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News & Interviews / Re: Anna , New album and Tour
« on: August 13, 2018, 11:59:02 AM »
ANNA CALVI INTERVIEW: ‘Rock ‘n’ roll isn't over – male rockers are’ - 12.08.2018

DAILY TELEGRAPH
Text By Neil McCormick
Photos by Rii Schroer

Five years after the 37-year-old British singer-songwriter’s second album of noirish art rock earned her a second successive Mercury Prize nomination, Anna Calvi is back with a third album.
“I have long felt frustrated at the limitations of what a woman is allowed to be, on a very basic level,” says Calvi. “Perfect, smiling, accommodating. Why do I have to live up to these ideals because of my anatomy?” 
Fierce and sensual, timely in its grappling with gender stereotypes and female visibility, it is her most striking work to date. She called it Hunter, she tells me, because “I like the idea of a woman going into the world and just taking what she wants”. 
The evening before we meet, Calvi is onstage in the West End nightclub Heaven, dressed in a black designer suit, wielding a red Stratocaster guitar, goading and provoking the audience.
She sinks to her knees as she plays, then on to her back, abandoning herself to the strange sounds erupting from her instrument.
Anna Calvi: 'It just has to come out like this hurricane' CREDIT:  RII SCHROER
During a virtuoso rendition of gender-bending anthem Don’t Beat the Girl Out of My Boy, she releases an operatic wail that convulses her whole body. It is the mesmerising, powerful performance of a woman in her rock’n’roll element.
The next day, in the shabby south London offices of independent record company Domino, Calvi seems an entirely different creature: petite, demure and self-contained. Her speaking voice is high and soft. “I was very quiet as a child,” she says “and I really liked that the guitar could be my voice instead of me.” 
When I ask if her raucous performance style has helped banish her essential shyness, she laughs. “I’ve been waiting for years for that to happen,” she says. “But maybe that’s a good thing. Being introverted means that you have all this energy that’s building and building, like it’s a ball of fire and you don’t know how to release it. Then it just has to come out like this hurricane. For me, that is what being creative is.”
Calvi was obsessed with music from a very young age, yet struggled to identify any female role models. “If you are a woman wanting to find yourself in music, you have to project yourself on to the male story,” she says. “It’s the same for films, books, art, the same for any kind of culture. Women have been made invisible.” 
While writing her latest set of songs, Calvi imagined that her listener was her younger self, being confronted “with a more realistic depiction of the multifaceted woman, the animalistic, primal woman, the messy woman, the queer woman, the woman seeking pleasure without any shame.”
Calvi talks quietly but passionately, in long, carefully articulated sentences. She says that the period since her last album – One Breath, in 2013 – involved a lengthy process of self-examination. “So much of our gender is performed, I feel, it’s very limiting for both sexes,” she says. “As a woman, you’re made to feel your appearance is what you are. It’s what you look like [that counts] and not what you do. 
“And for men, to always be strong, to not be vulnerable or show emotions or talk about how you feel, is such an unrealistic expectation of a human being. It’s literally the opposite of what being human is.”
Calvi’s self-titled 2011 debut contained a track titled I’ll Be Your Man. Her new album opens with As a Man, in which she sings “If I was a man in all but my body/ Oh would I now understand you completely?/ If I was walking and talking as a man.”
“I never felt completely comfortable with being a girl,” she admits. “I found puberty really hard, having a woman’s body suddenly impose itself. As I grew up I came to accept it – I don’t feel trans – but at different times I feel more masculine or more feminine. My sense of identity is quite fluid. Maybe the answer is just not to have labels.”
Calvi was born in Twickenham, to an English mother and Italian father, both of whom are therapists. Her first instrument was violin, and she graduated in 2003 from the University of Southampton with a degree in music. Her inner rocker, though, had been unleashed years earlier when, at the age of eight, she saw footage of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, giving a performance that just “looked and sounded like freedom”. She also cites the Belgian-born jazz composer Django Reinhardt – “who taught me about arpeggios” – and West African music, “which taught me about sweet picking”. 
Anna Calvi: 'Maybe the answer is just not to have labels.'
