Photo Credit: Jeremy Willie Cox

Anastave is a recording artist and producer based in Berlin. Her last release ‘Medicine’ was picked up by a significant amount of press and credited for being a refreshing take on modern electronic music. Her drive to experiment sets her apart from her peers and casts her in the realm of some of the most respected musicians, such as Massive Attack, Björk and Nicolas Jaar.

She has been carefully crafting her sound and developing her following since her debut album in 2016, but is now set to take on the next step of her career, marked by a maturity that can be heard in the double A side single. Focus single – ‘Better’ has been years in the making, but it needed more experience from Anastave before revealing itself at last. Conversely, ‘Fake Smile’ made its way through almost immediately, displaying the contrast in how creativity works. Similarly the tracks also display different sides of Anastave, showing feelings of needing to prove oneself in ‘Better’, and the need to heal in ‘Fake Smile’.

What inspired this release? 

I’ve been releasing a number of singles in 2022 and wanted to do  something a little different for my final release of the year. I thought these  songs pair together really well. One is about the yearning to be someone  you’re not — to try to change when you’re not ready (“Better”) — and one  is about the regret you can feel when you’ve lost your opportunity to  change, like you’re destined to be the person you don’t want to be  anymore (“Fake Smile”).  

What makes these songs special in your opinion? 

These songs mean a lot to me and I hope they mean a lot to the people  who get to hear them. One thing that makes them special is how they  were made — exemplifying two different creative methods. “Better” was  written years ago — at least the first four lines and some other sections —  but I couldn’t quite finish it. I put it aside until this year, at which point it  reappeared and kept circling around in my head. I knew I had to finish it  so I sat down and made it happen. When I recorded it, with the benefit of  experience and hindsight, I could feel the old me — as if I was writing  from the perspective of the person I was back then. 

“Fake Smile”, on the other hand, was written and finished almost  immediately. I felt inspired and sat down to write and the whole thing just  came out of me. The progression, lyrics, and melody just fell out of my  head into my session. Those two methods — the push and pull of  something emerging over years and something happening immediately —  make these two songs very special to me. I hope people can hear the  urgency and patience in each.  

What is the lyrical content inspired by? 

My own experiences, hopes and dreams — and fears. And as I said, it’s  interesting looking back and seeing what I wanted then as opposed to  what I want now.  

How do you keep yourself inspired? 

I keep myself inspired by staying curious. I write down my dreams, I take  care to listen when people speak about theirs, I observe the things around  me. I like giving a voice to something or someone that ordinarily would not  have one. 

What was your first exposure to music? 

To be honest, listening to it in the family car! Or hearing it passively  walking around — watching the way it transformed peoples’ moods.  

What excites you about your life? 

Obviously music excites me. Friends, family, new projects, travel. I get  excited when people tell me that my music moves them. Cueing up a  good (horror) film!  

How would you describe your style in one word? 

I’ve come up with the term lyrical electronic music which I’ve kind of just  stuck with and I think it fits pretty well. So, “lyricalelectronicmusic”, in a  word!  

What are your next moves? 

My sophomore album comes out in spring 2023 and I can’t wait! I also  love composing music for film. Additionally, I’m curating a monthly event at  Das Gift Berlin, showcasing local talent (Anastave’s Showcase). I work  with Road Recovery, an organization connecting at-risk youth with artistic 

expression, helping to write and produce their songs in order to empower  their voices.