Hot Licks: Anjulie
The rising pop star on playing for and working with some of the best women in the business.
L.A.-based Torontonian, Anjulie, has been turning heads with her infectious pop music since her hit song “Boom” raced all they way to the top of the U.S. dance chart in 2009. But this isn’t your ordinary pop star. Anjulie is no stranger to being different, from her exotic Indian features (her grandparents immigrated from India to Guyana), to fronting a punk band in high school, to writing her own material and other people’s too. If she’s not on your music radar yet, she will be soon. Anjulie performs at The Dinah in 2013 for the first time, at the White Party on April 5.
What are you doing in L.A. at the moment?
Working on the album, writing songs…working on the video and stuff.
How do you enjoy L.A.?
I do love living in L.A. It took a while to adjust to it but it’s great.
Are you looking forward to performing at The Dinah?
I’m really excited about it. I was supposed to play it last year but we had the Juno Awards instead.
I think that’s a good excuse to have missed it last year.
True. I’m excited to play it this year, the idea of playing on a lineup with all women is great. I played Lilith Fair in 2010 and it was amazing.
Why did you love that experience?
A few artists that I love and have always admired were playing there so it was like a dream come true. I’ve always been a huge fan of Alanis Morissette, Missy Elliott and many of the artists that have done Lilith. Plus working with Sarah McLachlan was really special. That show was really important to me.
“Brand New Bitch” and “Stand Behind the Music” are pretty contradictory songs. How did you go about writing them?
The funny thing is that I wrote them both the exact same way. I was in the studio with two different producers. They just played some chord progressions and I kind of just freestyled over the music.
How did start writing for other people?
Well, the funny thing is that I started as a writer. I started writing prose when I was really young, then I started playing guitar. In the beginning I was always trying to get cuts on other people’s albums, and that got me into writing for bands in Canada. Eventually I got frustrated by the process, and decided to put out an independent record. From there I got really hooked on the underground DJ scene in L.A., and started working with different types of producers. It was kind of organic really. The Nicki Minaj single, I wrote that for my own record, I decided it wasn’t right for me, so we decided to shop it and she ended up hearing it. It’s great because it also gives me an outlet to dabble in other styles that interest me.
You’ve said before that you felt like an outsider when you were younger, and that affected your art.
Well, I felt like an outsider from the start, I knew very early on that I wasn’t going to fit in so I never tried to fit in. I grew up in a very white suburb in Ontario, and no one really looked or acted like me. I’m really grateful that I never felt that I was going to be like anyone else. Which allowed me to be very independent.
Do you still struggle with being different?
Luckily I live in Hollywood now, so I actually feel like the normal one all the time with everyone here in show business and trying to stand out.
Do you have any advice for young women coming into the music industry?
Well, girls can have a hard time because they are the most desired creatures in the world at the moment. There is this huge desire for fame and such, and with the ability to create and upload your own content you can kind of be a little bit careless about the quality of what you’re doing and the content of what you’re doing. I think it’s dangerous because young women can put themselves out there without thinking about what they’re putting out there sometimes. I have been an advocate of content verses trends in terms of being satisfied with what you are doing and bringing the right message across in what you are doing rather than just getting fame for fame’s sake. (thedinah.com)