For music to touch someone, it has to be written from a place of authentic emotion.
I came to know who ANGE was because she recently worked with Chelsea Warner on a single, and I was really captivated by her effortless coolness around her previous releases. I have (sadly) not made a huge effort to listen to music outside of my own language, and I don’t tend to go out of my way to consume anything that isn’t in English, but I throughly enjoyed listening to ANGE and her ability to express so much colour in her music- no matter the language it’s in. ANGE and I spoke about self assurance, high risk photography, and the universal experience of feeling lost
Congratulations for the release of ‘Dead To Each Other’ with Chelsea!
Thank you! I’m so happy it’s finally out for people to hear
Was this song written earlier this year?
We actually wrote the song last year, so almost a year ago. It’s so nice for it to finally be out in the world
It’s a great track, and I love the waterfall harmonies at the end, it sounds so cool
It was such a great experience, and working with Chelsea was my first female collab. It’s a lot of fun to sing with her, and we were both able to bring a lot to the music which was great. She’s a really fun person to work with
Did you approach the writing very differently being two women in the room?
Not really to be honest, we just started writing and I had this idea for the topic, so we decided we were going to write an ‘ANGE’ song. I haven’t done that many female collabs, but the process felt really organic and we almost didn’t even decide who was doing what because it felt so natural.
You both sound really great together, and your voices blend well while still being pretty distinct from each other
Thank you so much. It’s so good to finally hear people’s thoughts on it, because we’ve been hearing it for so long! I’m really glad that people are connecting to it.
Releasing something into the world after holding onto it for so long is just the best feeling!
I was looking through your songs and I love the way that you switch between singing in English and Spanish. Do you write very differently when you’re doing that? Is the approach to writing in English very different to writing in Spanish?
Yeah it’s actually totally different. It’s pretty funny because I used to sing a lot in English when I was growing up, and I’ve always loved jazz and funk music, which generally comes from English-speaking backgrounds. Because of that, I loved to sing in English, but I slowly started to write more in Spanish because the ideas would come to me a lot more naturally. I started merging the two languages in my writing. I love it because it’s like having two different tools; it’s like writing with a guitar and then writing with a piano. What comes out if very different when you start with one or the other.
That’s so beautiful, do you feel like you express different things depending on the language you write in?
Yeah, I think so. Obviously, English is not my first language, so I have to write in a way that feels natural to me because the two languages don’t flow in the same way. The message, the sentences, the structure, the rhythm, the words, they’re not the same, so it’s always going to come out differently. I feel like the messages that I communicate are different depending on the language, because in my native language I play around with ideas and concepts in a more creative way. When I write in English, what I’m saying might be a little less poetic, but I really enjoy having the two languages complement each other. At the end of the day, it’s kind of who I am as well because I live in between these two worlds. I have my Spanish language, country, and culture, and now I’ve been living in Sydney for six years. This new part of me was born in Australia and I speak English every day. I feel like singing in the two languages represents who I am. I am both.
It’s definitely a coming together of two different worlds, but they just work so well together. Did you hesitate at all when you were approaching singing in two different languages? Were you worried about how people would respond to that?
A little bit yeah. I remember when I released my first single ‘Cuando Va A Acabar’ I was so worried that people wouldn’t be able to pronounce it, and they wouldn’t know what it means, so I added the title ‘When Will It End’. I was worried people wouldn’t like the song if they couldn’t understand the title. There’s always a lot of doubt around what you create because we’re all human and we worry about these things. I thought, I’ll put the title in both languages so people can know what it means. I know that if I had to release that song today, I probably would just have the Spanish title. I think we underestimate people sometimes, we think the audience won’t understand or they won’t be interested, but that’s not always true. This is what’s authentic to me, the fact that I am Spanish and I speak English is a part of me. It’s not a fake thing that I’ve created, so I don’t need to feel insecure about it. It is what it is, and who cares if people don’t like it!
I really love the groove in ‘Cuando Va A Acabar’, what felt right about that song for you to have it as your first release?
That was one of the first songs that I had written and produced myself. I had about three or four songs that I had recorded around the same time, but there was just something unique about ‘Cuando Va A Acabar’ because it really felt like a representation of sound. It had something special about it, and it had all the Spanish elements in it too. I didn’t want to overthink it too much, I just wanted to combine a few things that I thought were interesting
It’s a really strong start and it really represents the direction that you keep heading into for the rest of your releases. I love that straight off the bat you weren’t compromising your Spanish self or your English self. You were bringing both of those worlds together from day one. I think that’s great, and that’s something that you can always bring into all of your music because people can expect it from you. How did you get started doing music?
