I heard Ania Soul sing for the first time during Canadian Music Week in Toronto. The power of her vocals blew me away. I was lucky enough to speak with Ania about her background in music, and were she’s going next.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): Your bio said you started in a gospel choir. Can you talk a little bit about that start in music and how it has influenced your music today? What other backgrounds in music do you have?
Ania Soul (AS): My mom is an ordained minister, so I grew up in her church singing, then in my late teens I joined a professional gospel choir which was alot of fun and was really a great platform to use my voice and affirmed what I really wanted to do in life. While living in Edmonton throughout grade school I went to College for jazz vocal performance diploma program. It was cool, but I could have worked a bit harder in the courses, but over all a great experience and added to my career…Other genres that I was attracted to around that time and still today is Rock, reggae, afro beat, hiphop.
RMM: You released your debut album in 2010. What was that experience like? Do you have plans for another album?
AS: I actually released a demo album along with a music video for the Eagle song dir.Chris Strikes. I was eager to get my music into peoples hands and a band member at the time was a student at Recording Arts Canada (RAC) and needed to record a band for his assignment, so it worked out and I got some free studio time live off the floor. But I am looking forward to releasing a full length album this year, some of the songs already are produced by King Luck who is a great producer and we work well together, he understands what i want musically and able to interpret it; so it’s exciting to work with someone that gets me.
RMM: At Raz Mataz, we’ve been talking a lot about how musicians, especially independent artists, are responding to the rising trend of illegally downloaded music. How are you reacting to this trend?
AS: Well for me, I get that artists are hard workers and alot of time under-minded as their art is taken for granted through piracy. But it’s time for artists to be clever about how they put their music out there. I love it when artists offer free downloads of songs or whole albums for that matter like Drake, the Weeknd, Ian Kamau and more. Or Radiohead giving consumers a choice in how much they want to spend on their album…I think art, which is our stories are meant to be shared and we artists should be compensated. but sometimes you gotta give a little to get what you want.
RMM: Can you talk a little about your songwriting methods? (ie, do you write alone, do you write from personal experiences, etc)
AS: Songwriting for me is personal, so ya I do write alone…I am very open to writing with others but songwriting seems to be something I do in my bedroom to tell my stories which is usually from personal experience. I haven’t really been eager to share that process with someone or create a new process but that’s changing which I am grateful for…it’s good to embrace change and i want to come out of my comfort zone and challenge my self.
RMM: What does it mean to you to be a good soul singer? Who are your icons?
AS: haha being a good soul singer to me means singing from every fibre of your being, every cell of your body and putting it into your songs and delivering your story with your all. It means becoming one with your song, and when that happens that listener feels it no doubt…My icons i would have to say are Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston…they truly embodied soul for me.
RMM: What’s next? (ie, upcoming tours, albums, awards, etc)
AS: Right now I am waiting on indie label support to release an album;I am crafting some amazing live shows and I am looking forward to collaborating with other artists -writing and performing, I am antsy to get my stories that are bubbling up inside of me out, so anticipating the future with a new album and lots of live shows!