By: Mary Welch
Upon the first few seconds of hearing her voice, I was absolutely digging Annika Grace’s style. The first lines of her new song, “Kiss Me” captured me instantly. Annika Grace has a passionate, sensual voice that sets her up for undeniable success. Savvage caught up with her to talk about her new single, balancing student life, and being a musician, and her influences. Read our interview below!
Your new single, “Kiss Me,” is out now. Please tell us a little bit about it!
Yes! I’m so excited for everyone to hear it! It was inspired by some personal experiences I had with relationships and catching feelings for people you really shouldn’t. It can be difficult when you like someone, but you know their intentions might not be in alignment with yours – someone always gets hurt in the end. Everyone of course wants to be kissed though, but for me at least, a kiss is never just a kiss. Emotions get involved and that’s where it can get messy. It can also be scary to let yourself jump for a new person, especially someone you don’t know that well, and I think that’s where the song originated from – the excitement of meeting someone new, but also the nerves that come with it.
Your voice is powerful and captivating… Where does it come from? What fuels you to do what you do?
Thank you so much! I’ve been singing since I was a little girl, and it was always a type of therapy for me. I was super shy as a kid, and still am in some cases, and its my way of expressing how I feel or what I’m thinking in the moment. I always write everything down when I’m upset or need to get something off my chest, so singing is my way of bringing those words to light. There’s definitely a lot of pent of emotions that come out when I sing, and I think that’s where all the power comes from. Writing music has become my way of being vulnerable, in some cases to one person, letting them know how I feel, and so I think my voice just reflects that. The need to express myself is really what fuels me to do what I do.
Being based in both NYC and LA, what do you love best about the two, regarding the unique things they have to offer?
Both have so much to offer so I’m super lucky to live in both places. I grew up in LA, so I know the city better. I definitely feel more at home there, and I’ve made deeper connections with people since I lived there longer, so that is definitely something LA offers over New York. I know the music scene better in LA as well, and I am able to put myself out there a lot easier, which is always nice. But New York has given me so many new experiences and has helped me go to deeper places with my writing. I definitely feel more inspired and challenged in the city. A lot of emotions came with moving across the country, and that was reflected in my writing. I like to put myself in situations that will get me out of my comfort zone – that’s when I write my best. I was having a case of writers block living in LA, but right when I moved to the city, I was writing again every day.
Did you always envision pursuing music, or did you ever have something else in mind?
Pretty much yes! Since I was young, I’ve written poetry. My mom put me in piano lessons at a young age as well, so I was always just surrounded by music. I knew I could never have a job that wasn’t creative, and my niche was music so pursuing a career in it was always the plan.
Being a student in addition to a musician, how do you keep a good balance between the two?
It’s hard, but it’s definitely worth it! I think the key is to just prioritize certain things over others. Sometimes I have to choose a recording session over going out with friends and doing normal college things, but in the end its definitely all worth it.
Biggest musical and non-musical inspirations?
My biggest musical inspirations would be Ryan Tedder, Halsey, Regina Spektor, and James Blunt. I get a lot of my inspiration for production from Halsey and I absolutely love Ryan, James and Regina’s lyrics. I think the ability to be vulnerable and completely transparent when writing a song is the most important factor and these artists taught me that.
What else can we get excited about? What’s next from you?
I am shooting a video for "Kiss Me" in New York this month, so look out for that! Also will be releasing a new single sometime in the summer and SUPER excited for everyone to hear this one. Other than that, I’ll be going coast to coast this summer working on more projects! Love to be busy, so it will be nice.