Anastasia Elliot is a Nashville artist who has invited you on a journey. Instead of an album or EP, Elliot is opening the door with a bunch of singles that stick out. The first is “Cigarettes & Gasoline”
The next, based upon her real-life experience is “Crash Landing”
Elliot walked away from a record label and is charting a bold path. FEMMUSIC was honored to speak to Elliot about her music. For info visit https://www.anastasiaelliot.com/
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
AE: I love to take my time when I am writing songs. Even if a melody or lyric comes quickly, I like to spend the time to make sure that every song is the best it could possibly be. When I am writing, I always start with music and melody, usually building production ideas simultaneously. Once the vibe and melodies are established; I like to paint visuals in my mind of how the music makes me feel; who the character is in the song and what they are feeling; (Almost making a video in my head), and then I describe it to write the lyrics. I love to co-write and bring in multiple perspectives. It is always fun for me to be able to bring together a few brilliant minds and merge our creativity to go to new places.
FEMMUSIC: I understand you were involved in classical piano and Opera at a young age. How has that shaped your music and view of music?
AE: I owe everything to my early opera and classical piano training. My vocal range, tone and stamina and the way that my brain creates and thinks about music. Classical music is such an incredible and interesting genre because there are “rules” for each style or era, and the rulebreakers of each time that changed the entire landscape of music by doing one small thing that was outside of the norm. Classical pieces can be so complex and so simple but all the same hold so much emotion. Everything in a classical piece is there for a reason. I try and bring this philosophy into my writing and producing.
FEMMUSIC: You were signed to Warner and walked away. What benefits do you see as being an independent artist? Would you sign to a label again?
AE: I had a wonderful relationship with my team at Warner. I was caught in a regime change and it was best for us to part ways. As an independent artist now I love the freedom to create with my team and not have to consult anyone else. Being independent definitely poses it’s challenges, but the payoff can be so rewarding. At the moment, we are doing everything on our own timeline and putting content out as we want to. I would definitely entertain the right label deal if it came along.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about working with Ryan Hamblin to make the videos for your songs. How is he to work with? Do you collaborate on the vision?
AE: Ryan is my partner in crime. Sometimes literally. We have after all murdered quite a few people and mannequins together. He is such a brilliant, creative, wonderful human. We do collaborate on the vision. We tend to have a snowball effect with each other. One of us will say something that gets the other’s mind spinning. I can’t wait for you all to see what we have waiting in the wings.
FEMMUSIC: I understand you’re releasing singles this year as part of a project. Can you tell me more about the vision for the entire piece? Now that you’ve begun has anything changed?
AE: The project will be released as singles. Each song and video feeds into the next. I don’t want to give too much away. The interpretation of the project is up to the viewer. There are easter eggs hidden in each video so watch closely and see if you can find them! Nothing has changed as I have begun releasing. Everything in this project is thought out and intentionally there for you to discover.
FEMMUSIC: Besides your music videos, you are also doing “Cooking With Anastasia.” What challenges are there doing it and what inspired you?
AE: I love cooking and baking almost as much as I love music so I had to find a way to bring them together! I am vegan and gluten free and enjoy finding ways to make foods that I love healthier while not sacrificing flavor and decadence. I love to be able to share these creations with my audience! Each song and video will be accompanied by a recipe series inspired by it. And you can usually find some tasty treats at the merch booth at my shows.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
AE: This is a really tough question for me. I actually don’t really listen to music, but lately, I have been trying to make an effort to be more of a music consumer. If I think back to my childhood days, I would have to say “My Immortal” by Evanescence. When I got that album I loved it so much. Amy Lee’s voice was so unique and that song became my karaoke song. The works of the 80’s were also always playing in my house and Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Billy Idol, and Queen were definitely influential in shaping my love for drama, strong vocals, and maximalism.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
AE: I think it is definitely more difficult to be a female artist in this industry. It can be more difficult for industry people to take you seriously and not have a “that’s cute” kind of attitude. As a female artist, there are a lot more expectations that surround you both consumer facing and within the industry. I think that is starting to shift as more artists “get real” on social media but females are still expected to always look great and sound great where there is not as much of that kind of pressure on male artists. I overcome these challenges by staying grounded in who I am and always pushing for the things I believe in. I try to not give too much weight to outside pressure and opinion and just do me.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
AE: I would love to collaborate with Jack White or Chris Martin. And one of my dream acts to open for would be Muse.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
AE: I would love for artists and songwriters to be compensated more fairly for their work. In this day and age where art and content are being given as cheap or free, appreciation and value for art is suffering and the artists and songwriters are the ones taking the hit. It is wonderful that everyone now has access to the tools to release content, but the market is also very oversaturated now and it is harder to make noise, which usually results in pay for play.