A deeply rich singer, Anne Dereaux, sits down with OkayMuva’s own Myles E. Johnson to talk about heartbreak, music and love.
“Every right we made was wrong,” Anne Dereaux coos on the first single from her upcoming project, Lolita. Dereaux sounds like a woman who has arrived on the other side of whatever that bleak, sticky thing we call heartbreak is. It is not a sound associated with fear, scarring or scorn, she instead sounds learned and ready to remember, and that is the point of view that is most interesting about the songstress. Usually, the role of the female singer is to be knee-deep in whatever emotion she is feeling; to be the victim. The idea is to feel like she is going through the traumatic experience as you hear it, but through her songs, Dereaux flips the timeline of the narrative, reflecting on what it took for her to arrive at the other side.
In “mo[u]rning,” Dereaux travels across the sounds of stars shooting and chains dragging, lyrically toying with the idea of the morning of waking up without a lover with the same mourning that comes with physical death; it reminds you of what Timbaland might be doing with Aaliyah today. It reminds you of what Sadé might create if she was 25 in 2017. Comparisons aside, it feels unique. It immediately passes through the layer of pop and R&B singers that seem to be chasing what they are and who they sound like, and immediately finds itself amongst the women who know; the Solange, the Beyoncé, the FKA Twigs, the Jazmine Sullivan, the Kelis. The women who just need the stage and the camera, and the public chases them because they have the mysterious it factor, but it isn’t so mysterious, they just know who the fuck they are and stick close to that space even when they are exploring soundscapes seemingly foreign to them.
I got to sit down with Anne Dereaux for a quick Q+A about heartbreak, music and that sticky, dark thing we call love.