The internet star talks debut album, new single, and her transition into the music scene.
Anna Akana is no stranger to fame.
Her comedy vlogs have made her an internet sensation with 2.6 million subscribers to her channel and many of her videos raking in millions of views. She crafts relatable, personable comedy, and now she hopes her music will have the same accessibility. As Akana gears up to release her debut album, Casualty, the 30-year-old creative sat down with Popdust to talk more about her transition to music and her new single "Let Me Go."
From comedy to music. how has that transition been for you, both personally and professionally? Any lessons you've had to learn along the way?
It's been an incredibly fun transition. I've been doing comedy music for over a decade, so most of my focus has been lyrical (no one cares if you're off pitch when you're delivering a punch line). So the confidence and presence that stand up has given me, plus having been an actor for so long, I feel very comfortable on stage in the emotion of a song. I've definitely had to learn about the business side of music more—the inner workings of what this industry's structure is and how it differentiates from the fields I've been in for so long. But I've found the whole journey to be incredibly creative and fun.
Anna Akana - Let Me Go (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com
What can we expect from your debut record? What was the creative process like?
There are 13 tracks and accompanying music videos that hone in on the message of overcoming. This album was experimental and cathartic and touches on various aspects of myself in new ways. It's dark indie pop with a very intimate feel. The creative process was suspiciously easy, but I feel like when an artist approaches a new platform you have so much energy ready to go.
What made you decide to combine spoken word and singing? What appeals to you about spoken word?
I'm an avid fan and writer of poetry. I haven't shared a ton of it online, just two animated versions ("toothbrush" and "palindrome"). But I feel like spoken word is just the right delivery for some songs, and it decides where it belongs. Most of the ones that turn out that way are written in a stream of consciousness flurry that come tumbling out, and I feel they're the most raw that way. Spoken word is an amazing avenue for story, for emotion, and to communicate powerful pain.
Anna Akana - Not My Proudest Moment (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com
What do you want fans to take away from your music?
I hope that fans feel less alone in some aspect of their struggles.
Any tour plans? Do you ever plan to return to comedy?
I'm currently headlining Mercury Lounge on Dec 6 in NYC. Would love to do a national tour but the plan is to hit spot dates for now to hone in the show. No plans to return to comedy but ask me in ten years!
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- Anna Akana - Wikipedia ›
- Anna Akana - Disappointment (Official Music Video) - YouTube ›
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- Anna Akana - Alone Together (Official Music Video) - YouTube ›
- Anna Akana's 'Intervention' Video: Watch | Billboard ›
- Anna Akana - Intervention (Official Music Video) - YouTube ›
Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
We know Ellis Ross is fun and has an offbeat style, but her hairstyle felt like a caricature, and one that was completely unnecessary because there are Black women who have the kind of hair she seemed to be trying to mimic.
Black hair is political.
It is still a radical act for Black people to wear our hair just as it grows out of our heads.
Just as Black people are diverse, Black hair is inclusive of a broad range of colors, textures, density, and porosity. Terms like 3B and 4C are commonly used to describe hair types. While some people still think of hair types as a grading scheme, much like the debate about having "good hair," we are learning more about how hair types have specific care needs. As we grow deeper in love with ourselves and our hair, Black people are looking for the best products on the market and are committed to supporting Black businesses.
When Tracee Ellis Ross announced the launch of Pattern Beauty, there was a lot of buzz and excitement. A Black woman we love and whose hair has always been an unapologetically overwhelming feature was going to respond to Black hair care needs. Sign us up! Now, however, with her Elle magazine cover, some Black women are wondering if Ross is taking up too much of the Black hair space.