As originally published on 6AM Group
The Brazilian-born and Barcelona-based ANNA has quickly climbed to the top of the techno charts, and for great reason. Her heavy and industrial productions continue to enchant people around the world. Anna’s most recent release, Haze Moons, was received with open arms, or ears I should say.
She started at her dad’s popular nightclub in Brazil at the age of 14 and after some difficult times she saw her hard work finally start to pay off. A bucket list item of hers was to play at Movement in Detroit, the iconic festival held yearly in the birth place of the genre that she loves so much, and she did just that this past Memorial Day Weekend.
It is in Detroit that 6AM caught up with her to talk about her time in Asia, what it’s like to be touring all the time, and new projects in the pipeline.
Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you. How were your two previous gigs in Japan?
It was really nice! I was in Japan for the first time three years ago and I was happy to go back and play there. I was in Osaka and Tokyo. Everyone was really welcoming and friendly. The crowd was amazing and I definitely felt the love.
You’ve also had some gigs in the States. How have those been?
It took a while for me to start touring the US, but ever since I started in August last year, I haven’t stopped! It’s been amazing. The funny thing is in some places, I’ve been twice to already (in one year). For example in San Francisco, I’ve played twice since August 2016. I’ve also played at amazing festivals like Ultra and now Movement! It’s been great.
Every time I come back to the US, I notice the scene continues to grow. People are really welcoming and loving the music.
Congrats on your set at the Pyramid stage here at Movement! How was that for you?
It was super fun. Although it started raining so there was a little bit of chaos, everyone in the crowd stayed and continued to dance. It was funny because they were doing everything they could to stay in the crowd. At one point the CDJs were getting wet, but it was quickly taken care of and the rest of my set felt good!
Please, yes! I want to play without the rain, but now I guess I can say I have experienced DJing in the rain.
Did you first hear about Movement in Brazil?
Yes! Everyone loves Movement. We think it’s a really cool festival with respected artists. When they announced I would be playing the festival, everyone was so happy and supportive. I was featured in local newspapers and everyone was really proud. I see that a lot of Brazilians are here (at Movement), actually.
Are you checking out any other parties while you’re here?
I don’t know. I’ll be at the festival until it ends and then I’ll see how I’m feeling. I head back home (Barcelona) tomorrow, but everything regarding after parties is up in the air.
Have you been to Detroit before?
No. When I arrived, I couldn’t believe I was here. It just meant so much to me. A lot of the music I play are from artists that grew up here and I consider my heroes. There’s a really special feeling about this fest.
I haven’t seen much other than my hotel. Yesterday, I arrived at 4 pm and thought taking a nap would be a good idea, but I ended up sleeping 17 hours and didn’t wake up until this morning at 9am!
You’re what some may consider a rare techno export from Brazil, yet we know that there are some great venues in your country and that generally, the party scene is flourishing. if you were to look back at your career, what are three pieces of advice you would give a young Brazilian techno artist to help them break through to where you are now?
The first is to be persistent. A lot of things will go wrong in the beginning but you have to keep going and keep pushing. It’s difficult to hear so many no’s, but if you like what you’re doing then keep going.
The second is to yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Stay true to yourself and don’t only play what is mainstream or what the clubs want you to play. Don’t try to fit in the market if you don’t like it. Be real, be original, and believe in yourself.
The third is to listen to a lot of music. Especially when you see that one of your favorite artists is in town, go see them! We’re not as fortunate as other places who have nonstop top artists playing, so when they do come around in Brazil, make an effort to attend the gig and talk them. Bring them some music. Go get inspired!
With your meteoric success came quite the grueling touring schedule. How do you stay rested between it all?
I really like the touring life, but it’s really difficult. I’m not that person that can drink a lot and then do some drugs and be back to normal the next day. Right now, I don’t drink any alcohol and I don’t use drugs. I try to eat well and most of the time I bring my own food to keep a healthy eating routine because, as you may know, eating healthy on the road can be very hard. I also try to exercise.
Do you have any travel tips you can share with us?
Travel light and pay attention to your stuff! I only say that because I lost some luggage in Miami. Also, buy the Bose noise-canceling headphones. They’re super great for travelling!
I know you value the importance of meditation and the power of energy and healing. Can you tell us a little about how that affects your life as a producer and DJ?
Since I started meditating, I can deal with everything much better. Before, everything used to affect me, but now I only pay attention to things that are important. If I know I’m going to start producing or studio session, I try to meditate. It helps with my creativity when I have a clear mind.
I’m getting better at it too because the more you meditate, the better your meditation practice gets and the happier you will be. I can see everything much clearer and I need to be strong for myself while traveling.
Does that mean you don’t party too much or go to after-parties when you’re out on tour?
Yes! I’m really boring *laughs* I never really go to after parties. I really like when I’m on the stage playing and seeing the people dance, but I don’t really like to party too much. I fight with my husband about it all the time, because he loves to party and can stay until the end, but that’s not me.
You seem to be checking off a ton of what most artists would consider serious bucket list items. What’s next for Anna in the coming years? Any particular objectives you’re aiming for?
It’s been awhile, but I’m working on my first full-length album and it’s almost ready! That’s my main project right now, but I took a short break because I was invited to remix Audion and Tiga. Of course, I said yes because I love them and I did two versions that will be out in August.