Ane okayplayer2017 18
Ane okayplayer2017 18
Photo of ANE taken by Garrett Clare for Okayplayer.

First Look Friday: Ane Is Not Just Another Girl, She's A Force To Take Notice

Photo of ANE taken by Garrett Clare for Okayplayer. Photo of ANE taken by Garrett Clare for Okayplayer.

If you're like us then you like your music with a bit of contradiction. However you may call it... sophistiratchet ("Bad & Boujee") or intelligent gangsta (Styles P) or whatever — you just know you're not into cookie cutter music that was produced in a lab somewhere. With that said, allow us to introduce you to not just another pretty face, New Jersey's own Ane. Pronounced "Ann-nee," this beautiful Korean-American singer-songwriter has music that make you think as well as consume you from head-to-toe. Fusing the best elements from pop, soul and electro, Ane's sound is a sheer contrast of old school grooves + today's sounds that makes for an appetizing delight for anyone's earholes.

Not bad for somebody who grew up without a TV for most of her childhood, right? After coming of age, Ane settled for New York City where she embarked on a musical journey that led to her being a distinctive voice within the city that never sleeps. Representing an evolution, "A New Era," or ANE is just as impressive as her voice. Not one to shy away from the tough questions of life, songs like "Superwoman" and "Take Me To Hollywood," represent an artist who is constantly adjusting to an industry, nay a world, that continuously changes around her yet doesn't have enough to distract her from her goal.

Nothing is quite what it seems with Ane as you'll read in this week's First Look Friday feature. We were fortunate to have her come into office so Garrett Clare could capture her mysterious energy. Quick note: Ane will be performing at Uptown Soul Lounge on Jan. 27, so get your RSVP on and check her out! And equally cool was to be able to show off her latest video, "R.S.D.," which stands for the words in the chorus but also allude to being a drug. According to the artist who was inspired by The BeatlesStevie Wonder and TLC — "R.S.D. is a song about toxic love," she explained to us. "It is the kind of love that captivates you and consumes you at the same time. You blindly fall into this trap where you would rather crash and burn together than make it out alone."  Sounds like some powerful stuff, right? Well, without any further ado, we present Ane as our First Look Friday — she talks about developing as an artist, what obstacles she's overcome and shares the inspiration behind a song she's never put out.

Be sure to also press play on the "R.S.D." video and enjoy learning about this new and engaging voice from New Jersey!

Okayplayer: To music snobs the world over, you are making an impact. What is it that those in music game are seeing and hearing that the rest of the world has yet to discover?

ANE: I have a lot more to offer in the near future but what you can expect to see and hear from me are the songs and melodies of a poetic, old soul living in the modern world.

OKP: For those who have a passion for music, they honed their skills and practiced their craft. Who are your most cherished influences in music and why?

A: My most cherished influences in music are Nina SimoneLauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse because they are impactful, honest female influences. They were never scared to show their vulnerabilities no matter how ugly they could be at times. They were imperfect at best, singing out their heartache through their songs.

OKP: Can you talk about how your life was while developing as an artist? How did you react to your first bits of press?

A: Blood, sweat and tears. I have ran around in circles trying to be an artist, wasted a lot of money, slinging two-to-three service jobs at a time. I have learned a lot about myself through this journey. I have failed time and time again only to come back and try again. I never recommend being a struggling artist to anyone [laugh]. Don't do it! I didn't choose it... it chose me. The first time I ever got press was a few years back and I was very excited. I thought it would be life-changing, but the one thing I [did] learn from that experience was that consistency was key. [Getting] press is cool, but gaining a solid fan base is what is truly life-changing.

OKP: With incidents involving people of color, police and racist occurring almost on a daily basis around the globe — how can your music (and/or others) help to relieve the trauma that is being experienced by the masses?

Photo of ANE taken by Garrett Clare for Okayplayer. Photo of ANE taken by Garrett Clare for Okayplayer.

