The effervescent Anbuley is another unique artist from the Seayou Records family. Born in Vienna, Austria, the granddaughter of a Ghanaian Chief, Anbuley’s music fuses modern European electronica with traditional African rhythms. She’s recently released EP Oleee - “title track Oleee deals with the relief and the positive energy, after being unhappily in love, to accept, finish and start a new life.” For Anbuley, music has become “her refuge of home.”
What kind of music would you say that you make?
ANBULEY: It’s a culture mix—African-European =ME
What’s your first musical memory?
A: The first I have in my head (me about age 4) is my dad, my sister and me driving in our family car – a Ford 504 – in Ghana/Teshien Nungua Road, up and down with open windows listening to loud music. There is a special song in my memory but I’m still looking for the song title! I guess I always remember the scene because we then had just moved back to Ghana and it was the happiest period of my childhood.
How did you first come to making/playing music?
A: Back in Ghana I was in school choir but then when we came back to Vienna I stopped singing for a long time. I did start a project t but I never kept on because I didn’t have the strength and belief to keep on until six years ago. I did another project with acquaintances, uploaded the track on Myspace and from there things started moving on their own and I worked on different projects and featuring tracks.
I read that you made a breakthrough regarding music when you spent a few years in Ghana; could you tell me a little bit about that time and the music ‘breakthrough’ you had?
A: With the breakthrough I meant during the years I spent in Ghana in my childhood, I sang on different culture festivities with my school choir. In Ghana I found my biggest love: music and dance.
What does music mean to you?
A: I need music! It’s like food to my soul, is there anyone who can imagine life without music?
What are your songs inspired by?
A: They are inspired by my life and by my roots: the happiness, the sadness, the beauty, the pain, the progress.
When do you like to write them and where?
A: Mostly I write my lyrics at home in English. Always when I have an idea I write it down and the lyrics grow with the time. When I’m ready and pleased with them, with the help of my mom, we translate into a correctly grammar ga.
What is your favourite thing about your new EP Oleee?
A: The progress I went through.
Did you learn anything about yourself while making it?
A: Yes a lot! I’m always learning and developing! That is a very important thing, if u stop, something is not right!
Recently on your Facebook page you commented “I love music till death but the business around it can be very exhausting” can you elaborate on that a little please? In your experience, how has it been exhausting?
A: I mean in the music business, you need to find the right people/partners to work with, which can be very, very difficult! If it comes to business and making money people do change!
How would you describe performing? How do you feel when you get on stage?
A: I love performing! The moment I’m on stage I forget everything else and I have fun but before I get on stage I’m mostly tense.
Tell me about the music community/scene where you live?
A: I am a very family person! I spend the most time with my family and working on my arts. I’m so much into that, that I don’t really know anything about the music community scene, at the moment.
How would you describe the clothes you wear on stage?
A: In private, in my videos and on stage, it’s a mixture. I make a lot of my clothes myself; mix them with vintage clothes and also buy some new stuff.
Who are your style icons what is it about them you admire?
A: There is no name in my mind right now, but when I have time I do enjoy checking style blogs! I really love when people have their own style! I think in life it’s good if we are inspired by other people but I don’t like when people just clone other people! Style is also art and can be a beautiful and interesting way to express your own unique soul!
Who are your musical heroes? Why do you love them?
A: I have a lot of musical heroes like Fela Kuti, Bob Dylan. I love them because they expressed their unique soul through music and that moved and changed things.
What do you do that’s creative when not making music?
A: Other than music I make my own fashion – I design and make clothes, jewellery, bags – and I dance to relax and stay fit.
What projects are you currently focused on?
A: We are focusing to finish my album and I’m working on some featuring tracks.
What’s something that you would really like to do one day?
A: I want to give back! We have already started, my sister has founded a children’s foundation back in Ghana/Fumbisi. We want the youth [to be able to] achieve a better life with more chances.
For more Anbuley.
*Photo credit: 2 – K Vasser /3 – by Isabella Meus