Soothing and energetically in tune songstress, Anna Wise, has stood out from the crowd through creating soulful tracks that capture your heart over mature, feel-good records. Expanding her expertise after collaborating with Kendrick Lamar over hypnotic deliveries, Anna Wise is a woman on the rise that you do not want to overlook in 2017. On the brink of the follow-up to her ‘The Feminine: Act I’ EP, I caught up with the embodied being to discuss the creative process behind ‘The Feminine: Act II’, her dreamy new music video for “Coconuts”, tattoos and more.
First and foremost, congrats on the upcoming release of your new EP, ‘The Feminine: Act II’. Tell us about the creative and recording process this time around.
If I can put it into a metaphor, ‘Act I’ was this big sledgehammer through a wall. There was another room on the other side, but you had to use this object to be able to see it. ‘Act II’ is where you have entered the room that you had to sledgehammer through the first wall to get to, and the room is very beautiful. The room is covered in flowers and neon signs that are existing without having to be plugged in or powered by anything, floating neon everywhere. And some roses with some thorns that can get ya, you have to be careful, but it’s still very beautiful.
Wow. So, in a sense, you feel as though you have dug into a more soulful layer of existence within yourself and are translating that without?
Yes! I was watching your recent music video release for “Coconuts”, and it’s from my perception, quite dreamy and transcendent. Did you go into the creative process with the intention of transmitting a certain energetic feel?
Yes. Absolutely. There was so much intention behind the whole video. I love treating the people that I work with really well, so I asked some of my girlfriends who do makeup, styling or dance professionally, or what they might consider to do on the side, to get together at the studio. We just had the best time ever together. We were talking about feminism, sex, how many orgasms that we have had, we were rubbing each other’s feet, rubbing each other’s scalps, and just getting to that transcendent and perfect heavenly place while we shot the video for eight hours.
Wow! How vulnerable and how fluid. As you said, that does create a more welcoming atmosphere and a deeper awareness of each other’s presence.
Totally! I am not one to be like, “Just do your job and that’s that”. Everyone I work with is someone that I love very deeply.
And that, I perceive, is how the art that you create comes to life in the manner in which you desire. I perceive that you are not solely a musician, but also actively engaged in spreading a deeper awareness pertaining to embracing femininity within. Have you combined your artistry with taking action for a cause or is that a personal touch that you have always desired?
Totally! I think that the music that I always put out rather with Sonnymoon or with my solo project has come from the desire to create heaven on earth. Feminism and equality of the sexes is one thing that we need to work on, but it’s not the only thing that we need to work on. I am really excited to be alive right now during this time. We have so many visible atrocities happening via people being racist, homophobic, transphobic or just hateful in any way. The waking up that a lot of people are doing relates to other things that matter just as much if that makes sense.
I perceive that at this time, it is very important for musicians and artists to dig deeper and spread a deeper awareness. As you said, there are a lot of harmful and ill intentions coming to life, but art, in general, is helping create positivity and a sense of overcoming.
Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s not just the art. It’s the creation of the art. The way that I do it, surrounded by love, ya know?
Totally. In the midst of writing your lyrics, do you keep in mind the level of vulnerability in which you approach the process?
No, I don’t usually think about vulnerability, because I don’t know if you can tell from talking to me over these past few minutes….
I don’t mean to interrupt: you are quite vulnerable.
I am an honest person to a fault. It’s my greatest strength and also my weakness. So, it’s no problem for me to be vulnerable. I don’t even choose it, it is just who I am.
Exactly. Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the artists that brought them to life.
I started to get tattoos to commemorate instances and certain times in my life that I really wanted to remember. When I first started getting tattooed, I would get an impulse and just go to the shop that was nearby. At the time, I was under the belief that it was fate and whoever was there at the time was the tattoo artist for me, ya know? I’m not in that mindset anymore. If a close friend of mine has the tools and they want to stick and poke me right now, I am so down. That’s the new place that I am in when I choose to get tattoos. But, what I do love about all of them is that I remember the day and feeling on the day that I got all of them done.
Right? It’s amazing. Your body is a yearbook of how you felt that certain day and what you have learned since that day, and what you have overcome. It’s astounding that there is a piece of artwork on your body that is a reminder of all that you’ve experienced since that day that you got tattooed and what you experienced and felt on that certain day.
Exactly. It is literally a tattoo of a memory that you are choosing to document. These days, I am more so associating tattoos and getting tattooed with things that I accomplish. I started getting tattoos again after a couple years of a break, and I did get quite a few in a row after I finished this last project.
Were there any influences that helped you gain inspiration for ‘The Feminine: Act II’?
I don’t really bring a lot of people into my musical artistry quickly. I prefer to work with the same people that I have worked with for quite awhile now because I feel like we are still developing a language together. But, I also wouldn’t say that any of them are a dominant influence. I am very protective. Despite being around close friends that I really do trust, this album is mostly mine and anyone else that comes in is doing what I ask them to do. In that sense, one reason why I haven’t yet or probably won’t sign with a label is because you are allowing other people influence your ideas. I would say that the person who influenced me is myself and my dreams and my meditative states that usually brings about all of my ideas.
Wow. That’s beautiful that you are so in touch. As you said, individuals and artists can lean toward the cash cow mentality pertaining to signing with a label, but being as open as you are and acknowledging what you can bring to the table yourself is very powerful.
Thank you! Yeah, I think that it took me years of not realizing my power. And to realize it and be so confident in it now makes me know that every step that I have been taking, especially recently, has been deliberate. I am proud of that. Thank you for acknowledging that.
My pleasure. Are there upcoming tour plans that you can fill us in about?
Yeah. I have my residency in Brooklyn and this Thursday will be my last one at C’mon Everybody. I am also heading out on tour for the next few weeks until April.
ANNA WISE 2017 TOUR DATES:
2/9 Brooklyn, NY – C’Mon Everybody
2/16 Brooklyn, NY – C’Mon Everybody
2/23 Brooklyn, NY – C’Mon Everybody
2/25 Hoboken, NJ – WomenRising
2/26 Pittsburgh, PA – Spirit
3/4 Cincinnati, OH – The Woodward Theatre
3/5 St Louis, MO – Blank Space
3/8 Memphis, TN – The Hi Tone Café
3/13-19 Austin, TX – SXSW
3/25 Atlanta, GA – Aisle 5
4/8 Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMoca
4/13 Boston, MA – The Middle East
Awesome. Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
I love you. I am excited for this revolution of the unconscious. This place that we are all getting to together. Everyone that I talk to; my friends, my fans that become my friends, people like you who are totally understanding me and saying things that make me feel like I am understanding you. I think that something beautiful is on its way and we are going to help usher in this new era. I truly believe in that. I just want everyone to hold on and to know that love is out there and I love them.