Well, none of my family are musicians, so it was something that kind of came out of nowhere. I was very young when I started to realise I was really drawn to music. I loved to sing and dance and I was a very creative kid. I remember I would listen to the radio a lot, and I was in love with the big pop stars at the time like Christina and Britney. I would always wonder, what would it be like to do a stadium gig one day? I was quite a shy kid though, and I didn’t tell my parents that I wanted to be a singer for a while. I slowly started to let that part of me out and my life changed when I got a microphone for Christmas! Slowly I started to sing more and more and gain that confidence, I would do gigs and sing in cover bands, and eventually I started to evolve and write my own music. It felt like a pretty organic thing, but it took me a long time to have the bravery to do music. It’s taken me a while to get to where I am today, but music has always been a part of me.
I feel like that jump between really enjoying music and then deciding you want to do it as a career is huge, it’s a big step to take and it takes a lot of confidence. I’m glad that you got there eventually because what you’re making is beautiful and it’s worth it. What emotions do you generally write about?
To be honest, I don’t really think too much when I write! I’m a very spontaneous writer and I really believe in opening up the music, starting a song and just seeing what comes out. It’s almost like a subconscious exercise; to start playing a sound, maybe some chords, and then watching what comes out of you. I like that. I usually start with something simple, and it’s usually a rhythm. From there that might trigger an idea in my mind and suggest what the song is going to be about. For me it’s important to connect the sound with the message, so often the music indicates what the lyrics should be about. I connect with the feeling, and I start to work around the sounds to develop a theme. My writing is often inspired by personal experiences or by something someone close to me has gone through.
Do you find it hard to finish your songs?
Yes! Who doesn’t! I think it’s very hard finishing things in general. It’s such an art, and if I ever have kids, that’s something I will definitely teach them. It’s so key in life to be able to finish things! Doesn’t matter if it’s not great, just getting to the end and moving on is so important. I’ve gotten better at it, but it was very hard at the beginning because I always wanted everything to be perfect
Do you feel like those emotions are resolved in you when you release a song about how you’re feeling?
I never thought about it in that way, but yeah, I think it’s completely a way of finding closure with that chapter or emotion. I think a lot of creative people need that process of personal healing to let things go. That’s definitely the case for me
‘Like I’m Crazy’ came out in 2019, and was the second song you released. I really love the chords for this song, is this another one that you produced yourself?
I produced the demo of ‘Like I’m Crazy’ and brought it to Liam Quinn who is an Adelaide producer living in Sydney, and we worked together on developing the sounds and creating the track. This song was actually one of the first tracks I wrote after learning Ableton, and was one that came out quite quickly. It was very rewarding to finish.
I saw some behind the scenes on Instagram of the photos for this track which you were taking in a car tunnel!
Yeah we took some pictures in the carpark at the Opera House! We had gone to take some photos there, and when we headed back to the car we noticed this amazing pink light, was perfect so we took some photos there with the photographer Penelope Morgan. Was a little crazy because there were so many cars but very aligned with the lyrics of song!
High risk photography! What are you communicating with ‘Like I’m Crazy’?
‘Like I’m Crazy’, was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend about when you date someone and you have to play this game of acting like you aren’t too keen. I think this is especially true with all the dating apps. We care so much about what others think and how they read us. It’s hard to be confident with yourself after being rejected, so I wanted to write something to say, you know what? I’m going to do me, I’m going to be myself and if you don’t like it I don’t care. This song is an empowering song about doing what you want. Be crazy and be honest and don’t think about what other people say!
I love that, the next song you released in 2019 is called ‘Take Me Back’ which has a great groove as well, tell me a little bit about that one
‘Take Me Back’ is one of my favourite songs I’ve written. I remember I was messaged by the guys in Sumatra who were like ‘hey, we have a song for you’, and they sent it through and I was so blown away! I was like, what the hell?? this is amazing!! I didn’t know them at all but I went to their house and they were so cool. They had such a messy room which was so funny to me, and we worked on this song together in that bedroom. I’ve loved this song from day one, we started jamming on it and we had this chorus, and when I came over to do the verses, I just sung on the spot from some lyrics I had written on the bus on the way there. I sung with whatever melody came into my head, and that take ended up being the one we used in the track! There’s something so organic and authentic about those first takes, and you can’t recreate it.
I think when you record the same thing 10 times you can lose something- maybe it stops feeling so organic. I think that’s why those first takes are always so precious because they have so much freedom in them
Yeah, absolutely, I agree with you 100 percent, and I’m a big fan of first takes too!
Do you find that when you’re performing stuff live that you approach the song differently? Or is it pretty much the same as what’s recorded?
