Anne-Marie is the Platinum-Selling Pop Star You Might Not Know Yet

Anne-Marie is the Platinum-Selling Pop Star You Might Not Know Yet

Here, the singer talks touring with Ed Sheeran and the strong women she looks up to.

Here, the singer talks touring with Ed Sheeran and the strong women she looks up to.

Text: Ilana Kaplan

You might not be too familiar with UK singer Anne-Marie, but she’s about to be all over your radio. The 25-year-old has been interested in music since she was young, but it wasn’t pop that caught her ear: it was musical theater. Self-described as “cool pop,” Anne-Marie is bringing something new to the table by pouring her soul into her music. Collaborating with Clean Bandit and Sean Paul recently on “Rockabye,” Anne-Marie mixed her pop ethos with electronica and reggae and made a hit.

Within all of her music, Anne-Marie makes it a point to put a personal message out to her listeners. Back in 2015, Anne-Marie first entered the scene with her debut EP Karatea title that pays homage to her love and championship of the sport. In all of her music, Anne-Marie makes it a point to tell the world about real experiences from her life. In fact, she’d feel insincere if she didn’t.

With a forthcoming LP coming later this year and riding the wave of new single “Ciao Adios,” we caught up with the singer about her friendship with Ed Sheeran, making music to empower young women, and her karate champion status.

How did you first get into making music?

It started when I was young, actually. I started in musical theater, which is like Broadway in London, so I was going down a bit of a different route. When I got a bit older, I studied it in college, but I felt my voice was a little bit different than people in that industry. You have to have a specific voice for that. So, I took a bit of time out and started writing my own stuff. It’s been a good journey, learning about what my voice sounds like. I’ve always known I wanted to be a musician and a singer.

You’re going to be opening on tour for Ed Sheeran. How did you guys meet?

Well, he’s signed to the same management label with me—as soon as I signed, I met with him as he was always around the office. We became really good friends. It came about that this tour was happening...it’s gonna be fun.

Are you guys going to collaborate together?

We’ve already written a song together, and when we go on tour we’re probably going to write more on tour. He’s an amazing songwriter, so we’re going to be making some stuff. [The song with Ed] isn’t out yet. We still don’t know when it’s going to come out. We did it about three months ago. We’ve been wanting to write together for ages—he was busy and I was busy, but the timing just worked out.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

From a songwriter’s point of view, people like Alanis Morissette and Lauryn Hill. I really like listening to strong female singers who have something to say and want to change things with their lyrics. That’s what I try to do with my songs: I really try and put a story into it that will help people through a situation or feel some sort of way. You have to make people feel something. People like Alanis, Lauryn, and even Eminem—his lyrics are brilliant.

Does your music have a message behind it?

Every song I write I try to put a message behind it. I only write songs about things I’ve been through. I can’t ever write a song about something I haven’t experienced or felt because I won’t be able to feel the emotions. If I write about something I haven’t experienced, I feel like I’m lying and I can’t perform it. I want people to see the pain or happiness I feel.

You have an LP coming this year. Is there a theme that resonates throughout?

Emotional experiences I’ve been through. There’s not really a pattern or a story the whole way through, but if you had to classify it, I’d say it was a story about that. Where I’ve been writing for five years, I’ve been able to write about things I’ve gone through the whole time. There are songs about heartbreak I’ve experienced, growing up, and being a strong woman. When I grew up I was listening to Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morissette, and Alicia Keys, who were talking about becoming a strong woman, and I feel like I need to be that for young girls now.

You’re a karate champion. How did you get into doing that?

I always loved sports, so I did loads of sports at school. I had to choose between gymnastics and karate. One day, when I was nine-years-old, I decided to join karate. I loved it. I did it into my teenage years and it helped me focus.

What do you hope to teach musicians who are up and coming?

To help them keep going. When you work really hard at something, it’s when you really appreciate it. You’ve just got to remember what you’re doing it for—you love music and you want to make a difference. I want to help people with my music. I want to help them keep going.

How did you end up collaborating with Clean Bandit?

I’ve known them for quite a while now. I was doing the festival rounds last year, I saw them around. This song came up, and I loved it straight away. It has an amazing message, so I loved it. I heard it and recorded it the next day. Then two weeks later it was released. It was a really great process.

Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?

I love rappers, so I’d really love to work with Eminem, Kendrick Lamar or Anderson.Paak. I also think a strong women duet with Zara Larsson, Sia, or even Little Mix would be cool.

Credits: Banner Image Photography Damon Baker

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