It’s day one here at Hard Summer and today I’m meeting up with the very talented Anabel Englund. She just wrapped a killer set and has lots to celebrate; from a number one song to playing live shows again. She’s styled in a mesh two piece set with green glasses, a perfect embodiment of funk and femininity. She carried her ethereal energy from the stage into our interview as we chatted about lockdown, music videos, and more!
Well guys, my name is Jessica. I’m here with Anabel. How are you today? First of all.
I’m good! Yeah. It’s hot af outside, but at least it’s cool in here.
It is! Luckily we’re in, you can’t see this right now guys, but we’re in a beautiful lounge. It’s air conditioned. There’s snacks. It’s a nice change from the heat out there. We’re going to embrace it. We’re going to enjoy it. Congratulations on a great set. Was this your first show post COVID?
No! I’ve honestly done so many.
In California or kind of all over?
I’ve done like three in Miami. Austin, Houston, Las Vegas!
So you’re bouncing around. How does it compare in other parts of the country? You know, we’re all aware that some areas are more lax than others. How was it playing California versus Florida?
I mean, honestly, it’s kind of the same. It’s just people who are happy to be out and having fun and being together. And I mean, obviously landing in Florida is different than LA because in Florida they don’t like act like COVID exists. I mean, actually people do wear masks, so I don’t know. It’s just, it’s kind of the same.
It’s such a weird time in our world, isn’t it?
Yeah. It is. And who knows what it’s going to end up to be.
But you do a lot more than festivals. You’re an artist. I noticed that you put a lot of effort in your music videos. That’s something that you are very artistic with. It’s very avant-garde. I actually have a background in modeling and I was wondering if you did too? Because you strike me as kind of high fashion.
Yeah, I mean, I love to do a high fashion moment, literally, whenever I can. It’s either high fashion or like comfy clothes and not trying at all. I either have my show clothes or just my comfy shorts and a tank top, really. I mean, I’ve done modeling, but I have never done the whole modeling thing where you’re cast and stuff like that. I just, I chose to be a musician because I don’t like the whole like “10 blondes that we need” and we all somewhat kind of look the same. And who is the best one out of the 10, like I’m not down to do that kind of thing. Cause it’s just fucked up, honestly. I don’t want to put myself through that. That’s why with music, I can be however I want, this is who I am and what I’m going to do.
So is that your vision behind those videos- or how does that all work?
A lot of the time with my videos I have an idea of a treatment. So I relay that to my label and then the label comes up with, you know, four to five different treatments from different directors based on my vision. And then I kind of choose the best one aesthetically that I like. I mean it’s different every way, but whenever I can, especially with music videos, I love to be styled to the T with makeup and hair.
Obviously the song is one thing, but the music video kind of makes it come to life.
Yeah! And I love music videos. They are so much fun to just like literally turn on the TV and just fall into a wormhole of videos.
And I feel like we’re probably the same age. I’m 25.
Okay. Yeah. So you grew up on the VH1 Top 20 Countdown music video, so important! I love that you’re still putting an emphasis on that, cause it’s kind of a dying art.
Yeah. I know what you mean. It’s definitely not as big of a thing I feel like. Or maybe it is? But I’m not that aware of it.
I’m with you. I feel like if there is a big music video, people are talking about it or excited. So that’s good for you. You got people talking.
Yeah. I mean, they’re so fun. Like why the fuck wouldn’t you?
I know you’re killing the videos, but the videos, one thing, the song is another. Your song “Underwater” just got 11 million plays on Spotify. Did you know that?
Wow! No. I didn’t know that.
Yeah! I just checked it today. 11 million, which is kind of crazy. So I always wonder this with a hit song.. When you’re in the studio are you like, “yeah, this is fire. this is going to blow up” or are you like, “oh, I think it’s good. I hope people like it!” Did you know the potential?
With “Underwater”, I think we made it in three hours literally. Like, I mean that’s how they, all the ones that are like that just go. And I remember just loving it. Like I left the studio just so elated. I knew it was kind of darker though. So I knew for me it’s something, that is part of my soul. So I just hoped that I could share with the world and that they would appreciate it too. Then it got a Billboard number one, it got US Dance Radio number one, like it’s doing really well on Spotify. It’s basically my breakup song to the patriarchy. And I didn’t realize that then, but I realized that now that it’s like, I’m done waiting up for you. You failed me so many times and I’m just going to fucking go forward.
Fuck, yeah! I want to blast it right now! Because I think everybody, especially in this past year has had a second to step back and, and kind of see the world for what it is. Is that one of your big takeaways from the past year?
Yeah! I mean, for me, I saw so many people in 2020 either have a glow up or just completely crumble. I mean, trust me, there were obviously challenges for all of us, which is why we either had a glow up or we like imploded. And for me, I feel like I had a glow up because I just, I took that time that we had in stride. I think people were too stressed to realize that we have this precious time, we’re never going to have this again. No matter how much things happen in the news, we’re never going to go completely shut down again. Like I just don’t think that will happen. So to actually sit and know that I have this time, and this is the only time I’m going to have it, and to really appreciate it and utilize it.
Like I for a lot of people they didn’t know what to do with themselves. It was too much. For me it was too much, but I fucking, you know, took it for what it was and leveled up.
It’s showing, you’re here where you are right now because you chose to take that in stride. So good for you.
Yeah. I mean, it was a tough year. That shit was not fun.
Especially as an artist, you know, not being able to go out and perform. Of course you had time to work on music, but I’m sure you miss that feeling of being out there on stage.
Yeah. I mean, my main source of income was doing shows and I’ve always been afraid of running out of money. So like I had like enough saved, but like my main source of income was completely taken. I was I thought two months, three months, like, I’m good. But then later down the road, I was like, holy shit. This isn’t gonna fly, but it flipped. I started putting out music and for the first time I was getting songs played on the radio and getting number one. So it kind of flip flopped. And I was like, well, I guess I can make money without doing shows.
You can have it both ways! Luckily you had that time to figure that out. For our fans who are unfamiliar with your music, what’s one song from your discography that you’re like, “this is me” to get a good feel for who you are as an artist?
Well. I think there would be two because I have like a duality. I mean, one of them is obviously Underwater, that is like the darker side of me. Yeah. And then another one I would say is, “Don’t Say Goodbye” or “Boogie All Night”, which is like a lot lighter. And I mean, Don’t Say Goodbye, because it’s more pop leading. And I feel like that’s like the direction I’m heading. So yeah, “Underwater” and “Don’t Say Goodbye”.
Well, I like that. You have a little angel and devil on your shoulder, a balanced human being! But I think that’s our time. What are your socials so that we can keep up with you?
I mainly use Instagram and it’s Anabel Englund. I don’t have Twitter. I have a Facebook just because I have to, my artist Facebook.
Duh! To keep in touch with mom.
Yes and Grandma, Hi Grandma!
Oh my God. They’re probably hyping you up so hard right now.
She comments on everything. She’s my top fan!
Oh, me too. My mom and my grandma 100%. They’re so proud of us right now!
I know, it’s so sweet!
Well, thank you so much for this, it was really good talking to you!
Yeah, it was good talking to you too!