Moving to a new city can be daunting, but also exciting. Especially when you are an artist. Vita and The Woolf, a Philly native gone LA, expresses exactly that with her new album, Anna Ohio. Anna Ohio is a persona used to illustrate the struggles of belonging, conflict, and the light of new beginnings.
In our interview with Vita and The Woolf, she invites us into the brain of Anna Ohio and explains how she came to be.
Who is Anna Ohio?
Anna Ohio is an alter ego that was inspired by those 90s movies that take place in those malls and stuff somewhere in the midwest. She works the shitty mall job and deals with shitty people. I equate it to some of the people I met in LA, which is such a difficult city whereas Philly feels more like a community. The music scene is super tight knit. Just tying that into this character is how I equate it to my experience.
Is the album the story of the character?
Yeah! All the songs are in a way tied to this idea of this character picking up and moving and kind of saying goodbye to childhood and everything she knew to embark on this new journey. I feel like everytime I write an album it’s about a journey, about the metamorphosis we go through as human beings.
How do you think this new record is different from the old one?
This is my second album. My first came out in 2017 and was called Tunnels. I had no idea how to produce my own music when I was writing that album in 2017. I worked with 2 producers who were awesome and showed me a lot of cool things and tricks.
I wanted a little more control over the production so I pretty much produced this album myself, however some of the songs I had helped on. I had more artistic control.
There’s a lot in your music that’s not exactly commercial pop. What inspires your sound?
I work a lot with synths which is where the 80s vibe comes from. I think I’m really inspired by artists like Phoebe Bridgers and James Blake; kind of a cross between indie folk and R&B-esque vibes. I get inspired by people who tend to push their limits.
How did you get into music?
I started taking piano lessons when I was 7. I was in School of Rock for a brief time and started playing more contemporary music. Through themI got to play at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo when I was in highschool which was amazing. They basically taught me how to be in a band and I was quite a quick learner.
Did you have to change plans a lot due to the pandemic?
It’s been rough. We were supposed to play festivals and go on tour. My booking agent got laid off and decided to change careers so that’s been pretty hard. I was trying to do Twitch and build a following up on there but live streaming is always a hit or miss. I’ve just been trying to keep content coming. I shot a video of a few songs in my apartment.. You kind of need to keep people interested and engaged..
Do you see yourself more as a live musician or recording artist?
I enjoy being on both sides actually. When I perform live I like to jump around on stage and dance a lot. My band and I use this drum pad and you can trigger lights with it. I always love putting the most ridiculous costumes on. Growing up I loved to play dress up.
Is style an important component of your act?
I do it because I like it, but I wouldn’t make my band dress. Music and fashion go in and out of phases like a culture wave so I do it for me and my own artistic persona, not for fashion per se. It’s exhausting following the trends, sometimes you just wanna go “fuck that”!
How did quarantine affect your creativity?
It’s been hard, to be honest. I’ve been focusing on other creative outlets, like Sound of Mind, which has been really fun. I started writing a couple songs from putting it to video which is interesting and fun to work on. I’ve been kind of looking into the future, at the next 5-10 years, which isn’t that exciting but I do embrace change, I don’t mind it.
I did start running, though. I started training for a half marathon, which is about 13 miles. It’s been fun actually because it’s been getting me to go on the beach where I can find some peace of mind.
Top three dream collaborations?
Thom York, Natasha Kahn, Lizzo
Listen Anna Ohio HERE