16th Annual Artist Survey: Anna Calvi

Calvi on Childhood Birthday Parties and Vacations and Her Most Surreal Experience in the Music Industry

Mar 20, 2019 Issue #65 - Mitski and boygenius
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For Under the Radar's 16th Annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the last year, plus some fun personal questions. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2018 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Anna Calvi.

Calvi released a new album, Hunter, in 2018 via Domino. It was Calvi's third album and first album in five years, the follow-up to 2011-released self-titled debut and 2013's sophomore album, One Breath (which were both nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize). Hunter is equally as lush and passionate as her first two albums. Nick Launay (Nick Cave) produced Hunter and it features Adrian Utley from Portishead and Martyn Casey from The Bad Seeds, among others. Thematically, Hunter deals with gender. "I want to go beyond gender," said Calvi in a statement announcing the album. "I don't want to have to chose between the male and female in me. I'm fighting against feeling an outsider and trying to find a place that feels like home." The album's first single, "Don't Beat the Girl Out of My Boy" tackles how children at a young age are conditioned to conform to gender stereotypes, particularly how small boys are taught not to cry or express emotions.

For our annual Artist Survey we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about the midterm elections, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West visiting the White House, the #MeToo movement a year later, mental health conditions in the music industry, whether or not they have Flossed, childhood birthday parties and vacations, which Muppets character they are most like, whether or not they are going to The Good Place after death, and much more.

What was the highlight of 2018 for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?  

Releasing my record, because I've been working on it for several years now so it was great to finally get it out to the world. Nothing career wise, I don't really have anything to complain about.

What's your favorite birthday party memory from childhood?

My Aunt was a bit crazy and when I was eight years old she came to my birthday party dressed as a witch and had a sword and was showing all these terrified eight year olds this sword.

What was your favorite family vacation as a kid? What was your least favorite?

I remember going to Universal Studios in Hollywood and that blew my mind. The E.T. ride I thought actually had E.T., so that was cool.

What's been your most surreal experience in the music industry?

Brian Eno coming to one of my shows with a tub of moon dust and he was showing it to me back stage, which was pretty surreal.

When you die do you think you're going to the good place or the bad place?

I think that I'll become nothing, to be depressing, but I don't believe in a good or a bad place.

[Note: This interview originally appeared in Under the Radar's Issue 65, which is out now. This is its debut online.]

www.annacalvi.com

Read our 2018 Self-Portrait interview with Anna Calvi.

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