While I was in LA, I had the pleasure of speaking to newly transplanted LA musician Anna Auerbach. With a unique, soulful sound, and stellar style, I was instantly hooked on everything she was about. We did a mini interview with her to get her take on style, the music industry and the best advice to give aspiring musicians. Check it out below!
v+v: Give me your name, profession, and a little “about me”.
a: My name is Anna Auerbach. I’m a nanny during the day and aspiring rock star the rest of the time. I’m originally from Fort Collins, CO, and I just moved to the LA area in early June for a new start in a musically-inspiring place. I’ll tell anyone that I was born in the wrong generation, and you’ll probably always find me in a vinyl shop, yoga studio, or daydreaming with my headphones in.
v+v: What motivates you to make music?
a: Project retty much everything motivates me to make music. I was an incredibly shy and quiet child that didn’t even like to be left at preschool, but one day I saw an after-school teacher playing acoustic guitar and I knew I had to learn. I got my first guitar when I was five and since then it’s been the primary place that I find my identity. Song writing and performing is not only emotionally cathartic, but it’s the place where I find that all allusive feeling of “home.”
v+v: What was the moment you realized you wanted to pursue music full time?
a: I’ve always fantasized about being the next Stevie Nicks, but I didn’t really consider it as an option for a full-time pursuit until my first year of college. I remember being in the dorms and having people stop by my room to listen while I played, or a bunch of friends would pile in my car to watch me play at local bars. One of my roommates was going through a breakup, and one day she pulled me aside and said, “this song is everything I needed to hear. I found strength in your lyrics.” That was the moment that I realized I could maybe give back a little to the world what music has given me.
v+v: What has been your most trying obstacle? How have you overcome it?
a: As cliche as it sounds, I’ve had a lot of people try and tell me who to be. Ex-boyfriends, family members, and even some people in the music industry have had very specific ideas on what my life should look like, and I am still figuring out how to block out those voices. I firmly believe that everyone’s greatest obstacle is un-learning what we’ve grown up being taught is acceptable or necessary, and getting back to the mindset of when we whole-heartedly believed that we could do anything. for me, that means remembering and honoring the small, five-year old girl who got a guitar for christmas and decided she was going to make magic with it.
v+v: Who are some of your icons: fashion and music wise?
a: I’ve always been obsessed with everything having to do with the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. It was a time that I feel perfectly captured that carefree feeling of cruising a small town on a friday night, listening to great records with your friends. high-waisted bell bottoms, peasant tops, long and wild hair, and PLATFORMS. 😍 My idol in fashion, music, and life will always be Stevie Nicks. I also take style inspiration from Jerry Hall, Anita Pallenberg, Grace Slick, and any character from Dazed and Confused. my biggest musical influences are Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, The Guess Who, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals.
v+v: What is something you would change about the way women in music are treated in business or in the media?
a: I would love to see a rebirth of women that aren’t afraid to write and performs songs of substance. Part of why I love the 60’s and 70’s so much is because female artists such as Stevie Nicks, Grace Slick, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, etc., didn’t shy away from saying what they thought and felt, and going to head to head with male rock/folk artists. I would also want women to feel comfortable in deciding whether to embrace their sexuality, or to make art that doesn’t openly acknowledge it, and have it be okay either way. It has felt lately like you could do just about anything and someone will have something negative or degrading to say, and it’s more often than not women attacking other women. Let’s all support each other! One woman’s success is not a threat to another’s.
v+v: How does your sense of style tie into your music?
a: Because I’m so heavily influenced by the style of the 60’s and 70’s, I tend to write music that mirrors the music of that time. There is a lot of acoustic guitar with authentic instrumentation (I don’t have a lot of electronic aspects), and my lyrics are the primary focus. It encompasses a lot of rock n roll, folk, blues, and early country, to try and recapture that “all american” feeling that artists like the Eagles mastered so well.
v+v: Favorite item in your closet?
a: My high-waisted bell bottoms.
v+v: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other women trying to pursue a career in music.
a: Know who you are, but don’t be afraid to evolve with your inspiration. two years ago, I would not be confident enough to take risks and put out stuff that is closer to an oldies station than top 40, but it’s who I am, so I need to stay true to that! I’m not nor will I ever be a pop princess, and it’s completely okay if you are. know that there are plenty of people waiting for you to fail, but there are so many more that want to see you succeed. It’s a disservice to the world and yourself to deny your talent and passion.
v+v: What is your greatest accomplishment thus far? What are your plans for the future!
a: So far my greatest accomplishment is finally being able to articulate who I am as an artist. In this world of “branding” that we live in, it is vital that you have enough sense of self to know it and own it. As for my plans for the future, I try not to get too ahead of myself. Right now, I plan to continue writing music, hopefully putting out an EP soon, and getting out to perform around LA more! I’m just excited to see where life and music take me.