Following on from the release of her highly-praised offerings 'Sacrifice' and 'Cover The Dust' earlier this year, Berlin-based artist Anastave is back once again to unveil her mesmerising new single 'Medicine'.
Lifted from her forthcoming sophomore album, which is set to arrive soon, 'Medicine' makes for a wonderfully atmospheric listen. Channelling the likes of Portishead and Björk with her bold and driven approach to production, this new release cements her as one of the more compelling names on the rise right now.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has been inspiring her lately.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Piano was the first instrument I fell in love with, but when I started writing songs, the thing I was most grateful for was my voice.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
I've always liked many different styles of music – never settling for one specific genre. Some artists I loved were The Cure, Radiohead, and Nine Inch Nails. (I still do!)
What was the first album you remember owning?
One of the first albums I owned was Nirvana’s “Nevermind.”
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
I don't think there is one. I respect other artists being their unique selves, and I think songs are so great because they come from the artist directly, and no one else — no one else could write them in the same way. There are countless songs I love, though; a few of them are Burial's "Archangel," Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker," Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars," and PJ Harvey's “Down By The Water."
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I have a folder in my notes app called "lyrics," which I add to all the time – even if it doesn't make sense—snippets of conversations, a quote, how I'm feeling, anything. If I'm walking and a melody pops into my head, I'll hum it on the street into my voice memo app. I play piano often – even if I start with scales, the practice eventually becomes a song. I have to let myself sit down, feel uncomfortable, and then something comes out.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
I saw Moderat perform live this weekend, which was inspiring. So I've been listening to them along with Nils Frahm, DJ Koze, Gil Scott-Heron, Nicolas Jaar, Maya Jane Coles, and Kate Bush.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
The answer to a question like this would change pretty often for me. Primarily, I want my music to mean something to the people who hear it. So when thinking about who to open for, I'd like to open for someone whose audience would get something out of my music. Sometimes people tell me that certain elements of my music make them think of Massive Attack, and it would definitely be cool to open for them.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
There are lots of rewarding things about being a musician, but my two favorites are that I can express myself – and understand what's going on with me through music and, equally importantly, that my music is able to help people through whatever they're going through. Recently, a fan of my music wrote me telling me that my last single, "Sacrifice," really helped him through a time when he was struggling – that means a lot; that stuff makes it worth it.
And what is the most frustrating part?
As much as there are many rewarding parts of being a musician, there are definitely challenges too. One of the biggest challenges for me is seeing the bigger picture. I can get overwhelmed and fail to see the forest for the trees.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Keep focusing on why you're doing what you're doing, and try not to let the small things make you forget that. I can be self-critical sometimes, and that gets me down, but when I try to focus on why I'm doing what I'm doing – connecting with listeners and hopefully helping them feel heard and less alone – the small things don't seem as big of a deal.
Anastave's new single 'Medicine' is available to stream now. Listen to it in the player below.