Interview w/ Anastave
We loved Anastave's new album 'I Don't Want You In The Light'. We sat down with her to go through what the album meant to her in more detail. Check out the exclusive interview below!
Did you plan for ‘I Don’t Want You In The Light’ to be an album
before you started writing it? And how long did it take to finish?
Yes and no. I really wanted to make another album, but when I started
writing some of the songs, I initially saw them as singles because I
hadn't thought of the album concept yet. However, as I continued to
write, I found a way to connect them. It didn't follow a strict plan
where I said, "I'll sit down and produce all nine songs for this
record." It happened more organically, and I'm grateful for that. It
actually took me quite a while to finish, longer than I'd like to admit.
Much of it was due to my fear and uncertainty about what the album
would become, and whether I could complete it. Once I let go and
decided, "Yes, I'm doing this," the process sped up.
What was the hardest part of the creative process for you?
The hardest part was letting go of fear and expectations. I had to get past
the overthinking and anxiety and remember that if these songs have
meaning to me, that’s all that matters. People connect to that. If I’m
writing to satisfy something other than myself, I’ll never satisfy that
thing anyway. People connect to realness and authenticity; if you
prioritize outcomes over yourself, you’re never going to be happy.
You released singles ‘Medicine’, and ‘Better / Fake Smile’ already earlier this year, what do those songs mean to you on the album?
These songs hold a special place for me (but I could say that about all of
them, haha). ‘Medicine’ is about what you use to cope with life's
challenges, even when you know it might not be the best choice.
Everyone has a different medicine — it’s the thing you fight against,
but also the one that helps you. ‘Better’ and ‘Fake Smile’ were
different experiences. ‘Fake Smile’ came to me almost immediately,
while ‘Better’ had a few lines written a long time ago that stuck with
me. They resurfaced in my mind last year, and I knew I had to finish
the song. ‘Better’ is about trying to change when you're not ready,
while ‘Fake Smile’ is about feeling like you’ve lost the opportunity to
Your latest release ‘Every Night’ falls in a slightly different direction to the rest of the album, was this intentional?
I have a deep appreciation for 'Every Night.' It used to be my personal
favorite from the album, but that is rotating, and I feel lucky for that.
I’m grateful to have multiple favorites now. Nonetheless, 'Every
Night' holds a special place in my heart because of its distinct
songwriting style. It was the last track I composed for the album.
Had I continued writing after 'Every Night,' there might have been
more songs on the record in a similar vein, but I'm glad it is the sole
representative of its style. This allows it to stand out more — and I
owe it that. ‘Every Night’ liberated me from any creative constraints
and allowed me to create what I wanted without feeling beholden to
any specific style. I was afraid that if I wrote in a different style, it
might not resonate. But through ‘Every Night’ I realized I will always
make a song my own — so while ‘Every Night’ songwriting stems
from a different source, it fits on the album due to its production and
meaning. This really opened up a lot of doors for me.
What is your favorite track on IDWYITL, and why?
I suppose I just touched on this, but if I had to choose, I would say ‘Every
Night’. It’s the song that pushed me out of my comfort zone the most, and
I’m especially proud of the songwriting on it. It showed me that regardless
of what the songwriting style is, I can always infuse it with my own touch
— which gives me a lot of room creatively going forward.
Tell us about the visual aspect of the record, how did you come up with the artistic vision (Artwork, imagery etc.)?
When it came to the album cover, I had a clear vision in mind, particularly
the desire to be present on it, which was a departure from my first record.
I like duplicating images, which is a recurring motif in some of my previous
cover photos. The presence of two of me in this instance has multiple
symbolic meanings. One of the album's central themes, as captured from
the lyric “I Don’t Want You in the Light" from the last song on the album,
"Sympathy," revolves around not wanting to be in the spotlight or
exposed. It speaks to those aspects of ourselves that we prefer to keep
hidden, our desire to project a certain image, and our fear of vulnerability.
"I Don’t Want You in the Light" encapsulates the idea of shying away from
exposure, whether it’s a version of ourselves or a particular feeling, action,
thought, etc. that we don’t want to be seen.
In the album cover, both versions of me are in front of windows. The left
window has only a few bars, while the right one is nearly entirely
obscured. Placed in the middle of these two windows, the title "I Don’t
Want You in the Light" serves as a visual reminder of this theme,
highlighting the tension between what we begrudgingly reveal and what
we choose to keep concealed.
How do you envision playing these tracks live?
I had the incredible opportunity to perform the songs from my album live
this past weekend at my album release show, and it was an amazing
night. The event was hosted at Acud Macht Neu and featured
performances not only by myself but also by four other immensely
talented FLINTA* artists – Berenice Llorens, Yeve, Emme Moises, and
Arlenys. The night kicked off with a B2B DJ set by me and Berenice,
followed by live performances from me, Yeve, Berenice, Emme, and a
great DJ set by Arlenys.
I can't put into words just how excited I am to share these songs live. The
countless hours of hard work and dedication that went into creating this
music make performing them even more fulfilling now that the record is
In terms of the gear I use during live performances, one of my favorites is
the TC Helicon VoiceLive Play vocal processor. It offers creative
possibilities that add something different to my performances.
Do you have any live dates coming up?
Yes! I'm excited to keep performing this record live and witness how the
songs transform, gaining new depth and meaning in a live setting. It's cool
to see which songs resonate when, where, and why. It’s another chance
to do justice to the songs.
What do you want people to take from the LP?
I want people to connect with this album in their own personal way, finding
whatever meaning they need. I hope they can make these songs their
own and discover healing within them, just as I did. Ultimately, I hope
these songs help people feel less isolated and able to connect with
emotions they might find difficult to articulate. I know that’s what they did for me.