We had a chat with ANNER the enchanting frontwoman of GRAU; the Berlin-based electronic duet composed of SlikNik and ANNER. They create intelligent, sophisticated electronic music far removed from the ordinary. Somewhere between edgy and organic, GRAU is neither black nor white. Accordingly, the duo shows on their debut album “Rot” what they do best – a danceable, catchy mix of electronica and techno featuring ANNER’s breathy vocals effortlessly floating over SlikNik’s dark atmospheres. A perfectly balanced sonic yin and yang. ANNER isn’t just the voice of GRAU, but is also responsible for the duet’s poetic, heartfelt lyrics sung in her mother tongue of German. The roots of her singing come from the jazz and blues she grew up on in her hometown of Oldenburg, Germany. We had the pleasure to interview Anner. Learn more about this talented, inspiring & charismatic woman!
Hey ANNER! Can you tell us a bit more about your background; when and how did you first get into music? Since I was young, my life has been full of music because my Dad loved it and he owned a record label. Being always surrounded with the most colourful influences soon infected me and I started singing, playing guitar and writing. Since I was a teenager I have played in bands, composing, recording and touring.
What’s the story of GRAU? How long have you been working with producer SlikNik ? We have worked together now for roundabout 5 years I think, I’ve been very proud to share the ride with him. The project developed out of the same source of inspiration. Neither of us were looking for something new, both of us were pretty busy. However I played him a song I had written and suddenly we were rewriting it together and GRAU was born! Its been like a love story in all regards. Quite touching. <3
Your thoughtful lyrics are a big part of Grau’s music. You sing in your mother’s tongue (german) which is not usual in electronic music. Where do you find inspiration for your writing? And what are the main themes you approach? Singing in german feels very personal to me, like talking to someone face to face. The lyrics often fit very closely with the music, I dive into what I am feeling or associating with it. I put in all I experience in my personal life or witness on the streets. I love playing with words and expressing myself, could get lost in wordgames all day. In German I am using my most private language. It´s my world of wordcraft. 🙂
I learned that I underestimated myself and my skills, because I am a woman. I really thought that I was in a man’s world.
Tell us about the new album Rot, what was the creative process? Niko and i are so similar in our taste and vision for our music, that the process of writing an album goes really fast. The hard part comes later when everything has to be finished and brought to perfection 😀 Even now we are already overflowing with new ideas and can’t wait to start our next chapter.
What’s your relationship with Berlin and how does it influence your music? Berlin is such a wonderful city, so rough and so beautiful. I love the diversity and the freedom. Still I think a city is always what you make out of it, and Berlin has a lot of different possibilities and lifestyles to offer. It allowed me to reinvent myself again and again. It was very inspiring even though sometimes a bit tough. There is a lot of this Berlin in our music. It`s tough love.
When you’re on stage in a club, its funny because a lot of people don’t realize that you are singing live. They try to talk to you while you are literally in the middle of singing a verse. That’s hilarious!!!
Being a woman in the music industry, have you faced any challenges? I learned that I underestimated myself and my skills, because I am a woman. I really thought that I was in a man’s world. That was all in my mind. The great thing about the openness in the Berlin electronic music scene is that it made me take those insecurities and turn them into self-awareness. I love the free space of a club where gender, age, look or whatever else goes without judgement and you can just be the wonderful person that you are. Let go of the restrictions of society.
What makes you strong? I always needed a lot assurance from the outside, from my social life. I still do. But the most powerful source of strength for me now is to create something, sharpen my skills and to look back at what I have just achieved. That is up-lifting.
Do you have an idol? It`s you! And maybe a little of Marlene Dietrich… 🙂
Aww <3 Glad to hear that!!! Tell us what’s the craziest thing that happened to you on stage? When you’re on stage in a club, its funny because a lot of people don’t realize that you are singing live. They try to talk to you while you are literally in the middle of singing a verse. That’s hilarious!!!
What should we expect from the record release party on april 13th at Crack Bellmer? It will be a night full of love 😀 Crack Bellmer is one of our all time favourite places. The crew is so supportive and lovely. We always have the best time there. Salvo Salvatore from the Klangkost collective will start the night. He is such a sunshiny person and can really make your booty shake 🙂 Then we will play our liveset, including all of the new album. After that Sascha Aviar from Telekollegen will play for the rest of the night. I love him and we have played so many gigs together such as at Feel Festival and at Sisyphos, with me singing to his set. With so much love in the room what could go wrong?
What question should we have asked you? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?
Right!!! we’ll save that one for the release party. 🙂 Merci ANNER!