The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Anastave
Photo: Jeremy Willie Cox
After captivating us with her transportive single 'Medicine' in the middle of last year, Berlin-based artist, songwriter and producer Anastave recently returned once again to unveil her mesmerising double A side effort 'Better / Fake Smile'.
With 'Better' acting as the darker and more atmospheric piece of the two, Anastave is looking to highlight the juxtaposition within her direction of late. As 'Fake Smile' ventures down a more alt-pop-inspired route, she has returned with a truly warm and distinctive pair of offerings that perfectly illustrates her malleable and adventurous intentions this past year.
So with the new singles available to stream now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and influences over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
Nope! I started writing myself when I was younger, but never formed a band.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
Making music helps me connect with myself and get all my feelings out there. It’s very cathartic. Listening to other people’s music is also very helpful — it helps me feel like I’m not alone, which was very important for me when I was growing up. One of my major inspirations is to help others feel less alone, while also helping myself by being reminded that I’m not alone either.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
I don't think there is one. I respect other artists being their unique selves, and I think songs are so great because they come from the artist directly, and no one else — no one else could write them in the same way. There are countless songs I love, though; a few of them are Burial's “Archangel", Aphex Twin's “Windowlicker”, Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars”, and Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
The very first time someone told me my music got them through a difficult situation. Someone was writing to me as they were listening to my music and said, “Go ahead and have my heart - you can take it.” That being said, I love those early moments, but I wouldn’t go back to them because I’m so much more at peace with who I am now, and while those moments were great, I didn’t feel the way I feel now. I don’t give too much weight to what other people think of my music as I did previously.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
The answer to a question like this would change pretty often for me. Primarily, I want my music to mean something to the people who hear it. So when thinking about who to open for, I'd like to open for someone whose audience would get something out of my music. Sometimes people tell me that certain elements of my music make them think of Massive Attack, and it would definitely be cool to open for them.
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
I would love to collaborate with Moderat and DJ Koze.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I see myself continuing to do what I love, and continuing to grow as a person. I really enjoy composing music for visual media and hope to do more of that. I also work with a New York-based organization, Road Recovery, connecting at-risk youth with lyrical and musical expression. I’m currently working with a group of girls in a treatment center, helping them to write songs to express themselves. It’s a huge joy and privilege and I am very excited to continue this work.
Anastave's new singles 'Better / Fake Smile' are available to stream. Listen to them both below.