RECORDING ARTIST ANJELICA ON HER CREATIVE PROCESS AND LETTING HER INTUITION GUIDE HER MUSIC
Being able to turn one's vulnerabilities into hauntingly beautiful pieces of art is an intrinsic quality that vocalist and producer Anjelica has spent her lifetime exploring. From a single digit age, the multifaceted recording artist instinctively knew she was destined to spend her days creating, initially turning to her love for musical theater to lay a strong foundation rooted in passion and self-expression. With her childhood accented by a transient lifestyle, often traveling up and down the east coast along with her free-spirited and fellow music enthusiast mother, Anjelica began honing her talents as a singer and fostered a love for travel, one that continues to deeply inform her artistry today. Growing up, Anjelica split her time between South Florida, New York, and California, where she is now based, with these diverse environments playing a role in shaping her perspective and helping her find her footing as a creative.
"I’ve never felt the bass of a song or low end of a song literally in my body because the shoes vibrate your whole body, it’s the full experience! I love it."
After experiencing the sudden loss of her mother at the age of 21, and soon thereafter her grandfather, Anjelica turned inward, determined to honor their legacies by committing even more-so wholeheartedly to seeing where her career in music could take her next. She went on to start the international collective, The 1Future Foundation, whose mission is to transform global consciousness through music, art and film, and began collaborating with an array of renowned producers.
As time went on and her career continued to unfold, Anjelica's resilient nature was once again put to the test after waking up one day without the ability to speak or sing, later being diagnosed with vocal cord paresis. While doctors cautioned her at the time that there was no specific treatment and the condition could be permanent, Anjelica decided to immerse herself in the world of alternative medicine. While channeling all that her mom taught her about metaphysical healing, Anjelica began seeing success in her approach and her capabilities to use her voice began to resurface, albeit with a distinct tonal change. This experience was both life-changing and purpose-affirming, deepening Anjelica's unwavering ambition to use her gifts to transform her experiences into emotive soundscapes and share her music with others.
Through years of hard work, blind faith and perseverance, Anjelica is now entering a new chapter of her career, marked by the release of her latest single, "Good Ones." The self-produced track serves as a re-introduction of sorts, officially debuting her artist moniker of Anjelica for the first time and showcasing a dark-pop sound shaped solely by her intuition. As exemplified throughout the heartfelt and deeply personal track, Anjelica weaves between various emotions, exploring the complexities found within the gravely human experience of losing someone close to you.
During a recent conversation with DropLabs, Anjelica shared more about her creative process, what it's been like releasing and creating music during the covid-19 pandemic and where she finds her inspiration from.
What do you do for a living and what helped you get started?
I grew up in South Florida and I was always doing musical theater growing up. I went to a performing arts boarding school in California and I kind of always knew music was what I wanted to do. When I was still living in Florida, I was doing a lot of EDM music and working with a lot of producers. In Miami, the music scene is very focused on EDM, and at that time, it was EDM or house or Latin music with a live band, and because I don't know Spanish or anything, I was doing a lot of electronic stuff. Basically, I was working with a lot of different producers and I was making cool music but I couldn't really find my sound with them. I didn't feel like any of the music was me. So, then a few years ago, I started producing on the side and then I met this manager who was like, 'Why aren't you producing your own stuff? Some of this stuff is good!' From there, I just really started getting into it and now I produce everything. I've always written everything, but now I produce, I write, I sing. Music is my life really.
Would you say that you're a vocalist first and producer second?
I used to say vocalist first but now I would probably say producer first, just because I have produced for other artists. It's something that I feel is so important to what I'm doing as an artist right now, especially vocally. A lot of people will ask me, 'But you have such a good voice, why do you filter it and do all these weird things with it?' and it's mainly because I am a producer first. It's fun and I like to experiment.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
I would say traveling, even if it's just down the street, for example. I like to get out of my space to come back into my space to work. I like to redecorate my space. So this [Zoom] background wasn't even here before quarantine [Laughs]. I can get into different vibes when I travel. Also, I get really inspired by people's stories, like when friends come to me with these crazy stories. I'm essentially that friend that people tell things to, even though I don't know why they think I'd have good advice for their exact situation. But they'll tell me and then I get inspired by their stories, and I'll write about it. Also, I have to say heartbreak inspires me, unfortunately.