A: To be honest with you, I am still digesting this recent exposure of American bigotry and racism. Of course, I have experienced racism before and have been exposed to it, but I also think I am very spoiled. I grew up around and worked in a city like New York, so I don't even stop and think about the spectrum of diversity that I am exposed to in my personal life. Witnessing outright racism and police brutality involving people of color is heartbreaking, and I think we have been so numb in pretending everything OK. We still have a lot of fighting to do and we cannot deny the heartache and blood of black Americans pumping through the veins of this country. I think my music and the music of others can always lend to healing and relieving trauma. Whether the music has a political message or not—music is unifying. Melody is the one universal language. Sound waves and vibrations are the heartbeat of life. To use that as an art form and send it into the universe means you are changing someone's life in some way.

OKP: What have been the most definitive obstacles that you’ve overcome in your career thus far?

A: My biggest obstacle so far has been getting out of my own way! I am a Virgo and my perfectionism comes out mostly through my music. But my motto now is "progress not perfection."

OKP: Can you also talk about the importance of the music industry scene as how you’ve experienced it? How do you see it evolving in the next five years?

A: I feel like the music industry / scene feels like a popularity contest. It is all about how many followers you have on social media or what blog placements you can land. It has become more about lifestyle and less about music. I think it is going to just get more extreme in the next five years because we are all overly stimulated. Still, I believe that good music will always stand the test of time. No one can deny an infectious song.

OKP: What are some things that you’ve learned about yourself that comes out in your music?

A: I am imperfect.

OKP: What were some moments from your recent travels that will forever stick with you? Why?

A: I need to leave this country. Why? Because I went to Florida [laughs]. Just kidding. But really, I would like to get outside of my grind more often and travel.

OKP: What was the first song that you ever wrote entitled? Can you talk about what it has come to symbolize since you’ve entered into the professional life?

A: I really cannot remember the name. All I remember is that it kind of sounded like Portishead, but like a bad version.

OKP: How can your music speak truth to power in an age where people are so quickly digesting sounds and disposing of artists in a nanosecond?

A: It can do such by me being honest in my music.

OKP: Collaboration is uniquely a key to the success of certain creative individuals who wish to change the game. Who would you want to work with this year going into the next and why?

Photo of ANE taken by Garrett Clare for Okayplayer. Photo of ANE taken by Garrett Clare for Okayplayer.

A: I do not have any collabs on this upcoming EP, but I definitely will be featuring other artists on the next one. At the moment, I am not sure what other artists I want to work with, but I want to continue working with Jayne Lies (directed and styled, "R.S.D.") on visuals and keep building with the 2G Team. My dream collabs are PharrellDev Hynes, and Sia to name a few.

OKP: What is the overall message that ANE is trying to present in her music?

A: There is no overall message... Each song, each project is just a reflection of what I was going through at the time. It'll always be evolving. You know when you have an itch and you can't scratch it? That is how I feel about my music. If I don't let this song out into the universe then I will be a hot mess. And singing is my first love before writing... [to me] singing feels like flying.

OKP: Can you break down the inspiration behind a song that you created but never put out?

A: I wrote this song called "Emergency 911" that I never put out. The intro was my answering machine at the time. I was like, "Hey guys, sorry I've missed your call. I was in the hospital because I broke my back." Yeah, it was a song about coming home from a Police concert, attempting to climb my balcony after forgetting my keys and ending up in a back brace for three months. It may sound a bit psychotic, but I used to climb up my balcony a lot. I had a bad habit of climbing things and thinking I was invincible. Being an adrenaline junkie when I was younger [was cool, but] now I just exercise and do aggressive sports [laughs].

OKP: How do you see yourself changing the music industry for the better versus all of the bad stuff that goes on within it?

A: I have no idea! I am just trying to do me. I am no Jesus [laughs]. All I can do is be honest and true to myself, to others and to my craft.

OKP: How do you get over any anxiety before hitting the stage to perform live? What are some lessons or tips that you’ve learned from others about doing a stage show?

A: I still get nervous no matter what... Rehearsal always sounds better than the show. The best thing for me to do is to get some alone time and zone in to run through the material a few times.

OKP: If the reader’s learned one thing from this First Look Friday chat with ANE — what would it be?

A: I am just a quirky Korean American chick from New Jersey trying to sing my heart out before I leave this universe.

Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for more from ANE (and us!) by following her on Twitter @AneMusicNYC.