I think it’s a different experience, and it just depends on the moment and the energy with the band. The same song at two different gigs might sound very different. I think I like to change up the melody sometimes, and other times I just stick to the recording and how it’s done. It really depends on the energy in the room. Even when we rehearse the song it can sound completely different compared to the actual show! Doing anything live has a very different feeling, and it’s such a unique thing.
I find when I’m recording at home or in a studio I feel like I’m lacking that energy that comes with live performance. A live show has a way of making you feel open and free to fully encompass the feelings and the emotions of the song
Absolutely, it’s something that’s never going to get old. Nothing can replace a live gig
‘Let You Go’ was your first release in 2020. I really like the bass on this track, it’s got such a fun vibe. What are you communicating with this song?
‘Let You Go’ is a song about a Break-Up. It’s a song about realising that you’re not quite ready to let go yet. You’re sitting there going, I don’t want to let go. I’m not ready. It’s a really special song to me. I wrote half in Sydney and half in Spain with INpulse, Miquel and Unai, two producers from Barcelona. They sent me the demo and I really liked the old school vibe that it had. I started writing it in Sydney, and then when I went to Barcelona I recorded it in their studio. I love it because I sing in Catalan in this song, and it was the first song that I did in Catalan so it’s kind of special!
I like the contrast you brought to it because the message is kind of melancholy, but the music has this upbeat flavour. It’s great when musicians play with those two feelings in that way.
Yeah, I’ve been writing a few sad songs lately, but I’m getting into some more positive stuff now, which is exciting.
Lets talk a bit about ‘Qué Pasó’, I love how colourful the music video is for this track! I don’t speak Spanish so I’m not super sure what the song is about!
It’s pretty similar to ‘Let You Go’, but coming from the angle of when things change between you and a person so much that you almost don’t recognise the person anymore. You wonder, how did you go from here to there? People are always changing, and it’s crazy how much we can evolve over time. In Spanish, ‘Qué Pasó’ means ‘what happened’. The song also talks about the concept of actually choosing something. If you are doing something and not putting your all it won’t work. You need to consciously decide that that’s what you want and that you’re going to go for it 100%. We don’t always fully commit to things in our lives and in our relationships, and things don’t end up working out. So the song reflects on the concept of committing.
Why is being authentic important to you in your songwriting?
It’s the only way for me to write something that’s going to connect with people. If I tried writing about something I’m not connected to or something I don’t feel, my writing would be superficial and cold. For music to touch someone, it has to be written from a place an authentic place. Writing from an emotional place can help you create something unique, and people can hear that emotion and connect with it on a deeper level. It’s the same as acting, if you’re going to perform an emotional scene, you need to remember an emotion that happened so you can communicate that. I feel like it’s the same with music, if you’re singing about being really sad, but you’re not connecting to that emotion or to the lyrics, people won’t feel it. You need the emotion, the essence, that depth. That’s what helps me write something meaningful and I know that when I perform it, it’s going to be real.
Is it hard for you to sing an older personal song and feel connected to it still? Is it still painful for you or is it just something you have to mentally put yourself back into in order to perform the song?
I don’t think so, I think I learnt how to separate the feelings. You go through that journey of healing when you put out a song, it’s almost like once it’s out, you process it in a different way. I have a song that I haven’t released yet that talks about an anxiety attack that I had once, and when I sing it I remember that feeling, but I don’t feel the same way I felt when I wrote it. I remember the emotion but I experience it in a different way now
When people listen to your music, what do you want them to walk away feeling?
I want people to feel empowered, valued and confident about themselves. I think we all go through moments where we don’t know what we’re doing, we don’t know where we are, and then moments where we know exactly who we are, and what we’re doing. It’s okay to feel both ways! I would like people to feel good about themselves and realise that we are all the same. We go through similar things and it’s important to learn how to love the way you are and who you are, and not try to be someone else.
What would be your dream collaboration?
I would love to work with Frank Ocean! I would also love to write a song with Alicia Keys. She was such an important reference for me when I started writing; especially her first album and I love her sensibility. The way she plays, and who she is as a person. She’s just so beautiful. Also, someone like Rosalía who is killing it right now and being so innovative. We’re both from Barcelona so it would be so much amazing to work with her
I love when musicians bring so much emotion into what they do, but the music is so good on a surface level too. I think Frank Ocean is a master of that
It’s amazing, you just connect straight away! There’s something about his music and his voice that’s so unique and real and simple as well and different
What would be your dream performance environment?
You know what, when I was a bit younger I always dreamed of doing performances in historic outdoor places. Maybe like the colosseum in Rome. Anything that was a majestic building in nature. Doesn’t have to be a big stage or anything, just something organic and open like that. I love aesthetics, and I love the visual elements to a performance. I think it’s actually really important, especially right now because we are very visual beings. It’s just so beautiful when you can hear the music blend with the visual element well, it’s like an explosion.
