Neodym is an artist / singer-songwriter from Cologne, Germany and her new single called “Manifesto” hits the topic of going against Russian-Ukrainian war. This track is like a prayer for peace and a scream to stop war. Neodym is not new at creating songs about challenging topics and mixing in her energy into each piece, manifesto is proof of that. Her song is a great mixture of three different genres which includes 80’s pop, soul, and Bar Jazz that speaks on a topic that not many songwriters are willing to discuss. Neodym is one of the most authentic and electrifying artists we’ve come across in a long time.
UP:Hey Anna! We are pumped to feature you on Unseen Plays. Let’s start this interview off with something we like to ask almost all the artists we feature. How did you get started in music? Where are you from? And really what led you to where you are now with your music?
Anna Katarina: I’m from Nelson, British Columbia – it’s a small but lively picturesque mountain town between Vancouver and Calgary. Music is just in my blood and always has been. There are videos of me dancing and singing since I was 3 years old, and I just never stopped! My mom put me in classical piano when I was 4, which is a big part of my foundation both musically and in regards to work ethic. From there I expanded into voice, violin, flute, and guitar. I’m an adventurer and love trying new things and exploring the world but there is something inside me that has always kept me coming back to music. I credit my success thus far to my incredibly supportive family and a lot of hard work! I feel so grateful for my circumstances but it’s important to acknowledge how much work I’ve put in – it feels really good to be seeing results!
UP: What were some of your inspirations for your new single “December”?
Anna Katarina: Musical influences for this track were Taylor Swift’s Folklore and elements of Maggie Rogers but once I got in the studio I think it took on a truly unique flavour that is my sound. Starting off with these artists as influences made me consider ways to differentiate the parts of the song that are less intuitive to me. I can sing high – so it’s natural to move into a higher register to make a section (usually chorus) pop. I didn’t want to do that with this tune, so I focused more on rhythm and groove within the vocal melody. That ended up giving more room for the bass and higher synth lines.
UP:Give us a bit more details on “December”. What’s it about?
Anna Katarina: I wanted to write a song about a specific moment in time. ‘December’ captures a conversation I had on a snowy dark road in rural British Columbia. It was melancholic and sad but overall for the best because it brought more closure and also made me realize how much better of a place I’m in now.
UP:Do you write and produce most of your music? And have you collaborated or worked with anyone else in the past few years?
Anna Katarina: I write all of my music. I do collaborations too, but this album is all me. Recent cowrites have been ‘Lost Without You’ with Peruvian producer/musician, Gunter Brenner; ‘Let You Down’ with Vancouver-artist, Chris Sol; and many of the songs released under my indie-folk project Rumour Mill with Aline Daigle. I love producing but not alone – I want to be fully involved because it’s my sound and me being represented, but I need to have another producer in the room. It makes for a much more creative and easeful process. It can be tricky finding the right person, but Andy Schichter and I were the perfect match for this project. He’s very creative and comes up with great parts, and is always willing to try any of my ideas.
UP: What would you say is your favorite instrument or tool for writing music?
Anna Katarina: Most recently I’ve been alternating between writing on guitar and piano. Sometimes I like to start a song without an instrument – just with vocals, adding the harmony later. Sometimes I set a parameter to work within: like writing using a specific groove or chordal structure. Other times, I just mess around and see what happens. I’ve also found it helpful to write on instruments I don’t often play because I’m less familiar with what chords are where so I often end up with interesting ideas that I wouldn’t have come up with on an instrument I know well.
UP:Here is our random question that we always include in our interviews. What’s one book you’d recommend to read and why?
Anna Katarina: Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follet. It’s historical, dramatic, revealing, a bit sexy, and is hard to put down. I have also been loving Kate Quinn’s books on World War 2. I like historical fiction a lot.
UP: Lastly, what’s the best place to check out your music and learn more about Anna Katarina?
After being gone for about half a year Jewelia has come back stronger than ever. Surprising her audience with her new pop sound and 2022 single titled “No Lover”. A collaborative masterpiece self-produced by Jewelia and mixed by Nico Battistini, this production is a sexy and intense pop track we couldn’t stop replaying. A perfect amount of catchiness, emotional discord, and empowerment throughout the entire storyline. We follow the lyrics to find out that as much as we want to be with those that make us feel good, sometimes it’s better to let it be. This song allows us to bring awareness to our closest relationships so that we can make all the right decisions and avoid causing a mess. This is a pop song you MUST add to your playlist.