What's it been like putting out new music as Anjelica for the first time?
This last single and all the singles that I'm putting out are under Anjelica, and are all produced by me. They are all inspired from different things, but a lot of it was inspired by me getting in touch with my shadow side, a darker part of myself. Because I wasn't working with other producers, it was easier for me to be able to do that. I didn't realize that I have a totally different sound when I'm the one recording my own vocals. It's just more comfortable. There's just something about self-reliance, too. I feel like I'm really learning that, especially in quarantine. It's really testing my self-reliance and my ability to do things on my own without socializing constantly. I already feel like I've been in quarantine for a year because I've been so isolated making my music.
How has starting this new chapter felt; would you say it's been freeing in a sense?
I definitely feel free that the music is getting out because it's been such a long time coming. People were like, 'Where's the music? Where's the music?' And I'd always say, 'It's coming, it's coming.' When I released the first song, it was really supposed to be for my mom's birthday. That's why I released on March 30, which ended up being during the start of the pandemic and the safe at home order. I'd say it's freeing in the sense of I'm so happy that it's out there, and I've been getting a lot of positive responses. But on the flip side, it's so not at all what I expected because part of the fun is getting to perform. So, I'm really re-training my brain to accept where we're at in the world, and that digital is the new thing. It's been the new thing but it really is right now. Everything is reliant on digital; that's our way to connect right now, indefinitely. So, now, I'm figuring out other ways to have that freedom and have that feeling of connection with other people through my music.
I know plans have been shifted and a lot is up in the air, but what are you currently working on?
I have a bunch of singles and music videos ready to go that I'll be releasing. I've also been creating a lot, because the one person I'm able to see [during quarantine] happens to be my videographer/photographer person. For me, right now, it's really just about continuing to do more live streams and connecting with really awesome brands that I can spread awareness of what they are doing, and get my message out there more.
Can you tell me a bit about what inspired your next single?
My next single is called, "Maybe It's The Drugs," and it's not really about drugs at all [Laughs]. The song is about when I was living in New York; I was there from 2008, on and off, until a few years ago. A lot of my family lives there and I went to school at Pace University; I was truly moving around so much and was constantly bicoastal, but I moved to LA officially two years ago. My dad encouraged me to go Pace, even though I had gotten into Tisch and Marymount Manhattan for singing and Pace was my back-up school. I don't know why I listened to my dad, but I did. It was a great decision because it led me to where I am, but it felt really isolating. I felt alone in a really big city. At the same time, I love New York, because I've always wanted to live there and it has this movie appeal to it. There's just something about the energy that really keeps you going, especially as an 18-year-old.
My mom passed away when I was 21, and so when I would go back to New York, I would start to have these dreams about her. I felt like she would come to me all the time and talk to me almost, and when I would tell people in New York, I felt like they didn't really understand. Here on the West Coast, people are like, 'Oh yeah, I get it, totally.' But in New York, they think you're psycho and are like, 'I don't know what you're talking about.' So I'd just be like, "Oh, it's like when I was on mushrooms, you know," and then they'd be like, "Ohhhh, yeah totally."
So, I would start to blame having these experiences with my mom or my grandpa—people that have passed in my life—and hearing them and feeling them come to me, I'd just start to blame it on the drugs. I'd just be like "Oh yes, psychedelics, like, whatever." And so that's what the song is about. I feel like, especially these days, it's not as uncommon anymore for people to be more tapped into whatever it is that they call that experience, but for a time, that's what I would blame it on.
What surprised you the most about trying out DropLabs Technology?
I’ve never felt the bass of a song or low end of a song literally in my body because the shoes vibrate your whole body, it’s the full experience! I love it.
How would you explain the DropLabs experience to your friends?
It’s so new and different- it’s cool! You really have to feel them for yourself.
What do you hope people walk away with when they listen to your music?
I would say my main goal in creating the music that I create and the visuals that I produce is to inspire people to do things they didn't think that they could do. I always just thought of myself as a singer. I always thought that I have to sing soulful pop, because that's what my voice does and that's what people say I should do, because that's what fits. But I just hope that I can inspire people to not necessarily do the status quo. And also, that they're capable of doing more than they think on their own, too. I never ever thought I could produce music. I don't even play instruments like that. I really didn't think I could and so I would say my main goal is to inspire people to do something different.
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