s in her near future and, of course, what her part time interests are. Check out our interview with the young vocalist and find out exactly why you should be listening to her right now.

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Name: Aneesa Marie

Full time job: Mentor and activities coordinator for children in/leaving care

Part-time hustle: Musician, acting, dancing and directing

First things first…what’s up with the spelling of the ep?

You know how many times I’ve been asked that, trust me it’s not a spelling mistake. Ankharchy… the “Ankh” is the Egyptian symbol for life and reflection, the original symbol and what the crucifix is based on. In ancient Egyptian tombs, they would place the symbol above their bodies head as a mirror representing reflection. Obviously, anarchy means without rule, so “life with reflection, without rule”

Well that’s a lot deeper than we ever imagined. Talking about education, how important is it for you?

I went to City University to do law but left without completing my course. It’s funny as I used to be really academic and studious growing up, staying back to do more work but after moving to London… I couldn’t concentrate. I can’t sit in a room and listen to someone teaching me, I get bored.

What changed then? Was it the London environment?

My perception of life changed. Education is still important to me, I take it upon myself to read and research subjects of interest but someone telling me information, I don’t think that’s how I learn. I learn by going out and experiencing things. So the paradigm just changed and I was homeless for a little bit, working a full time job while in school, and it was just like what am I doing at the moment.

So we have to go back to the homeless statement now, can’t skim past that so quickly!

Well I left for London at 17, stayed at an Aunts here for a year but then I had to leave. I had nowhere to go and ended up staying in hostels for just over a year. But I always wanted more for myself. I was still in college at the time, which was really difficult and saw quite a few things that I shouldn’t have been exposed to… people taking heroin, multiple police raids, but I was focused on gaining my A-levels to get into university. By then I was so tired of life, Uni wasn’t the answer and everything got worse before it lead me to a better place now.

Wow, that’s a real testament to your character. Although this tape touches the subject of an ex? Would you express some of these stories of your life or rather hold them closer to yourself?

There’s a time and place for everything. I also want to write a book and produce a documentary on sexual abuse and violence in families. So I’m giving pieces of myself slowly in a variety of formats. I want to try things and I feel like a have something to say, a message that people can relate to.

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There is a constant theme of God throughout the tape, especially with the samples. Is religion play a major part in your life?

I grew up in a Christian household and then I sort of rebelled against it, not against God, but the idea of being told I have to believe something. During my first year of college, I studied philosophy and began to question a lot of things. When moving to London I looked into Buddhism and chanting, but a trip back home to Trinidad lead me to a have a crazy spiritual experience that changed a few things. That day I literally called on God and that energy was there. Out of fear, I went back to Christianity because that’s what I knew, that’s what I was comfortable with. From that I realised that God is love and from the scripture “perfect love casts out fear”, I don’t need to be scared. God’s energy is real. I believe in different aspects from other religions as it ultimately comes down to love and making it your own.

So each individual has there on writing process…a sit down session, as it comes to you or even freestyle! What’s your process?

As it comes to me! On Sheldon’s Interlude (my favourite song), I wrote the second verse two weeks before it was released. I find I write some of my best stuff while on the train, it has been a pattern for the last 2 years. I find myself in my own zone, not worrying about the hustle and bustle surrounding me.

From memory however, I remember I set a day aside to clean my room and put on some music in the background as you do. I played an instrumental called “in memory” and kept distracting myself from cleaning by singing different hooks etc. Before I knew it 10/15mins had past and the song was written. It just clicked and you can’t stop that energy flowing through! Was great but my room was still needed tidying.

So we heard a little rap on the last track, great to hear you experimenting with your sound. Is this something you look to add more frequently in your work?

Well I’ve always wanted to rhyme. I’m not claiming to be a rapper by any means but it’s always fun to explore and try things. It’s funny as the way it was initially delivered was a bit more melodramatic and the general feedback was to “give that another go”. At first I took offence but as it was coming from multiple sources, I thought I should accept the constructive criticism and use it to improve myself.

It’s actually inspired by my love for Kendrick Lamar. Years ago, I had a conversation with my mum confessing my envy for him. Although he does not say similar things that I want to say, the way in which he says things carry’s a different emotion which I believe cannot be done through singing. I had things to say and I wouldn’t of been able to sing them, mum wisely suggested just doing both which lead me this. Even if no one likes it, I like…it’s for me.

What’s the aim then? Where do you see yourself fitting?

A –First of all, it’s not necessarily about fame. I feel like what I’ve been through, the things that I’m going through to what I am now, is inspiring. Even though you’ve been through certain things you can make it out. So my message isn’t local, it’s global, it’s for everybody. I’m not talking about riches, I’m talking about emotions. I feel like a lot of people are so detached from spirit and self, I need to bring it about to that. Even if it doesn’t become international, at least I know that I tried to make a difference.

Listen to the ep “Son of Ankharchy” on Spotify, Apple Music, soundcloud and Google Play today.

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