New York-born singer, “soul-writer,” fashion designer, and multi-instrumentalist Annalise Azadian brings her unique perspective on culture, art, and creativity to her music. After leaving Berklee College of Music to pursue her music aspirations, Azadian continuously worked towards what was ahead of her, moving in faith and not in fear: “These things don’t come easy and even when life knocks you down 100 times you have to get up 101 times,” explains Azadian to Kulture Hub.
The twenty-three-year-old singer’s music encapsulates a genre-blending sound, exploring styles of pop and R&B while never pigeon-holing itself to one genre. Azadian struck gold last year with the release of her visual EP, Six weeks of 7, which notched up millions of streams and garnered her thousands of fans. Azadian follows the success of her EP with the release of her newest single, “Life of The Party,” a smokey pop number produced by H.E.R and Kehlani collaborator Swagg R’Celious.
To celebrate her latest release, we spoke with Annalise Azadian about her journey to success, her future plans, and her creative processes.
What does your song “Life of the Party” mean to you?
The meaning of my song Life of the Party is almost contradicting the title. As much as it is fun to be the life of the party, sometimes I like to just be in the corner keeping to myself, not necessarily in the spotlight. I wrote the song with an alternative point of view on the popular and often expected interpretation of the typical use of the phrase ‘life of the party’.
How would you say “Life of the Party” differs from your past releases?
Historically my music has had a more soulful vibe or I’ve leaned a bit more urban R&B. LOTP differs because it’s more of a pop record compared to my acoustic slow vibes on my previous projects. The storytelling and topic is also different as most of my previous records were love/heartbreak tracks.
You recently released a visual album, Six weeks of 7, and a music video for your newest single, “Life of the Party”––In your opinion, how do your videos inform your music?
Six weeks of 7 visual album is my baby. That’s the purest form of me, visually, that my fans will ever see from me from here on out. It was my brainchild and I think it lets the viewer get to know me on a more personal level with my music being the soundtrack to it.
I had short videos for each soundtrack, but most important was if you watched the seven-minute long-form, it is a combination of autobiographical content and visuals that bring the song lyrics to life and showcase me in very rare and raw forms. I believe the videos are critical elements to bring my music to life. My visuals always paint the picture of the message in my songs or give you the vibe and setting.
That leads us to the next question. How would you describe the imagery surrounding “Life of the Party?”
The imagery surrounding “Life of the Party” is the cliche house party but with a fun creative twist ending with the abstract shot of me in Vegas at the Seven Magic Mountains wandering alone in this desolate area as if it was all just a daydream of being this Life Of The Party girl.
While you’re just 23, you have been working towards building a music career for many years. What advice would you give your younger self?
I’ve been working on music for 13 years of my life. I would tell my younger self to always keep your head up and have perseverance because it is a long & hard journey, but the small wins really do add up and it’s an amazing feeling knowing you worked extremely hard for the success. I still have a long way to go but I am building and I’m not afraid of hard work.
Do you think that growing up in New York has influenced your experiences as an artist?
Growing up in New York has definitely influenced me as an artist and human being. There is literally no place like New York. You have to always be on your toes because anything can happen. But also, you can just be authentically you. You have no choice but to be a hustler too. I love that New York is a melting pot of different cultures much of which has framed who I am and the experiences I have had.
Your music is impossible to pigeonhole into one genre––how would you describe your style of music? Do you think your style of music has shifted throughout the years?
I have never wanted to fit into one box as a genre or artist. I think that’s me as a person too. I like what I like, not because of what I am supposed to like. As a person I am constantly changing just like my music, the different things I grow through is what my music represents and my moods at certain times in my life. I feel like the distinction about me is the tone of my voice, my flow and lyrics. Now, whether the beat changes, I am still Annalise.
You have a signature phrase, “you are now entering a vibe.” How would you describe your vibe?
‘You Are Now Entering A Vibe’ is actually my videographer Steve Muelz tag. That’s his signature on all his videos. We work very closely together and he’s worked with me on more than 30 videos over the last two years. His tag is perfect with my music and vibe as well. I’m very blessed to have crossed paths with him.
How has the pandemic affected your plans as a growing artist? And, how have you been able to continue working towards your goals this past year, despite the pandemic?
The pandemic affected me initially, having to cancel a couple shows I had lined up. Thankfully right before the pandemic, I had planned on dropping my Six Weeks of 7 EP so I had shot all the scenes I needed for the visual album already. Once we were in lockdown I got to really flesh out the creative rollout plan for it despite the pandemic. I kind of stayed on the move because I was still working through it, but it was crazy to see how massively the world changed.
What are your goals for this year? Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
My goals for this year is to fully define myself as an artist. This past year I hit major milestones like 2 million streams on my single “Bogu$.” I was fortunate to get into the studios to work with legends and I’ve grown into a better version of myself.
This year I want to flourish completely and shine. I hope to see the results of my hard work and long-unseen hours pay off and my music to continue to scale, find new fans and reach the next level in my career. I am excited to have another project on the way and would love to go on tour at the end of the summer. Then hopefully, at the top of next year, put out a full album.