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Check out our interview with electronic Artist and Producer Annie Elise.

Annie is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer on a mission to increase the number of female producers in the industry, and she recently released her second single, “We Can Pretend”.

Co-produced with Josiah Soren and mastered by GRAMMY Foundation Treasurer Piper Payne, the track captures the feeling of wishing that the real world could be just as nice as those that we dream about. The sparkling textures showcase Annie’s production and performance talents, and speak to her versatility as an artist.

Follow Annie @annieelisemusic

Hi Annie, please tell us a little about you?

Hey, thanks for having me! I’m a music producer/artist from Central PA, currently based in Boston. I grew up as a classically trained violinist, and then when a diagnosis of focal dystonia forced me to stop playing, I shifted into electronic production and I’ve been happy here ever since! I gave a popular TEDx talk about synesthesia and how it affects my creative processes called “Seeing Sound: How Synesthesia Can Change Our Thinking” that got over 120k views. More recently, I’ve been a brand ambassador for MXL mics, XLN Audio, Kilohearts, and Baby Audio and I’ve been fortunate to win some remix contests and even score a nomination for Best Pop Artist in the Central PA Music Awards. That was a huge honor.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Motivated, creative, curious

How did you get started in the business?

When I was in 4th grade, my dad who works as a middle school music educator brought home an iMac with GarageBand on it to have me test out the new curriculum. I instantly fell in love with it and just sort of never stopped!

How has this changed your life?

I can’t imagine my life without music. When you start working in the music industry, it’s not a 9-5 job, it’s more like a 24/7 job. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but most days it’s my dream job. I love getting to make music and work with artists/other creatives all day. I’ve met some really cool people and made great friends through doing this work. It’s definitely changed my life for the better!

We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?

When I first found out that I had synesthesia, I began to make some music based off of the condition, and soon had enough tracks to put together a short LP called Synesthesia. The director of TEDx Lancaster heard about it and invited me to come speak, saying that the creative process of synesthesia would make for an interesting talk. After my talk “Seeing Sound: How Synesthesia Can Change Our Thinking” went live on YouTube, it went viral, and has now become the most-watched talk on the subject in TEDx history. That was the first time that I seriously considered going into the music industry as a career. Then I got accepted at Berklee College of Music on a scholarship to study music production, and I’ve been happily producing music ever since!

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Floaty, colorful, electronic.

Who are some of your musical influences?

Musically and conceptually, my artist project is very inspired by artists like Bad Snacks, Dolltri!ck, Charlie Puth, and Doja Cat. That’s quite a lot of very diverse influences, but somehow aspects from all of them can be found in the type of music that I enjoy making. I’m also really inspired by the artists that I work with – they inspire me every day. Right now I’m working with Damoyee, and her artistry is incredibly inspiring to me.

Do you play any instrument?

I do! My main instruments are violin/viola, but I also sing, finger drum, and play synthesizers. I use a lot of those things in my production as well.

Do you ever get nervous?

I used to get really nervous! I grew up playing classical violin and it can get really competitive. I had such bad performance anxiety before auditions especially. But over time, you start to learn how your body reacts to pressure and you can prepare for it. I have found that I can keep mine in check by taking two deep breaths and eating half a bar of dark chocolate. I save the other half for when I’m done 🙂

Another thing that I have learned – bear with me – is how to fail. I think that I’ve gotten pretty good at “de-pressurizing the moment” and realizing that a failure is okay, too. My parents used to throw me a fail party if something went really wrong, and it really helped me learn to take myself a little less seriously. And it made a lot of the nerves completely go away!

Tell us about your new single “We Can Pretend?” What’s the story behind the song?

“We Can Pretend” is a song that explores the spaces between dreams and reality. We initially wrote it to be about a false awakening, you know, when you wake up in your dream but you’re still asleep – but the song turned into so much more than that. It’s interesting to explore the concept of wishing you could get away from reality, especially during the past year. I think it’s something we all wish for at some point in time, and although we know it’s something we know we can never get, it is nice to pretend for a little bit. I think there’s great comfort in that. I also got to make the song with some friends that I’ve never got to meet in person, which was really special.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part of production is when I send the track to an artist and they LOVE it. I save those texts/emails because it reminds me why I do what I do. The most rewarding part of being an artist is hearing other people interact with your work. Hearing people sing it, wear my merch, remix or flip something I’ve made, or even just watch my videos or come to my shows means so, so much. Knowing that they have invited my art to be a part of their life is an honor I don’t even have the right words to express.

What book should every entrepreneur read?

Performing Under Pressure. That book first introduced me to de-pressurizing situations and helped me be able to be my best self even when the stakes are high. Every entrepreneur, artist, and person working in the entertainment industry should read that book, seriously.

How would your best friend describe you?

I think that they’d probably describe me as creative, enthusiastic, and dedicated. I am known to work at weird hours of the night and have a lot of energy without drinking any caffeine, haha.

What’s next for Annie Elise in 2021?

We’ve got an EP on the way later this year, as well as a run of shows coming up in the fall. We’ve been working hard to take the electronic production on the road and I’m so proud of the show that we have! I’m also working on a tutorial series for Kilohearts using their Phase Plant plugin. That’s going to be super fun!

What is your favorite healthy food?

I’m a sucker for some good cheese. The weirder and sharper the better! And nothing beats a perfectly ripe peach.

And your favorite cheat food?

Is sesame chicken a cheat food? I LOVE sesame chicken. There’s a place I love that’s right across from my apartment and let me tell you, it’s dangerous for my diet and my wallet!

How would you explain your fashion style?

Purple and confident. I’ve got curly purple hair which is definitely my favorite part of my artist aesthetic. I like to dress in things that make me feel confident!

Best advice ever given?

“Trust your instincts” told to me by one of my first production mentors. I think about that advice often. It’s so easy to get in your own head and second guess every aspect of being a producer and an artist. Remembering that my instincts as a musician are reliable is incredibly grounding.

Do you support any charity?

I’m a proud partner of the non-profit “Someone To Tell It To” which is dedicated to the power of compassionate listening. In today’s world – and also as a producer – listening is just so important for better understanding those around us. I’m happy to support the cause and I’m excited to continue working on musical projects with them!

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

In 5 years, I hope to help other women in music production feel safe and supported in their work. Only 2% of producers in the industry are female, and I hope to help increase that number in the coming years.

What do you think of Social Media?

I think that it can be a great tool and a great source of inspiration, but like most tha

Where can we follow you?

You can find me on any platform at @annieelisemusic! I’m most active on Instagram and Twitter, and also in my discord server I have for musicians/producers/music enthusiasts. You can join The Annie Elites server here!

 

Book: “Performing Under Pressure” by Hendrie Weisinger & J. P. Pawliw-Fry

Quote: “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing.
If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.” – Aretha Franklin

Movie: La La Land

Tv Series: Bojack Horseman

Favorite Food: Sesame Chicken

Travel Destination: Alaska

Sports Team: Boston Red Sox

 


 

Photo Credit: Madison Jonap