Anastasia A is an upcoming singer songwriter from Toronto. When we first checked out Anastasia’s impressive musical portfolio we were incredibly impressed and were really keen to interview her so that we could share with you some of her music, interests, experiences and aspirations. Despite Anastasia’s hectic schedule, putting the final touches to her latest music video, we were delighted when she agreed. Read the full in-depth interview below where Anastasia discusses amongst other things, what she’s been working on for the last 12 months, her musical inspirations and what she does to relax when not working.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Pop/Dance singer/songwriter who is not afraid to be herself and inspire people through pop music.
Q: What is your musical background?
I was born into music. My father is professional drummer and both my brothers love producing music on their spare time. I have been singing my entire life and did some vocal training on and off. I play piano, cello, and flute and love to write lyrics. I continue to take vocal training seminars and would love to learn to play the guitar.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been so intense. Between writing, recording, networking and building my online presence I have not really had much time for myself. It has been such a rewarding process and I have met so many great Industry professionals who are helping me take my music project to the next level. I have been preparing for my Canadian Music Week performance; auditioning band members, shooting my first music video and promoting my first single “KISS&TELL” which was released on iTunes this Valentine’s day. I have such an amazing manager; I really don’t know what I would have done without him-thanks Fase!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Stevie Wonder is such an outstanding musician and artist. Many musicians are great but the ones that work hard, never give up, stay true to themselves and support causes inspire me. I love to see other artists and bands that have persevered and have still managed to stay positive. I don’t respect artists that do things in the media just to get attention. I respect artists that maintain their dignity send out good messages to their fans.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
I strongly look up to Selena Gomez! She is sweet, hardworking talented and motivated. She is a great role model and does everything with Class! I also really love Taylor swift because she is so delightful and is a great writer. I also look up to Adele because she has been able to push the limits and place her songs almost anywhere. She deserved all those Grammy’s. I also really look up to Arcade Fire who are true artists and deserve all their success!
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
The first person that comes to mind to do collaboration with right now would be Flo Rida! He would bring so much energy. I just know it would be an instant hit!
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
My iPod currently plays Adele, Selena Gomez, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Hilary Duff, Underoath, Mia Martina, Dru, Earth Wind & Fire, Unearth, As I lay dying, Taylor swift, Chris Brown, The Dream, Wiz Khalifa, Joy Williams, Carley Rae Jepsen, and Deadmau5.
In terms of songs, “who says” by Selena Gomez because it is so inspiring and “price tag” by Jessie J because it sends such a great message and of course some hot Drake songs!
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Being a songwriter I focus mostly on lyrics and melody. I usually like to hear a piece of music or “beat” because the it influences my mood and theme selection. When I hear production I like, I instantly hear words, melodies and my direction becomes clear. When I initially hear a song with no vocals, I connect with it and the song tells me what to write. Although sometimes I pull out my iPod and record a raw a cappella and then sit down and work out some piano to it before I take it to a producer. Most of my songs start out from day to day inspiration so I quickly run to my Mac, open up a program and record a rough demo!
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Lyrics are most important because it projects the message you want to send. The melodic structure is “key” but in the end of the day, the words hold more weight in terms of how it makes your listener feel. The melody is super important especially in pop music, but I would still rather have control over what I say then how the melody goes!
Q: Where are you based?
I am currently based out of Toronto Canada!
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Canada is my 3rd Country but I love it very much! It’s my new found home and I would not want to be anywhere else.
Q: What are you currently working on?
We just released my single “kiss&tell” 02.14.12 and we are working on a radio campaign and hopefully releasing my official music video shortly after. I am working on a trip to BC to work with some great writers and getting together my second single.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
So far, Opening up for Sublime, Three days Grace and the Trews at Hockey fest with Scotty James! That was such an exhilarating moment and an amazing taste of tour life! Also my national ad with Virgin Mobile where I was plastered on billboards across the Nation!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
I am hoping secure a nice tour and work with some writers in BC. I am hoping to travel Europe and get on the hot ac Radio charts! I also want to partner up with the Canadian Blood services association and Sick Kids hospital and do something nice! Um…and of course open up for Selena Gomez hahaha
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Yes, I will be performing a song at the LOCAL LIVE BARRIE event on feb 23rd at the Maddy performing arts center in Barrie and live on Rogers Daytime show Feb 24th 9am. You can catch me performing at this year’s Canadian Music Fest in Toronto at Neautral Lounge on March 24th at 8pm. http://canadianmusicfest.com/artists-2012/artist-details/?band=Anastasia+A&band_ID=2115
Q: What do you do to relax?
I love cooking dinner and watching movies. When I have time, I love to get together with friends for some drinks and wings! In the summer I love laying on the beach and going camping.
Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I think my favorite holiday vacation would be anywhere hot near a beach. I love being near water and I love the sunshine. One of my producers is planning on opening a studio get away in St. Thomas so that would be where I would love to run away to write music and relax!
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
My advice would be to never give up and stay focused on your dream. Sometimes when you compare yourself to other artists and what is happening at the time you can get consumed with stress and pressure. Just figure out what makes you special and bring that to the table. Honesty and hard work always shines!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I have been in the contest called MOBILE ARTIST held by EMI, Virgin, Capital records for 6 months and I would love your support! You can vote for me here http://www.moartist.com/anastasiaa ! Also if you want a sneak peak of my video check out my exclusive here http://whatsgoodtoronto.com/whatsgoodtoronto-exclusive-anastasia-andranov/
Editor’s Note: Anastasia A has all of the key elements to enjoy a very successful career in the music industry. From catchy pop hooks, to killer vocals Anastasia is definitely one of Essential Pop’s One’s to Watch for the coming months and years.
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