Emerging Artist Annika has a lot to celebrate. The Calgary born and raised singer/songwriter/musician recently released her ballad “Encore” featuring CCMA and JUNO award winning country artist Brett Kissel.
We had a chance to talk to Annika about her new single, upcoming music, and more.
- For anyone who doesn’t know who ANNIKA is, can you tell us a bit about who you are, where you’re from, and what made you decide to get into the music industry?
- I am a singer/songwriter/pianist from Calgary, AB and love to pair heartfelt lyrics with powerful vocals and a memorable performance. I grew up playing classical violin and piano and began taking singing lessons when I was 11 years old. Since then, I’ve travelled the world as a piano bar entertainer, performed at world famous venues such as NYC’s, “Birdland” or Nashville’s “Blue Bird Cafe” and am known for my quirky personality both on and off the stage.
- Being the co-writer to over 100 songs and having worked with such incredible artists like Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Brian White, Patricia Conroy, Phil Barton and Liz Rose is there one song that you’ve written so far that resonates the most with you? Why?
- One of the songs that is most special to me is a song called “Choose” which was written with Bryton Udy, Phil Barton, and Brian White. The song is a simple, acoustic ballad that addresses the difficulties that come with being an up-and-coming artist. It is not easy to chase your dreams and balance relationships and other parts of your life at the same time. “Choose” is a song that was written during a time when striking the perfect balance was particularly difficult. I think it’s a song that resonates not only with other songwriters and artists, but with anyone whose job takes them far away from the ones they love.
- If you could co-write with anyone, who would it be and why?
A) I would love to co-write with John Mayer because I admire him so much as a writer, artist, and musician. I think his guitar skills and lyrical talent paired with my piano chops and vocals could be very cool! I think the end result would be a little bit pop, a little country, a little blues, and a whole lot of soul!
- Your debut single “I Really Don’t Want To?” has already been climbing the charts. What was the inspiration behind it?
A) “I Really Don’t Want To” was inspired by my own personal experience of falling in love without fear of the unknown or potential heartbreak. The song is all about your mind telling you to slow down, but your heart throwing all caution to the wind and just “going for it”.
- “Encore” has been a huge success. How did you end up working with Brett Kissel?
- I’ve known Brett for several years as a fellow artist and performer. Although I dreamed of doing a duet with him someday, I didn’t know it would happen so soon! However, this song was a romantic ballad that I felt would make a great duet and showcase both Brett and I’s voices as individuals as well as together in harmony. I think it is the perfect combo, the perfect song for the two of us, and I’m so delighted my dream came true!
- What can your fans expect from you next?
A) As always, there is more music coming! We’ve got two more songs coming to fans before the end of the year so I’m very excited to finish off the first EP of 2 EP albums that will make up the Deluxe album in 2022, “Stand Still.” I hope there are some performances on the horizon, pending COVID regulations, but in the meantime, I will continue to write and record new music!
- What advice do you have for anyone looking to get into the industry?
- My advice would be to figure out what you’re really good at, and where your limitations are. Find people that are gifted in areas that you are not and recruit them to be part of your team! There are so many different facets to a career in music and it is really hard to do it on your own. It is critical to have people in your corner that support you, encourage you, and strengthen you as an artist.