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A Swedish r&b star in the making

We named her one of the most interesting acts of last year. Now the second part of her debut EP is finally out. Radar met up with AnnaMelina to touch base on everything from popping champagne to following your gut feeling.

 

She’s only released a handful of songs so far but has already created quite a buzz with her beautiful, melancholic r&b songs sprinkled with angelic auto tuned vocals. AnnaMelina produces her own music and has worked alongside Studio Barnhus producer Baba Stiltz on her two-pieced debut EP (who’s mixed the songs and produced the track Central).

Besides putting out the new music, she’s currently chipping away at a collab with Yung Lean-affiliated Thaiboy Digital.
– We went to the same school and are good friends. I’m producing this track called Fly Like Me that we’re working on, and also singing – in English! she explains.

 I get really wrapped up in my relationships, in all types of relationships

Finishing touches were put to the song during a vacation in Costa Rica that AnnaMelina just got back from. The trip didn’t only entail dozing off on the beach, but also a couple of hours of music making every day. And furthermore; the title of the second part of her EP was decided abroad.
– I hadn’t even thought about the title, but realised it might be a bit confusing giving both of the releases the same name, AnnaMelina says.

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The first part of the EP was released late last year, and part two is out today. The three new songs are accompanied by the fresh title, Allt är Fortfarande Kvar (meaning “Everything still remains”), to match the first part Allt är Kvar (“Everything remains”).

The idea for the titles is taken from a line sung in one of AnnaMelina’s songs that in the beginning was meant to be on a full-length album but has yet to appear on any of her releases. It also sums up what the entire EP’s about.
– The songs aren’t about the same relationship, but relationships as a theme is recurring. The titles are referring to how things can end, while other stuff begins, but everything still remains in some way. Nothing ever disappears even though it ends.

Although there’s a melancholy present in your songs, they feel far from dark and heavy. Is that connected to the title?
– Yes, I guess so. The fact that things end doesn’t have to be that sad because, well, everything remains in some way.

I probably wouldn’t write a song that’s like ‘Hey, let’s order some champagne and get drunk’

Is writing about relationships something you tend to do, or is it just part of this project?
– I get really wrapped up in my relationships, in all types of relationships. And so I find a lot of deep emotions in that part of my life. But my songs are based on a mix of inspiration, I seldom write a song that’s about one single thing. I take small segments of things I’ve experienced, or thoughts I have and make them into a song. And I really like that way of working, because then people can interpret the lyrics how they want.

Would you ever take inspiration from something a lot less deep?
– I’m writing a song now about loosing control but I probably wouldn’t write a song that’s like “Hey, let’s order some champagne and get drunk”. I don’t think the whole taking drugs at the club-theme is for me, you know. But you never know, maybe when summer gets closer.

I’ll be expecting a song about popping a bottle of sparkling wine from you then.
– It’s coming!

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AnnaMelina’s been making music since basically forever. She began singing right around the same time she started talking. But it wasn’t until she began producing, around three years ago, that she decided to focus on her music. Before that she was keen on acting.

Even though she now has put the big screen dreams on hold, AnnaMelina has kept part of the film industry in her life – and career. When not making music she’s filming and editing video material as a part time job.

And when it comes to her music, the interest for visual material shines through. With only a few songs being officially released (plus some tracks still lingering on her Soundcloud) she’s already put out three music videos, and is acting in one of them.
– I like all types of art forms; I love to paint, to act, to take photos, to make music and to work with film. And the great thing about working with music is that you can combine all of the different expressions.

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2014 really was an exciting year for you. Looking back at it, how do you feel?
– It was fun! When you’re in the middle of it it’s hard to really appreciate it as much as you probably should. And then you’re like “God, I’m so stupid for not realising what a big deal this was!”

When something doesn’t feel 100 % right I basically don’t want to do it

What did last year mean to you and your career?
– I’d been sitting around with my music that was planning on releasing it as an album without really knowing how to. I was probably the most stressed out by not knowing how the industry functions. It didn’t feel right to just release stuff without knowing if I was doing it the right way.

– I very much rely on my gut feeling, and when something doesn’t feel 100 % right I basically don’t want to do it. But then I met my manager Johanna Beckman and we started working together, and I met all these other people and record companies and I started feeling comfortable.

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Though she decided to release her music in the shape of a two-pieced EP instead of an album, AnnaMelina hasn’t dropped the idea of making that large-scale piece of music.
– I would really like to create an entity, a whole album where all the songs correspond to each other. I also have a vision of doing this somewhere else, and get inspired by the new location.

Where would you like to go?
– I’ve been thinking of going to a warm place close to the water because I love to swim and have nature and wild life near by. But after my trip to Costa Rica I feel like I probably wouldn’t get that much done being in a spot like that…

– I might be able to share a studio space at Långholmen in Stockholm during the summer with my friend who’s an artist. That could be a good place to work on an album.

And you’ll still be able to go down to the water for a swim.
– Exactly!

Photography by: Isabelle Minou. View all photos on top.