Berlin and British singer-songwriter Annika Henderson, better known by her stage name Anika, reimagines her sound after 8 years. Her new album Change was written out of necessity. Full of personal narrative and a willingness to understand the world, the core of each song is about figuring it all out. Change feels more forward, removing barriers present in her older work and cementing itself as a piece of personal liberation.
Henderson’s been making music for 12 years. In 2017, she quit her other jobs to focus on her music career; she’d tour endlessly, work on commissions and make her art. A year before the pandemic hit, Henderson had a prophetic injury that cemented a shock of relying on live shows and touring to sustain herself.
“Someone once told me that when you become a musician, you become a fish. Or you learn to swim around the framework,” she told me. Her friends back home in England would ask if she bought a house or married someone yet. But the tacit tradeoff of making weird music is that often there isn’t a traditional trajectory. For Henderson, life revolves around making weird music and paying the rent. She’s not married. She still has a bike and lives in a flat. And while she started to measure herself against all these different things, there’s a realization that being a musician, especially in the DIY sense, means prolonging a lifestyle excluded from so many others.
In this interview, we’ll dig deep into the evolution of Henderson’s music career and how that’s reflected in Change. We’ll also touch upon her two music videos “Finger Pies” and “Change” alongside her incredible sense of fashion. But more importantly, we puncture through the realities of being a DIY musician and share a laugh or two about some funny customers at a pizzeria that once doubted her abilities. It doesn’t matter anymore though, because she knows exactly why she was there and what she’s doing now.
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