maltings meets: Anna Neale

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posted Mon 05 July 2021

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Described as ''one of the UK's leading acoustic artists'' (London Live Review, UK), Anna Neale will be performing at our summer sounds event on 10 July. We recently caught up with Anna to discuss live shows, lockdown and never losing faith.

We’re delighted that you’ll be performing at the Maltings this month as part of our summer sounds programme. How does playing an outdoor show differ from an indoor venue?

There’s nothing better than playing outside in the sunshine (here’s hoping). Obviously outdoor shows are slightly more exciting because you never know what our great British weather is going to throw at us, but it’s great to be able to enjoy those long light evenings with some fine music!

How would you describe the music you create and what can we expect from your show?

I’ve always been described as a cross between Kate Bush and KT Tunstall. I like to write in a variety of styles, it’s one of the high points of my job as a professional writer that I can create in a multitude of different genres, but for the night it’ll be stripped back with some more relaxed acoustic numbers and a few you can dance too.

Can you tell us about your new single Stormy Daughter?

This is the first song I’ve produced 100% of! I’m a big champion of female producers, so it’s a big step for me. The song is about empowerment, being proud of who you are and standing up for what you believe in and was co-written with Kevin Brennan MP! It will be released in September this year.

What are your favourite summer sounds?

It depends on what mood I’m in. I’m enjoying Wolf Alice’s new album at the moment, reminds me of being a teenager!

A black and white photo of Anna Neale sat on steps

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on all creative industries over the last 18 months. How have you stayed productive and inspired throughout this period?

At the start of the lockdown I was very productive, lots of live online shows, writing sessions, socials over zoom. By the time of the second lockdown all my enthusiasm ebbed away and I found myself in a rather deep period of reflection. I’m still not entirely sure I’m out of that yet. It has been very hard to stay motivated, but I find taking one day at a time very important. In music we are not very good at being kind to ourselves.

How are you preparing for your live shows?

Practice, practice, practice! Despite the studio work my fingers are probably going to be very sore afterwards…

You have many strings to your musical bow and work as an artist, songwriter, composer, engineer and producer. What do you enjoy most?

At the moment I’m very much enjoying producing and writing in the studio with other artists. It’s a honour to be able to help re-tell their stories. I’ll always be fascinated by the recording process, it can be hard work, but at other times it’s simply magical.

You’ve been working in the music industry professionally for twenty years, can you share with us the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?

If you don’t ask (nicely), you don’t get. Go out, meet people, collaborate, but most importantly, keep the faith.

Book tickets for summer sounds: Anna Neale on Sat 10 July at 8pm, here.