Until recently, there have been few prominent female guitarists in popular music, something Calvi blames on cultural stereotypes. “I don’t think the guitar is a gendered instrument,” she says. “It’s like cooking – it’s about taste. It’s not like you need giant muscles to whip an egg.”  Indeed, she goes so far as to propose that the future of rock will be female. “There is all this talk about the death of rock and the end of the guitar. What I think is dead is this kind of very one-toned thing of straight white men in bands singing about f---ing girls.  “A lot of the guitarists making waves now are female and that may be partly because there isn’t a history of the female guitar hero, so there is something fresh that twists and subverts the story. I like to see women playing guitar. Courtney Barnett and St Vincent are doing really interesting things.” 
The real watershed moment will only come, she says, “when we don’t use the term ‘female artist’ anymore. Because women are a gender, they’re not a genre.”
In pop terms, Calvi was a late developer – she didn’t release a solo record until her 30s. She had “a phobia” about her voice and didn’t sing at all until her 20s when a fascination with Maria Callas helped her to develop a powerful, almost operatic, range. “Now, my guitar and my voice both speak for me, and on Hunter they are trying to express a sense of freedom and wildness and something visceral, this idea of breaking through any kind of restraint.”
With Santigold at the 2012 NME Awards
At school, she wondered whether she was gay, but thought perhaps her feelings related to “having no boys around”. Then, at university in Southampton she had “a few boyfriends” followed by her “first experience with a woman”.  It was a confusing time. “We were literally the only queer people that I had ever seen, just me and my partner in the whole college, that was it. I wish I could have experienced those feelings without questioning what it means. And worrying that it [was] wrong, and feeling shame, and dealing with all these external forces that aren’t actually to do with the relationship.” 
She has never hidden her sexuality but admits to “feeling nervous” before her first album came out. “I felt it was incredibly queer and I just didn’t want to be defined in that way. But to my surprise, no one seemed to  pick up that all my songs were about women.” 
One Breath was written just as an eight-year relationship was coming to an end. “I was hiding behind the lyrics a little, I didn’t want to talk about our break-up, which isn’t really the best thing when you are trying to write songs. But this time I was like: have it all!” 
While working on Hunter, Calvi began a new relationship with a French woman, living in Paris and Strasbourg. (They are now in Clapham, south London.) “It was a new beginning, in all kinds of ways. After a really long relationship, you have to kind of rebuild yourself. The music came through that.”
The album is peppered with images of Eden and Paradise. “I was trying to find a way of being happy after a trauma,” says Calvi. “Eden represents the idea of utopian love.” She laughs, as if she finds this thought inherently ridiculous. “In a way, belief in love is belief in God. It’s very optimistic to imagine that somebody can save you from yourself, but we all believe it and I find that tragically beautiful, because I believe it too. When I see my girlfriend, just seeing her makes me feel more hopeful about things, but the truth is, everything gets worse and we die.”
Calvi’s best songs strike an unusual balance between opposing qualities, plucking something life-affirming out of cynicism, nihilism and fatalism. Those opposites are also evident in Calvi herself; so quiet and intense offstage, so wild and free onstage. 
“Maybe this is a bit fatalistic but I always think ‘if this is the last thing I ever do, the last record I ever make, the last performance I ever play, how do I want to go out? How do I want to leave it?’” she says. “There is a bit in Don’t Beat the Girl Out of My Boy that I have to sing very high and very loud and I can’t do that without completely surrendering myself, where there is absolutely no space left to think or be anything other than that note. 
“And that is what I want music to be. It is really liberating and exhausting. And a bit worrying. After I sang it the first time, I thought, ‘S---, now I have to do that every night. What will be left of my body and mind by the end of this?’”

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News & Interviews / Anna at BIF this July
« on: May 11, 2018, 08:13:38 AM »
Date fixed!

annacalvi.altervista.org/anna-calvi-at-the-benicassim-festival-the-next-july/

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Probably at Saint Denis Festival there will be more echo.
But I can’t understand why her official pages still doesn’t really work!

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News & Interviews / My interview to MALLY HARPAZ tomorrow
« on: April 26, 2018, 04:15:40 PM »
Tomorrow on my site dedicated to Anna Calvi here:
http://annacalvi.altervista.org


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Well..  it’s Grace Jones for sure!
Anna in an interview to Vogue told she would like to raid her wardrobe!
http://annacalvi.altervista.org/21-02-2017-anna-interviewed-by-vogue-and-an-amazing-photo/

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News & Interviews / My article dedicated to Anna’s viral campaign
« on: April 20, 2018, 01:30:37 PM »

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