For our third installment of #MDInterviews, we got to know the British-Portuguese pop artist Ana Free.
A multilinguist and a native of Lisbon, Portugal, the talented Ana Free has grown up expressing her thoughts and self through music. In fact, she says that if you read her songbooks, you’ll know her life story. After performing on YouTube throughout university in the UK, Ana has become a social media sensation with over 38 million unique video views and over 100,000 subscribers. This devoted social following helped push her debut her first single, “Electrical Storm,” from her debut album TO.GET.HER. to #1 on the MTV Portugal charts for 32 weeks in 2012. Ana’s sound is so powerful and accessible, she was invited to become the musical ambassador for the Volkswagen brand in 2013.
MD: First off, welcome back – I heard you were in Costa Rica for the last week or so, how was it?
Ana: It was great! I’d been needing a little vacation to just get away and sharpen the axe. Costa Rica is a really amazing place - there’s so much to do and see out there and the wildlife is so absorbing. I’ve come back really inspired to write and finish my new EP.
MD: Many may not know, you grew up in Portugal – how was the move from Portugal to Los Angeles?
Ana: To say it was simple and easy would be a lie. I’ve got a free spirit but it was still a major transition to make the move from Europe to the U.S. with no help. There were a lot of tough days but as I went along I found my feet. I worked hard to get out into the scene and ended up being a songwriter and artist for a national TV series and being a finalist in the Guitar Center Singer Songwriter 2014 Compeition with Don Was definitely cemented my decision to move. I love LA and really feel at home here.
MD: How would you explain your sound in 5 words?
Ana: Folk, Honest, Pop, Simple and Relatable
MD: Your latest single “Say It To Me” has a bit of a worldly feel to it – is this a bit of a preview of the direction of your new album?
Ana: The new album “The Weight Of The Soul” has a new direction, for sure. Specifically, “Say It To Me” was a co-write with my close friend Debi Nova (Costa Rican singer/songwriter) and that makes it feel more worldly because her verse is in Spanish and the tune is very summery. I think it’s a nice introduction into the album. I’m excited about this record, it feels like I’m much closer to my real persona and sound so I’m really comfortable in it. Everything just came together so much easier - from the artwork to the music.
“Say It To Me” Official Lyric Video
MD: Tell us a bit about your upcoming projects – what are you working on?
Ana: I’m planning on a September release for “The Weight Of The Soul” and want to schedule some shows for it. I’ve just launched a music production company called Gold Top Music and my production team and I take on projects for music supervisors and clients - we make music for those projects if we don’t already have a song that works in our existent catalogs. We’re just getting started but it’s all going well. There is so much to dip your toes into and try out so I’m blessed to be living my dreams and making music.
MD: What vibe do you want people to feel as they listen to your music? How would you describe your fan base?
Ana: Ultimately, I want to make people feel like they connect on as many levels as possible with my songs. My intention with all music I make is to convey a message or feeling that maybe others can’t put into words. Connection is fundamental to me. It what keeps the fanbase coming back and growing. I already have a really amazing and solid fanbase to keep building on and I’m grateful every day for them. It’s so cool how close you can feel to a stranger while never having actually met them. I love that sensation - they keep me going.
MD: Any plans for a tour or anything else exciting?
Ana: I really want to set up shows for the new album in the fall. I have to get promotion of the album done and then I can get out on the road in the U.S., Portugal and other places to tour it!
MD: I see you enjoy making cover songs on YouTube, what is your favorite song to cover?
Ana: I still do the covers to keep myself up to date and in check with practising music. I really like it when I take a song and turn it around to be really different. That’s always fun!
(Above: Ana recently surpassed 100,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel)
MD: Time to put yourself in the shoes of a supervisor or brand head. List two songs from your album and what brand/TV show they would align with.
Ana: I think “Remember Me” would do well on a show like Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a deep emotional song and that style of series that tugs on the emotion would really give a song like “Remember Me” a home. “City Lights,” on the other hand, is a really upbeat and fun track with a soaring chorus that would work well with any cool feel-good brand. I could even see it in maybe a car company like Mini or T-Mobile etc. anything that conveys happy and upbeat vibes!
MD: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! I am personally a big fan of your music and look forward to seeing where your new projects take you!
Ana: Thank you so much for taking the time to dig deeper into my music! I really appreciate being part of the MD family!
Interview by Rob Lindquist, Music Dealers