MY first interview of the weekend...
concerns the wonderful Annie Drury. I have been following her music for years so it was great to catch up with her and talk about the new single, You Took Me Dancing, and the upcoming album, Luna; which albums are important to her and what else she has coming up.
Drury talks about the artists who got her into music and why she took some time out to pursue floristy; how her music has changed since the start of her career and whether there is a memory that stands above the rest – she ends the interview by selecting a classic slice of Al Green.
Hi, Annie. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, I'm good, thank you; hope you are too?! It’s been a nice start to week. I'm very excited (and rather nervous) for the single to be released this Friday.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I'm a singer-songwriter based in a small village on the outskirts of Leeds/Bradford, West Yorkshire. I have been writing and performing since the age of eleven and the music I write is piano-based Pop/soulful melodies.
You Took Me Dancing is your new single. Is there a story behind it?
You Took Me Dancing is a love song - and I hope the audience listening can interpret the song in whichever way they feel. I love people to create their own images when listening to music as I find it fascinating how different minds work. When I was writing the song, my imagery was an old couple dancing and swaying together in their kitchen; the same way as they did when they were young. I wanted to create a romantic timeless kind of feel.
It is from your upcoming album, Luna. What sort of themes inspired the album?
Yes. It is a track on the album, Luna. I have been writing and working on this album for some time. Luna is filled with songs that are personal to me (and have been throughout these last few years). It holds tales of the highs and lows of the music industry, love; heartbreak, loss; grief and personal growth. It will actually be a strange feeling to have it open for anyone to listen to as I've had it to myself for such a long time. I've over-thought it for so long but I think it's the right time for others to listen and hopefully enjoy.
I have been following your music for years. How do you think you have progressed and changed since the earliest days?
I think the answer to that would be time. Time changes everything. The people you meet, the experiences you have; the music you listen too. With time, we grow and with growth we progress. My music-writing style over the years has changed. The way I think, write; play and perform has also changed. I'm changing every day and I hope that shows in the new album.
Is it true that you took some time out of music and worked as a florist? What was the reason behind that?
I’ve always adored flowers and nature ever since I was a child. I felt I needed something else that was separate to being a musician. I felt the need to learn about something totally different, so I went back to college to study Floristry. I now run a small business from home. I still have a lot to learn but that's part of the beauty of floristry: you never stop learning.
Were there particular artists and albums that got you into music and lit that fuse?
Growing up our home was always filled with music. That could be live or on radio/tape/C.D. I remember listening to Joni Mitchell's stuff from a young age her lyrics have such strong imagery…and I remember thinking she was on another level. In my teens, I was a big Amy Winehouse fan. I loved her soul and the depth in her lyrics and voice. I had, and still have, a wide mix of music I like, from Soul, Motown to Pop, Indie; Electronic to Folk. I think there's an amazing variety of artists out there that always have and always will light my fuse.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2019?
Plans will be releasing and promoting the album and live sessions. Hopefully, getting some live dates in too! I am also writing new material for a second album.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
One of the standout memories I have from my time in music was probably last year when recording the album. I went to Abbey Road to hear the strings being recorded by the wonderful English Session Orchestra; it was on my twenty-sixth birthday and that was a pretty special birthday.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Joni Mitchel – Blue
It holds so many significant memories and some of my favourite tracks of hers are on that album.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
It just always makes me happy and I'm a big Stevie Nicks fan.
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Whenever I listen to this album it brings me back to my teenage years. I remember listening to Bon Iver's songs on-repeat when I was around sixteen. It always took me to another place and I find it captivating when music has the power to do that.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Joni (Mitchell)? A girl can dream!
My own rider would have to include: good food (I'm a huge foodie; I literally dream about food); Yorkshire blue cheese, chocolate eclairs (the ones with cream); lots of cups of tea and a few nice beers (I do have a normal diet, I promise).
What are your other plans regarding gigs/touring?
Once the album is out, I will be looking at booking some shows and live performances. I love to play live and that's something to look forward to.
Is there any advice you’d give to upcoming artists?
Never give up and try not to lose faith. I have had many battles in terms of not believing in myself as I think so many of us do. If you feel you are losing faith, take some time out to realise why you started music (or anything for that matter) in the first place. If it's part of you; it will never leave.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Unfortunately, I'm not great on the new artist front: I'm still listening to the same old albums from years ago. I need to get with the times!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
My way of unwinding is spending time with my loved ones. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my family and friends. Nature and being outdoors is another way I unwind; taking my dog for long walks and switching my phone off for a while.
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).
Al Green - Let's Stay Together
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