Interview with Musician, Designer and Creative, Anna B Savage

Time to read: 7 minutes

Today we introduce you to Creative, Explorer, and Companion, Anna B Savage. Anna creates meandering, introspective feminist indie music, and does all the artwork to accompany it herself. In the past, she’s had a spread of creative jobs including florist, filmmaker, terrarium maker, terrarium workshop host, toy shop worker, bookseller, stationary seller, and PA, but over the past few years, she has been focussing on her music career. She’s toured with artists like Father John Misty, Jenny Hval, Stella Donnelly, played with Dm Stith, and opened for Owen Pallett. In 2019 she was signed to the renowned German label City Slang. Anna’s debut album ‘A Common Turn’ will the released on the 29th of January 2021!

Anna leaning over a balcony, feeling blissed out after a session at the Barbican Conservatory

Hi Anna! Thanks for talking to us today. You are a creative jack-of-all-trades! What would you say is unique about what you do? 

I try very hard to be as honest as possible about all my insecurities within my work, laying them out flat for everyone to see. Plus I try to have my fingers in as many creative pies as possible: I do my own artwork and design, as well as writing all the music. 

And what makes you stand out?

According to my ex (who is still one of my best pals), I am ‘unashamedly goofy’. I’m not sure if that makes me stand out in a good way, but it definitely sets me apart. I also try to talk frankly about things which some would consider taboo, like female wanking, desire, and female body hair.

Anna’s ex (who is still one of her best pals) says she is ‘unashamedly goofy’

What inspired you to go into the music industry?

I’ve been an aspiring musician forever: my parents are both professional classical singers and my earliest memory is coming out of the toilet washing my hands and singing the Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute by Mozart. 

Because I was feeling like I wasn’t getting anything done, after I got out of a particularly bad relationship, which left me very small indeed, I created a “30 before 30” list which included: Go to Canada, Record and release debut album, Do a music residency, make something useful out of wood. In 2018 I made my bed frame out of wood and did my first of two residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in Alberta, Canada. They were the most affirming, soul-filling, magical experiences a creative could hope for, and I’m now connected with a worldwide web of musicians and creatives who make me feel seen and heard. They are my champions as they also happen to be the most talented hardworking people I know.

After many years of trying, in 2019 I was signed to the renowned German label City Slang, and have designed all my own album artwork for the physical vinyl. 

It’s been a very long and very bumpy road to becoming a musician, professionally and officially, and now that I have a record deal I think maybe I’m there? I’m still not entirely sure though, at the moment I still need to supplement with other income to pay rent (and that was pre-covid!). 

The crux of what inspired me to go and do it is this: I can’t not. 

Anna’s most recent music video ‘A common Tern’
The music video of one of Anna’s latest releases ‘Dead Pursuits’

That’s amazing. Congratulations on the record deal! I love your “30 before 30” list and how that brought you to so many beautiful adventures, people, and opportunities. You said you also had to deal with challenges along the way. What is the most challenging aspect of your work or the biggest challenge you have dealt with and how did you overcome it?

It can feel very alienating being a solo musician, especially one who hasn’t ‘made any strides’ as it were. I didn’t have many friends in the music world, and it felt increasingly hard to find and keep them. I overcame it kind of by accident by going on a music residency and falling in love with 20 people all at the same time: they’re some of my closest friends still and they’re truly exceptional musicians and artists and friends, and I’m so blessed to have them in my life. 

Anna on stage in London

What is your Mount Everest? What would you love to create in the world?

Am I allowed to say monetary stability through my music? Because…it is that; Creating a career that is steady and fruitful. 

Off course! I’m sure you’ll get there and there will be many more Mount Everests to follow! You attended iDiscover Core in 2018. What is the most inspiring thing that happened to you as a result of attending the Core programme?

It was a chain of events but iDiscover and then Banff later in the year allowed me to feel capable and deserving. So I found a producer, paid him all my savings and made my record, which I then got a record deal for. 

Anna’s essence (center) values, (middle) and purpose (outside) that she created after the Core Programme and is still her screensaver to date.

What do iDiscover and its community mean to you?

It means support, openness, adaptation, honesty, and steady confidence. Also, Gal is a chameleon and I truly believe he adopts whichever role each individual person needs. Amazing. 

What is your most sacred daily/weekly/monthly ritual or performance hack that really works for you? 

Get a radio alarm clock. Or just a normal alarm clock. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PHONE INTO YOUR BEDROOM overnight. In fact, if you can, go one step further and, if you have to use social media things for work, download a social media manager like Later, and delete all the original apps. Procrastination is the thief of time, comparison is the thief of joy, and my fucking phone is the thief of both.

That is some great advice! Phones and all the apps are truly addictive. To close off our interview… What is your guilty pleasure?

I take umbrage with the question: In my opinion, there are no ‘guilty’ pleasures, only pleasures. For some people, my love of power ballads would be a guilty pleasure, for others my eating salt & vinegar crisps at every conceivable opportunity, for others it’d be my sex toy collection ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Haha very true! Thanks so much for the interview Anna. We wish you all the best with your career and can’t wait to hear your debut album!

If you want to stay up to date about Anna’s music be sure to follow her on Instagram!. You can now pre-order Anna’s debut album that will be released on the 29th of January 2021 through her website.