Jessie Ware, Joss Stone, Emilia Anastazja
Kevin Cook

Interview with introspective R&B singer Emilia Anastazja

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Photo credit: Giovanna León

Releasing her EP Flower House via Young and Aspiring, singer Emilia Anastazja makes room for R&B that doesn’t fixate on romance, but instead focuses on life’s big questions. The EP title track was written in response to Emilia’s former apartment being destructed to build a more modern and higher-end living experience. Emilia recalls fond memories of living there together with friends and fellow creatives who were trying to make ends meet, but also formed a family in the process. Listening to this EP, thoughts, and questions about what home means to one and being a young creative in a big city may come to mind.

We are captivated by Emilia’s fresh perspective on the genre, we chatted to the songstress about her craft in this Q&A. 

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

As a kid, I started out as a classical piano player. And I remember I always wanted to improvise and play more (or less) than there was written on the sheet, so I started writing music quite early and bought Logic when I was like 15 or 16. My mother and sisters used to have these jam sessions in the living room when we were really young, we would sing songs while my mother played the piano.

Please tell us more about how your latest song/release/project was conceived.

Just at the beginning of the pandemic I remember sending Rico my pre-produced version of Flower House, he sent me something back the next day and I was in love with it. It all kinda went from this and we decided to do more songs together. 

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

Usually, it starts with an improvisation, either on piano or guitar, and some lyrics and melody. When doing that, I usually already feel a kind of vibe for how the rest of the production and instruments should sound like. And with lyrics, I like to sometimes just sing random stuff  I think of. From these improvs, the best things are being created because I‘m not really focusing too much on what I want to write about but instead I‘m just letting the music take me somewhere if that makes sense?

How much do you invest in how your music is received upon release?

For me, the most important thing is to make people feel something, kind of open up their minds, and reach them in any kind of way. I think during the process I‘m thinking a bit about how my music will be received and how other people will feel it. I sometimes take a step back and try to listen to it with different ears.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I think the most beautiful ones are when people can truly connect with a song on a different level. And if then they approach me or I get messages saying that this song helped them in any kind of way, that is such a good feeling. And I feel like I‘ve done what I was supposed to do.

Are there any key non-musical influences on your sound and creative process?

There are many, basically, everything that happens in life I guess. I think I don‘t really have a choice but to be inspired by all the things that are happening in my life. For me personally, it‘s really important to pour out my feelings and what I feel into the work I create because it makes the work honest and pure. It makes the listeners feel that they are able to connect with it.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

There will possibly be a live video of Flower House coming out soon and I‘m currently working on some other collaborations and songs that will be released next year. I also have a thousand songs that I‘m working on right now, so there will be a lot of new stuff coming soon.

Famous last words?

I can‘t wait to create and release more music…

EP title track ‘Flower House’ features on the Spotify playlist

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