‘No Enemy’ delivers alternative pop-meets-nineties electronica, with a big nod to early Björk. Animai’s voice weaves effortlessly through the charged atmosphere, drawing the listener into an emotional world that describes the artist’s internal and external awareness of fear. The use of vocal FX emphasises the hook, with distorted bass contrasting her ethereal vocals.

Animai said: “When I composed the track, I was thinking about my own mental health and how we can all be triggered into acting/reacting in ways to protect ourselves. It’s often behaviours we learnt when we were younger; our brain recalls a similar situation and reacts on autopilot. Self-awareness brings a realisation that there is no *enemy*, instead, only pain, and the parts within us that we cleverly developed to protect ourselves from remembering that pain. The song is about witnessing the body react, and then implementing tools to come back into the present moment.”

What’s your story as an artist?

I always played and sang as a kid, and on reflection, had quite a wide eclectic experience of music from Jazz to disco, film scores, Jungle, and rock. I always loved performing and singing with bands, but I think noticing things in the world and within myself led me to want to become a writer & producer. I’m curious-minded generally, but especially when it comes to people and musical arranging/production. 

What do you want your music to communicate? 

I want people who feel unseen to know that they aren’t alone. Music has saved me so many times, all art (films/photography/painting/comedy) has really, but I guess music was special as it helped me feel and process my emotions and made me feel part of something.

What are some sources of inspiration for your storytelling?

Each song is part of my mental health journey to heal and become my authentic self in the world. I hope that in sharing my experience will help others heal and grow too. I enjoy creating soundscapes and harmony that reflect the emotions in my lyrics; film music & immersive art are great inspirations also. 

Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?

James Blake’s journey has been an inspiration to me for sure. His production/arrangements are always built to elevate the meaning behind the lyric, which I love, but I guess the main reason he stands out, is that in a world full of genre/sound-based play-listing, he is genreless. he sings folk with piano, RnB, produces trap beats with rappers, ethereal ambient electronica, and house. It’s playful and musical, and it expresses all parts of himself and his life. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t fit into a box, and to me, it feels more authentic that he doesn’t.

What’s the record or artist that made you realize you wanted to be an artist?

It’s probably between Kate Bush and Björk. Both are incredible storytellers, singers and performers, who are also deeply involved with the music production of each track. Like most women I find it inspirational to see other women succeed, it definitely makes me believe that it’s possible for me. I say this because the stats are very low for women in music production and it’s not because women can’t produce, it’s just incredibly male-dominated and tough out there. We all need to shine more light on female producers/artists to inspire the women already in the industry and the next generation. I need more Björk’s & Kates in my life, please. 

Tell us about how you got into producing music?

I saw a documentary on the Beatles as a kid and it explained the role of George Martin and showed him in the studio. Honestly, when I found out that the music surrounding the songs was written and arranged by him, my mind was blown, he basically added a whole other dimension; I was in awe of it. When I went on to study Jazz at Trinity Laban arranging was part of my course, hearing people play my arrangements got me even more hooked on this idea of creating all the elements of a track, and more curious about what makes a great arrangement. 

Tell us about your latest release and how it came about?

‘No Enemy’ is describing the ongoing relationship between the trauma/learnt behaviour part of the brain and the authentic calm self, standing in the present moment. When anyone is triggered by someone or something, they almost fall into the past, the brain is reacting using an old coping mechanism, and this can make it extremely hard to stay grounded “come back to me stay with me”.

I also sing about how we are all connected, because I believe all humans have mental health traits, we are all living this human experience and suffering is part of it. I never thought I’d say this but I’m actually grateful for it all. I’ve learnt so much about myself through my own suffering, it almost forced me to increase my self-awareness and emotional intelligence to survive.