Previously featured artist and woman in rock A.N.J.A is back with her new single ‘Monoxide’ a bad lady driver anthem telling the fictious story of a woman on a hunt, flipping the norm of female victimhood in stories of killers and murder. A.N.J.A speaks to Sam from The Jumble all about the new track.
A.N.J.A! It’s been over a year since your first appearance on The Jumble? How’s life been treating you since then?
Life has been treating me rather kindly! Even though it has been incredibly tough year for me and many, many others and we all wish this past year would’ve gone differently…
Since we last spoke, I released my first self-recorded EP, a music video and I took up busking full time (between lock downs) which has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I learned a lot of new things music and releasing-wise and even managed to make a couple of new connections and friends. I’m grateful I could spend time with my loved ones (even those over in Germany). Now I’m fully motivated to get this music train going even further!
‘Monoxide’ is thrilling, on first listen you can picture a femme fatale in a movie scene, the confidence seeps through every second of the song. Can you tell us a bit about your inspirations for the track?
‘Monoxide’ was inspired by night stalking serial killers that abducted their victims in their cars. Now, I am a true crime fanatic and always have been but after weeks of taking it too far I felt more sickened than ever by these crimes. A thing that really drives me mad is that the majority of perpetrators are men and so many victims of homicides were and still are women! So me being the strong, independent and vengeful lady that I am, wrote the lyrics to this driving, powerful track that I had just recorded and within that could now switch roles: I created a femme fatale driving around on a leisurely hunt, becoming the dominant person that’s in control. Strong female characters causing mayhem are a recurring theme in my music. My love for Tarantino and his movie “Deathproof” is certainly coming through, as well!
Musical inspirations for ‘Monoxide’ were sounds of the surf rock era and alt and desert rock coming from artists I currently love like Queens of the Stone Age, Masters of Reality and Iggy Pop. Also, I’ve been listening to BBC 6 every day since we bought a radio about a year ago, I’m pretty sure you can hear that in the track.
Creating such a vivid story through lyrics is a huge achievement! What’s your personal favourite lyric?
My favourite lyric of ‘Monoxide’ is “I will make you look delicious”.
The true story behind it is really gruesome ,there was a man, a serial killer who I won’t name, who put make-up on one of his victims to take a photo, he used the make-up to make her look alive and then demanded ransom.I took this idea and spun it a bit further. My song and the lyrics can be read in a dark way, but there’s another way of reading it which gives the song a more light-hearted tone.
Generally I like lyrics to be evocative and a bit enigmatic, mysterious and cool. I’m a big fan of weird and outrageous words that make you want to find out more.
You mentioned that you have recently started busking in the city centre. What is it like performing somewhere so public?
It has been so great! At a time where live music is so restricted it has been a soul saver for me to be able to perform regularly and I think it has been for other people, too. So many have come up to me saying how good it felt to hear someone singing again and that it put a smile on the faces of every passer-by. The donations I have been getting have helped me get through the past year. In my opinion the government just hasn’t done enough for us musicians or anyone in the arts sector.
Now, I’ve got to say, busking is not easy. It’s a very daunting task. It takes a bit of courage to put yourself out in the street and into a very vulnerable position, especially when you’re on your own. But courage pays off and I cannot say it often enough, the people of Belfast have been incredibly kind and encouraging. I hope I can be an inspiration for other musicians, especially girls who you don’t see busking as often, to just go out there and show the world what you got!
What’s coming up in the future for A.N.J.A? What’s the thing you’re most excited for as the world(slowly) starts to return to normality?
I cannot wait to play shows again and to go and see others play, too! I’m hoping to soon put a live band together so I can bring that new, heavy sound out on the stage. In Autumn I’m going to release another single and will start working on my first full album. Playing all the summer festivals and travelling next year – that would be a dream.
You can keep up with A.N.J.A and her music on the following platforms:
Interview by Sam Dineen