PHOTO CREDIT: Curious Rose Photography
THE wonderful and sensational Anna Pancaldi…
has been spending time with me to reveal the story behind her latest single, What I’ve Become, and whether we will see any more material in the coming months – she talks about touring in the U.S. and what gigs she has coming up.
I ask the talented songwriter about her start in the industry and the artists who have helped spike her own interests; a few newer names she is vibing to; whether she gets any time to chill outside of her own music – Pancaldi talks about her creative progression and what drives her passions.
Hi, Anna. How are you? How has your week been?
My week has been just lovely, thank you. Finishing off a three-and-a-half-week tour in Germany, which has been delightful; just love touring here.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a singer-songwriter (you’ve never heard those words uttered before. Haha) based in London and have, most recently, been delving into the electric guitar world - which has been a wonderful exploration and inspired new melodies and music. I grew up in Cape Town for a few years when I was younger where I wrote my first song - at thirteen or fourteen - called Do You Know What It’s Like to Be Me. Rather Emo! Haha.
What I’ve Become is your latest single. Can you talk about the story behind the track?
I wrote it from the point-of-view of a person crying out to someone (figuratively speaking) who is no longer around for advice on how to cope with their departure and the loss surrounding it. It has a significant meaning for me but I feel that it can be relatable to us all in some way.
Will there be more material to follow? Are you working on anything else?
I am indeed. I am very excited to be recording my next E.P. in the summer with the brilliant Matt Ingram, ready for release in the autumn; followed by a U.K. and European tour.
You have performed in the U.S. and are an international artist. Do you hope to be back in the U.S. and play over there more?
I love playing the in States! On my first tour there, I was welcomed warmly. I also now have management over in L.A. now, too; so, spending more time their writing and performing is absolutely on the schedule.
Do you recall when music came into your life and what spurred you to write your own songs?
Music has always been a part of me and my family.
My dad is a wonderful singer and performed for a long period in his younger years; a beautiful deep, soulful voice. So; I don’t feel as if I discovered it - it’s just etched within my every part. The writing, however, has been much more of a journey for me. I only properly started writing music when I went off travelling around the world for nine months with my guitar in 2011 - and came back with a suitcase of songs and the tunnelled-vision-focus to move to London to take the next step forward.
Who do you count as musical influences? Which artists are most important when it comes to your own sound?
Definitely Jeff Buckley, Judy Garland and Nina Simone; you can hear the cry and honesty in their voices, lyrics and melodies; an undeniable outpouring of lives lived; complete authenticity with raw truths.
You have gained acclaim from radio stations and music websites. Is it encouraging receiving that sort of backing?
It’s exhilarating because, when you start out writing songs, you never really can be sure how people will react - if it will move or speak to them - so it’s a wonderful feeling to know it’s touching people. There is no greater compliment.
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
I am back out on tour in the autumn: we are just finalising dates, so I’ll be back to you about that one. But, the U.K. and Europe for sure!
Do you have any ambitions to fulfil before the end of the year?
Just to keep creating music that pushes me beyond my boundaries and (to keep) building my fanbase in the States and Europe. World domination, pretty please!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
My first headline show in London was a sell-out and, honestly, the way that night made me feel was just electric: the love I felt, tears flowed from joy; it was an evening I will never forget. Many others...but that was the first one.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Tapestry by Carole King; Surfin’ U.S.A. by The Beach Boys and Coming Around Again by Carly Simon - all of which remind me so much of my childhood. The Beach Boys, especially, as it always takes me back to driving around the Coastal Road in Cape Town to Hout Bay where my family lived for three glorious years….
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Write as much as you can before you begin releasing music: that uninterrupted time is invaluable and the most poignant time to hone your craft before bringing in the world of the music business where, then, dividing up time took me a long while to adjust to.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jordan Rakei
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not a huge amount (which is no bad thing!) as I think it’s not the kind of job you feel you can switch off from. There’s always something to do, which is wonderful - but, also learning to find balance has been crucial in staying healthy, too...
But, to unwind I love to be with family, read; hike and jog. Being in the outdoors surrounded by natural wonder and silence is a rare solace I find great comfort in.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by Al Green
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