Using an eclectic and unique sound, US-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Anjali Rose brings the music of life to her listeners. We speak with this talented artist about her new album Shadow Works, inspiration, future plans and what she would take to a desert island.
OSR: What drew you to music?
Rose: My mom wanted me and my brother to take piano lessons as a kid. I rarely practised in the ways my teachers wanted me to but I loved playing all the songs we learned, especially once I got more into the romantic era of classical music. I also sang in the school chorus and many choirs. Music has always been an outlet for me, a healing practice to lose track of time and channel all these emotions.
OSR: What inspires you to create music?
Rose: Many things, people, nature, love, loss…life is the muse I guess. For me, music is the most tangible art form I can grasp to truly express myself.
OSR: What is the backstory to your album Shadow Works?
Rose: Shadow Works is a collection of songs I’ve been recording in various places while touring and moving around a lot as a solo artist. As a person between the ages of 19 to 25, I wanted to share a statement as an expression of gratitude and acknowledgement for the growth I’ve achieved in these past five years and felt like releasing this project would help me get a better sense of what kind of artist I am and becoming. A lot of the songs are also therapeutic conversations I’ve had with myself, my past, my thoughts. The end of Side A and Side B end as more general songs pointed towards the listener…sort of to invert the energy that they were just presented so they can do their own self-reflection as well as relax and enjoy the juxtaposition between brooding sad diary entry vibes to chill, ambient, warming vibes.
OSR: Do you have a favourite track on the album?
Rose: I’ve had moments of love for each track, usually right after I add all the parts and start to dig in and polish the mix. I guess today I feel drawn to ‘Lingering Loves’ for its lyrics. Though I think the last track is my best recorded/ mixed; it’s also the most recently made one.
OSR: What about a least favourite track?
Rose: I also get annoyed at ‘Lingering Loves’ ironically. I would like to re-record it knowing some things I learned after the fact but I didn’t have the same gusto I had when I recorded it in the moment so decided to archive it as was.
OSR: If you could change one thing about Shadow Works, what would it be and why?
Rose: I guess building off that last question I would re-record some of the songs. A few were recorded via takes on my phone through the phone mic that I then mixed into ableton or reaper, but the rooms weren’t treated and there was no pop filter and sometimes my mouth was too close to the mic.
OSR: What was the creative process behind Shadow Works?
Rose: A lot of those songs came from moments where I felt really emotional, sad, moved, and just had to get something. Literally, nothing else mattered than to get the tunes to a point where I could understand how they fit in my brain and can be satisfied with their sound and meaning.
OSR: If you were on a desert island and could take one thing, what would they be?
Rose: Something to purify water so it’s drinkable. I think hikers use these UV light things or some folks use something you can stir in water.
OSR: What advice do you have for emerging artists?
Rose: To trust in the universe and invest their time, love, and energy in being a creator that is honest and building a community around sharing that honesty, and that love.
OSR: What does the future hold?
Rose: I have been marinating an album recorded in my friend’s small church turned studio for about two years and now found a woman who can master it and a potential videographer/animator who can make music videos to accompany the project. I just need to finish the mix and work on the final stages and share it with the world either independently or through a small label I trust. Hopefully within the next year or two.
I also started making electronic music and have been performing it solo and my more indie neo-folk work with a band based out of Brooklyn. I plan to combine all the genres I’m interested in with one live set but it will take some time.