Interview: 5 Minutes with ANIQO

                    Image credit: Peter Hoennemann

Combining psychedelic notes with gentle waves of modern production, ‘Fear’ is the latest single from singer-songwriter ANIQO. The track, lifted from her debut album BIRTH, which will be released early next year, is a bridge between the dark tones of inner fear and the positivity within the song.

We catch up with ANIQO for a behind-the-scenes peek into her process:

Stream/ download: ‘Fear’

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

For me, music is the most genuine form of expression … 

 – it’s a process that gradually puts the soul parts together like a puzzle. I think if I touch myself deeply, maybe I can touch others – that’s what it’s about. That’s why I am doing what I am doing with my voice, with words, and my eyes.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

It varies a lot. Sometimes I just have a line in my head that leads me to a theme…then I write the melody after the lyrics. But it also happened that only a small sequence of notes led me to a text. After I’m done with songwriting – lyrics and main melody – I often sit down with my band members Torsten Füchsel and  Illia Vovk – and we develop the arrangements and the sound atmosphere together.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

For me the visual aesthetics of ANIQO is very important … that’s why I decided to work with the same visual artists for all the singles and for the album.So also the artwork for Fear was created in collaboration with Christoph von Budea and Pegman Graphics. The video for Fear and also the previous video is a collaboration with Matthias Pfeiffer aka Pupillendriller.

What’s on your current playlist?

Actually, I just got back to Jaques Brel and a German icon called Hildegard Knef. Oh and Daman Albarn just brought a single out – called Particles. 

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

It’s hard to explain this energy…. but it is something between real eye contact and an invisible connection of hearts.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

As for myself, I’m experimenting a lot with my voice, and I think there’s still a lot to figure out…we have a lot of synth bass and organ sounds in it…and always playful seductive guitar sounds….

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

There is no “usual” studio day. With Guy, there was a set schedule of when we record what and how… because there’s never really enough time. Some songs on the upcoming album we recorded as a band in one take…. but on other days we just worked on guitar tracks or synthesis… Anyway, the work is very concentrated and fulfilling.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

yes – it was on New Year’s Eve 2015… I had to finish a demo for a music contest. For that, I recorded the song “Dust and Corpses” with a friend…. one day later I decided to sacrifice myself to the music… like a lit fire that grew bigger – and I can’t imagine that it will ever go out again.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

my heart

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I love Perfume Genius. And there is a cool young artist who also lives in Berlin – her name is THALA.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Love, Fear, Sadness, Human Beings, Art

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

it changes… for the process of songwriting I use an older Roland RD800 – it has a fantastic sound, but its heavy as f*.  I also work with a vocal processor of TC Helicon. When I record at home I use a Neumann Microphone.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Keep going, keep going… 

My voice has changed a lot because of all the training – I know how to use it much better and I know what to do to create a certain mood…. 

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

After Fear there will come two others singles before BIRTH my debut will be released in the beginning of the upcoming year

Famous last words?

Be kind.

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