You can listen to Jewelia’s new single “No Lover” below or visit our Unseen Pop Playlist to listen to Jewelia and more artists just like her:
If you haven’t heard of Elle Baez, then it’s time. Her newest single “Pretty Insecurities” is a perfect blend of pop, body positivity, feminism, and most of all empowerment for women. Elle hits the spot with her genuine take on today’s society and the pressures that women feel daily to feel beautiful on the outside. When we read the first few lines in the lyrics starting with “Guess I’ll post another pic in my best dress because the likes will boost my self-esteem” we knew the song would be a much-needed proclamation.
Another great feature of this song is that it was written entirely by a group of powerful women including Elle Baez, Angela Wang, and Jasmine Hildebrandt. The music video is just as great as it includes a collaboration with body-inclusive brand Adore Me which includes Elle and all the ladies wearing pink lingerie. What a badass way to visually represent the song!
If you enjoy artists such as Lizzo and Alessia Cara you will love Elle!
Listen to Elle Baez “Pretty Insecurities below or take a listen to it on our Unseen Pop Playlist to find her song and many more amazing artists:
UP: What’s up Hannah! First off, we’re excited to have you featured on our blog and to be doing this interview with you. Thanks for taking the time to do this quick interview. One of the main questions we ask here at UP is about the artist’s journey. Can you tell us how you got started in music and what led you to where you are now with your music career? Tell us more about you!
Hannah: I have always loved music, and started after I was 6 years old and diagnosed with a Mitochondrial Disorder. I was bullied very frequently, and it was very upsetting, so I would turn my emotion into music. Every day, running home from school, turned on my parent’s computer video camera, recording myself singing original songs.
It wasn’t until 2019 of September, when I got another diagnosis being rushed to the hospital, as a Type One Diabetic. It was scary because I was 17, and at 17 when you hear those words of a new diagnosis, you don’t know exactly what to think. I decided that life is so unexpected and I wanted to make something good out of everything, so I started doing Instagram Livestreams playing my music, and then I started to gain an audience which influenced the album’s recording!
UP: What were some of your goals with your latest self-titled album? Where were you trying to take your music?
Hannah: My goals with my latest self-titled album have been to help people with my music and reach an audience that can feel like they can connect with it. Each person is different, which makes music so personal. Some songs that connect with others, may not connect with me. I always hope my music can connect with somebody just like another artist’s music does for me!
UP: Let’s talk more in-depth about your single “When you are ready to let go”. Can you tell us what this song is about?
Hannah: This song is about letting go of somebody after a breakup. I know sometimes we stalk our exes online or think frequently about them. This is really about letting go, and moving forward, asking that question to them as well “Are You Ready to Let Go.”
UP: Where was your music recorded and who was involved in the entire process for your new album?
Hannah: My Music was recorded at ‘The Tonic Room Recording and Mastering Studios.’ It was such an awesome process, I finished writing the song, and asked my good friend Sam Henry if he would like to sing in it as well! I feel like the duet captured the emotions and we had a very fun time recording the songs as well, and of course, the music video! The music video was recorded in 17-degree Fahrenheit weather, so Sam and I would have to either run to the extremely heater-blasting car or do tons and tons of jumping jacks haha!
UP: How long did it take you to write all your songs and where did you pull all your inspiration?
Hannah: It took me about a few months to complete all of the songs, and my diagnosis was inspiring this. I was inspired by other circumstances as well, like living in California until I was 16, WW2 for my song ‘The Train.’ and being bullied which was shown in my song ‘Fool School.’
UP: Which song is your favorite on your new album and why?
Hannah: My favorite song on the album would have to be ‘Brown Eyes’ because it is very upbeat and happy! It also makes a pretty fun dancing song. The process of recording this song was really fun as we recorded it with a lot of different microphones to give it a bright sound!
UP: Where are the best places listeners and fans can check you out online?
We normally don’t do reviews on cover songs but this one was different and we had to share it with you on our blog. If you’re a fan of Elliot Yamin, Singer and Participant of the original 3rd & 5th Season of American Idol, then you’re going to love this cover of Wait For You by West Hollywood’s Trans Boy Carter Ray featuring Trans Icon Alexa Aabraxas. Carter Ray took an original iconic song and turned it into an electric synth pop song that we can all come to enjoy 15 years later! A brave LGBTQ+ spin that all music lovers can appreciate.
You can listen to the cover of Without You by Carter Ray below: