By Fergal Maguire, Features Columnist
Tours cancelled. Gigs postponed. Incomes vanished. Coronavirus has decimated the music industry and left it out in the cold; a fragile situation. However, after months of lockdown, the Coronavirus crisis has served as a double-edged sword for some artists.
We interviewed Bristol student singer-songwriter Anna Bea, virtually of course, to discuss how her music career has been going during the chaotic past few months. The Bristol history student has been singing since she was 11, and her song writing journey began with her guitar when she was 15.
Whilst social distancing has ended all live shows and performances, drying up potential to earn income, it has instead given way to a different kind of commodity: time. The days of uninterrupted, intense creativity have, for some, been invaluable; Anna has utilised lockdown to focus on her music career.
‘It gave me time to plan the best way of releasing my new EP. It has been great for me’
Working with top writers and producers such as Jessica Sharman and Brad Mair, associates of Ward Thomas and Kygo respectively, Anna Bea’s break from normal life has challenged the way she approaches her career opportunities.
Having just released her second single ‘People Keep Telling Me’, the charismatic singer is at the start of an exciting career. She says 'This is a song about confidence and not feeling pressured to live up to people’s expectations. It’s about feeling happy and comfortable in the skin you’re in and not feeling like you need another person to define you as whole.'
Writing often from personal places, Anna Bea’s songs have important messages behind them. The whole process of writing and performing seems to be a way she expresses herself and processes the things that are happening around her.
Her acoustic accompaniment and some minimal percussion allow her powerful and versatile voice to stand out, in what can best be described as folk pop. In Anna Bea’s words, she blends Carly Simon vocals with FINNEAS and Maroon 5 style productions, taking lyrical inspiration from artists such as Sara Bareilles and Billy Joel.
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In our conversation, Anna mentions how coming to Bristol and experiencing the live music scene at venues such as Mr Wolfs, Leftbank and Basement 45 encouraged her to start performing in the city. Despite the obvious hurdles thrown in by the Coronavirus over the past few months, she remains hugely ambitious.
Lockdown has given her the space and time to consider not only that music is the path she wants to pursue, but also exactly how she wants to do this. Without a label or management behind her, the momentum of her music career is down to her own work. These are times of adaptation and innovation. After all, the show must go on.
Featured Image: Epigram / Anna Bea
Anna Bea's music can be found on Spotify here.