Two weeks ago, we published a transcription of an interview with Candice Anitra. The following are two profiles written by Music TRaC participants Jose Marin and Memphis Goodman.
On May 1, 2015 I had to opportunity to interview musical vocalist, Candice
Anitra. Candice, a NYC artist, has a unique way of viewing the world and hopes that others will find this vision of hers through her music. What makes her so unique? She doesn’t gain to the interest of people’s ears. Originating from a childhood where she diverged in different passions for art, she often grew up on the fear of pursuing a career in singing. The fear came from not being able to successfully impress her father, whom soon was the one to teach her the basis of singing.
After breaking her cocoon of fear and realizing her talent, shewas able to gain the self confidence and independence needed in order to immerge as a visionary icon. Similar to actors taking on a serious role in their position, Candice has found a way to do the same in her songs and videos. Candice is an artist who wants to spread a specific idea in her art and the way it is presented in her videos. She finds ways for listeners to embrace the idea of recognizing strangers on the streets that we pass by everyday as if they were nothing. The barrier between two people who have never met, ever having the chance to say a word to one another is a false idea implanted in all our minds.
The barrier only prevents others from ever building a connection and revealing their unique story. Addressing the many topics in her music, these topics are not randomly selected. They’re specifically chosen to implant new beliefs to replace the beliefs we already contain such as the barrier. She uses her poetic skills to often discuss how the world is so isolated to themselves and that people have grown to engage each other much less. She wants to make a difference in changing that.
Candice hopes to get every one of her listeners to realize environmental problems, the selfishness of others and how genders are discriminated and judged differently. In one of her songs, Love Sick, she confronts an issue of how people have wrongly mistaken sexual activities for love. Today through the media and images, sexual activities have been shown as a way of expressing love. The majority of girls have often been led to believe such things. The inspiration for creating this video was for girls two realize that those two feelings are completely different even though they might feel the same.
The feelings may be mutual but at the same time bring out different sides of us. These sides can either be good or dark. On the path to completing her goals of spreading her vision she finds collaborators & directors that can help and share her similar vision. Her most known collaborator goes by the name of Mustafa Effortless, who helped gained her musical success, contributed to creating projects to get these ongoing messages out there. These collaborators inspire her work to push her positively even if they weren’t the best choice for a song.
The feedback referred to her encourages her to do more in what she is doing, standing out. She’s able to find inspiration for music in her everyday life.
Inspirations come from the people she looks up to such as Bill Withers, and her kids. The struggle of owning up to her parental responsibilities sometimes diverts her from her art, causing her to get back to it later, but at the same time works relentlessly for her kids to one day view what black women are capable of accomplishing when they’re committed and true to themselves.
Candice hasn’t thought of retiring from music any point in her life. She feels that if she does then they’re just moments to clarify the opportunities she has available. People should just relieve and release the tension they have inside that causes all these negative thoughts within them. Candice has been working on upcoming projects. She’s currently releasing an EP that consists of 11 songs broken into two parts. Part 1 is entitled Narcissist, and part 2 entitled Echo. In the upcoming EP she will be addressing a lot about her personal life. It is to be released either June 30 or July 10.
Candice Anitra is an inspirational artist and singer-songwriter based out of Brooklyn, New York. However, she wasn’t always a singer. Since she was young she has experimented with all types of art, ranging from visual drawings and paintings to acting and dancing. Singing has always been a big part of her life, but she tells us that she stopped for a while because when she first asked her father to help her seriously pursue singing, he told her she wasn’t ready. This comment haunted Candice for years until she was out of NYU, when a friend encouraged her to continue singing and even gave her some music to write lyrics to, resulting in her signing with Joel Hamilton, who produced some of the greats of music, including the late Nina Simone, and the debut of her first album, Bark Then Bite.
Now she is a moderately successful soul-pop artist who is 37 years old with two kids. She works out of Studio G in Brooklyn, and enjoys collaborating with many different artists. She puts a lot of influence on collaborations, which really influence her music. Another influence she stressed was her children. She admitted that sometimes it’s hard balancing them with her career, but they are a huge, part of her life and she wouldn’t give them up for the world. She enjoys her time with her children, but also really enjoys her time that she can spend writing and recording music.
Her music often reflects her thoughts, views and ideals. One of her big songs is “Love Sick”, which she says is about love in general, as well as loving yourself despite your flaws: “love is a beautiful, abstract and romanticized notion” she says when asked about the message she wanted to convey in the song. In fact, most of her music is about looking forward and “not looking in the rearview mirror constantly”. She says that she writes music to share with other people because that is what art is all about, sharing ideas with others and the world. However, she also writes for herself and doesn’t play into what fans want to hear, which is maybe part of the reason why she hasn’t made it big.
She isn’t exactly an icon in the music world, or someone that everyone has heard about, but she has made a niche for herself in the industry, and says she’s happy with where she is. Her new project is coming out soon (late June or early June), and she’s really excited about it. It’s called Narcissus and according to her, it’s a lot about reflection and “holding a mirror to [your] vulnerable spots”. She admits it’s also about her and some of her rougher experiences; “Narcissus is like a love letter to my dad”. Candice just wants to write and create music, and she’s certainly doing a decent job with that; you’ll just have to wait and see what else she comes up with.