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  • Kenny Sandberg

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

change.


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

out.


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.




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