We have a chat with Anda Volley, who has a rebel style that is very unique and a voice that is uniquely addictive. Born in California, now living in Boston, Anda just released her first album entitled, Inside The Ghost Machine. Her first single, “Laura Inside The Ghost Machine” trended at the top of Soundcloud’s rock category. Lucky you, we’ve got if for you to hear just below. You’re so lucky…Check it out:
Anda, tell the EaRiE audience a little about yourself and what sets you apart from the crowd. As we like to say here, what makes you EaRiE?
Anda: My music is all over the place stylistically. I adore a lot of artists and genres, and I explore with a wild infidelity. Some of my songs are simple. “Star of the Unborn” is just my voice and a crunchy guitar. Others, like “King Yellowman” are surrealist ambient landscapes. I’m a hardcore fan of poetry, so my lyrics should reflect that. I want to get even freer and crazier over time.
Anda: I’ve been playing guitar and writing songs on and off for several years. A couple years ago, I made a decision to temper back my other creative pursuits and focus entirely on music.
So let’s get started with the age-old artist question: What comes first for you? Do you come up with the music first then let the lyrics follow or do you sculpt the lyrical pattern of a song and then accompany it with music?
Anda: For me, it’s more natural to shape the lyrics around the music. Once I’m deep into writing, the
lyrics will often reshape the music. I have written lyrics first, but that is rare.
Your music is very uniquely and creatively written. Do you build your songs through any past experiences? How do you construct them?
Anda: My songs can be about anything, such as experiences, ideas, and even biases. I don’t mind writing about things I haven’t experienced either, much like adventuring in history, a work of fiction, or a poem. I free-associate images and words with the concept and music in my head. I edit quite a bit, looking for the right word or phrase that resonates with a spark of intent.
Do you have any special places that you write your music/lyrics that makes you feel artistically at home?
Anda: I’m an unrepentant comfort-seeking creature, so I prefer to write on my bed. I will also seek out different experiences that put me off-balance physically and emotionally. This often results in kindling new material. I wrote one of my favorite things last year while standing in the center of a group of people as they all mumbled and shouted at me at the same time.
“Lyrics that make me feel artistically at home?” Often, I like to start my guitar practice with a cover. Usually, the cover is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” because it warms up my playing, my voice, and it opens me up emotionally.
Anda: Some of my musical influences are Sinead O’Connor, Bjork, REM, Nine Inch Nails, Scott Walker, Portishead, local bands, friends jamming around backyard fires, and far-flung electronic producers from everywhere and nowhere.
Everything non-human is quite a big bucket. I’m inspired by the universe contained in the bucket; the trinkets and muck, the emotional salt, and psychological onions. I’m endlessly inspired.
Who did you grow up listening to? Who are you listening to currently?
Anda: I grew up listening to my mom’s classic rock records. Recently, I’ve been listening to Scott Walker, Laurie Anderson, Grimes, Justice, Alt-J, Yeasayer, Brian Jonestown Murder, The Dandy Warhols, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Gil Scott Heron, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and Johnny Cash.
When you are not singing or playing music, what are you doing? any hobbies?
Anda: I like to talk about experiences and feelings. What’s going on inside you? Where do you come from and how has that shaped you? That’s what I want to know. My favorite people have no filter. All the beauty and ugly comes out of their mouth like a wild garden.
If you could not make or play music anymore and you had to pick another artform to express yourself, what would it be?
Anda: I also write and perform poetry.
What is your favorite part about performing live?
Anda: Giving hugs before and after shows. The theater of performance. The emotional sinew of songs strengthened with practice and relayed in the moment. Working with everyone involved, and trying to make them feel good about their role and effort.
When you sing, do you have any visions or sights that you envision that help you deliver your vocals. A musical happy place?
Anda: I try to feel free and unleash an animalistic core. Recently, a vocal instructor had me imagine I was in a sphere of warm water. I had to move around the room with this sphere and fill it with sound. I started to imagine the water changing colors: ochre to hot pink, lavender to burnt sienna, petal pink to sky blue, all shimmering, then turning dark brown and cave black, before moving on to a universe of stars. Intense visualizations, and corresponding movement and sound with those visualizations, takes me out of the ego and any sense of holding back.
At the end of the day, what would you like fans to take away from your music? How would you like them to see Anda Volley? Is there an overall message?
Anda: I hope that people feel like I appreciate them, and that I did my best. I want to be honest and explore some strange, dark places. Other times, I want to be playful, and not take myself too seriously. I hope that others might feel freer to explore and take chances, especially those with unexplored creative longing that is too heavy with self-doubt.
What is the best part of being the up-and-coming artist known as Anda Volley?
Anda: Being creatively inspired. Working hard at something I love, but feeling pretty relaxed about the ride and whatever happens.
Go ahead and check out Anda’s website, andavolley.com! In the meanwhile, check out some more of her songs…