Do you find it hard to have a very strong visual representation of your music or does that come naturally to you?
It comes very naturally, I love visuals and it’s something that I’m very passionate about. I really enjoy thinking about the best ways to represent a song visually; what colours, what vibe do I want to communicate with this song? I love to find a theme that represents the music and helps communicate the message. I love visuals, and I think it’s so super powerful when it’s done well.
Absolutely. Do you have any advice for other emerging artists?
My advice to any emerging artists getting into music would be to be consistent. No matter what, keep going, because it’s very tough when you start off in any area of artmaking, and things don’t come straight away and opportunities don’t come straight away. If things aren’t working right away then it’s okay! Don’t let people get you down, because someone says they don’t like what you do, it doesn’t mean it’s bad, and that doesn’t define who you are. Whatever anyone thinks of you doesn’t define who you are. No one is going to understand you and your art more than you do, so you have to believe in yourself and keep going for others to believe in you.
Did you find that that was a hard thing for you to understand for yourself?
I think it’s a process that everyone has to go through. You can really doubt yourself, and you’re going to get a lot of rejection because it’s normal. You’re going to send emails and people won’t reply, you’re going to apply for things and get rejected and that’s normal! The weird thing would be for you to do all these things and achieve them straight away! We expect that things should work straight away and people should say, oh my God, you’re amazing! I’ll give you all these opportunities! And then tomorrow your life will be sorted, but that’s not the case and it’s rarely going to be. For me, getting to the conclusion that that’s not normal and that I shouldn’t expect all these things straight away has helped me, because I know that when I get rejected or ignored I just move onto the next thing. You really can’t take it personally. Sometimes the main person you have to convince is yourself.
Oh, for sure, I think a lot of the time you have to believe in yourself so much more than other people because no one is going to take the time to keep reminding you that you’re great and that you should keep going, you need to find that in yourself all the time.
Absolutely, and the world we live in is so selfish. We are all living selfishly in a lot of ways, it’s just the way things are. It’s been so important for me to focus on myself and be strong and persistent in what I do. You need to really back yourself and believe in yourself, or you’re going to be let down all the time. Rejection is always hard and it’s something you have to learn to deal with. You need to be strong in what you believe, and also learn to enjoy the journey and the process. Enjoy the day today, the things you’re doing right now, because if you just do it for the end goal then that’s going to be the real struggle. I try to find enjoyment in my day to day things that I do, because if I never made anything more of myself I need to know that I will be happy with my current life right now. I’m doing the best with what I have right now, and I think that realization gives you more chances of succeeding because your perception changes. You learn to enjoy what you have
I love that, and I like what you were saying before about people inherently being a bit selfish with what they do. We don’t want to compare ourselves to other people, but we always are. I think that’s why community is really important in music, especially for women and female producers and writers. To make that effort to uplift people and empower the community around you, that can be something that can feed into yourself as well as something that can help cultivate a sense of belonging in an industry that is going to tell us over and over again that we aren’t good enough
It’s so important and it’s life changing when you find that. That’s one of the things that I’ve loved about working with Chelsea and doing more and more with women and empowering each other. We are always told to compare ourselves to others, and that’s something that needs to change with our culture and not just with music. I think it’s incredible to work with so many talented women, and I loved working with Chelsea because there was so much I learnt from her and she’s so young and so, so talented. There’s always going to be something that you can learn from working with someone else, because we all have different things we can bring to a collaboration.
I think it’s important to be surrounded by people that inspire you, because otherwise there’s nowhere else to go, and no one to learn from. It’s beautiful when you can say ‘this is not my strength, can you help me? Please teach me?’ We should be more open to teaching each other and learning rather than focusing on competition. Things would be so much better if we just supported each other more. I think it’s happening more and more especially with women in the industry which is amazing.
I think it’s one of those things that you have to keep reminding yourself of, because music is half about being creative and expressive and then half about being business centered, and that business side of your brain is naturally going to think about comparing yourself to other people all the time, and it’s something that you have to really push aside and make an effort to not care about, because otherwise you can get so consumed by it.
I love what you said about making an effort, because otherwise we are so subconscious about these thoughts, and you need to make that effort to catch yourself in those thoughts and actually educate your brain to not think like that. It’s normal, it’s human to compare yourself to other people, and that needs to turn into something that inspires you and motivates you into trying something new and being better. If you aren’t being inspired, you’re just feeling competitive, and that isn’t going to make you better. It’s about changing your mindset and learning both to appreciating others and appreciating yourself.
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