I love the energy of your new song "Soda"! What's the story behind it?
ANNNA: Soda is a song about a girl who arrives at the craziest, sunniest summer party. All her friends only drink beer after beer all the time, but she chooses to drink only lemonade. After all, all her friends are already in good shape while she just keeps dancing, because you don't need alcohol to party. It's a pretty literal story about how I haven't been drinking for more than 7 years since I was 17. In those days it was an exception, everyone kept pushing me to "drink one but all the time" but I didn't want to. Now it's different, I don't have a lot of friends around at all, but before that, it was a problem. Mostly immersed in the fact that, unfortunately, alcohol is too common in families in our country (that was my reason for not drinking;)) but that's why I decided to dig up the anthem for my favourite friend: SODA.
What first got you into music?
ANNNA: I’ve been doing classical piano since I was 6 for like 8 years straight. What got me into it in terms of how it sounds now? The fact that I could not stop having it in my head all the time while doing political studies at the university. I’d come home and just make something on my piano.
It's fascinating to think of what you coin as "sustainable pop". How did you decide to go about combining your passion for sustainability and music? Was it an easy concept for you to imagine and then bring to fruition?
ANNNA: Well the thing is, I just feel like we’re living in a more ‘plastic’ world day by day. From clothes, to the things we use. I know that there is only so much a tiny individual, aka me, a young musician can do, but if there’s any chance I could raise the attention about what actually is happening, then I’ll do it. And in this case, it’s my music, my Co2 neutral, organic cotton merchandise line that you can find on my website and all the numerous song campaigns that I’ve done about sustainability. It just nowadays comes naturally to me, that I could stuff some very badass/depressing lyrics in a very uplifting, sunny and positive pop song. I guess that’s where it gets interesting to me, especially when people actually understand what my lyrics are about. Hence, the "sustainable pop’’.
What are your hopes for this sub-genre you've really pioneered?
ANNNA: That one day I’ll be able to make those crazy plans of mine for each song release come true. Literally, not only singing about sustainability, but also doing campaigns and making products that would help make things better.
I know you mention you're Latvian-born but are from Amsterdam. What has your experience been like in the music industry there? Do you plan on staying in Amsterdam for a while?
ANNNA: Amsterdam is my home, I’ve been here for such a long time that I kinda call myself half-Dutch. I mean, I speak the language daily as well, so it kinda comes with it. It’s a very dreamy city, with lots of great dance music that has definitely influenced my music a lot as well. I started off right before covid, winning the Amsterdam Dance Event’s demolition with my single ’Stardom/Hater’. Since then I’ve been working with so many DJs and producers on stuff that I’ll now release under my other alias: Might Delete Later. Actually, even while typing the answers to this interview at this very moment, I’m sitting in a session with this incredible Dutch producer Millean (https://www.instagram.com/millean.fm/ ).
On your website, it mentions you're currently on tour, with a stop in Latvia. What do you anticipate it will be like to perform in your country of origin?
ANNNA: Yes, we’re actually about to do a whole tour there in the summer. We’ll be playing a couple of bigger festivals in Latvia which is so exciting after having basically more than 30 gigs canceled in these 2 crazy years of Covid. So, yup, we’ll be in Latvia in July and we really cannot wait. I also literally just found out that I’ll be the warm-up artist for the American popstar MIMI WEBB at Melkweg, in Amsterdam on the 27th of May. That just seems like a total dream come true.
Interviewed By Hannah Conkin