“Chewing Gum” was my introduction to Annie – a song so catchy and sweet that it stuck in my head after the first time I saw the video. Her website anniemusic.co.uk, introduced me to “Heartbeat” and jogged my head, reminded me about the Madonna sampling “Greatest Hit,” the disco confection I played a few years ago. Maybe that’s why she is being referred to as the Norwegian Kylie (who is referred to as the European Madonna). Listening to her debut CD Anniemal, I hear something different, a brilliant singer/songwriter who loves electronic music and is not afraid the blend the pop and the underground.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Where are you right now?
Annie: I’m on the tour bus in Norway.
RS: I love your album, it’s been in my CD player all week. What’s in your CD player right now?
Annie: Oh, you like it – cool! I’m listening to a lot of different stuff. I’m listening to a lot of M.I.A., I think she’s great. She’s on of my favorite artists at the moment.
RS: Let’s talk about you. How do you write your songs, do you start with a lyric or with a beat?
Annie: I usually start with the melody. I write the melody and the lyrics, then go into the studio and record it. Then maybe we program the bass and do some drums and stuff like that, and put some chords to it. But it always starts with the melody and the lyrics.
RS: How was working with Royksopp?
Annie: It was fun. I’ve known them for a long time so it was truly great. We’ve always been talking about doing something together, so it was really fun when we started to work, but it took a long time to finish the songs.
RS: Do you have any funny stories about work with Richard X?
Annie: Well it was very different to work with Richard because I wrote almost all the songs on the album myself. Singing “Chewing Gum” was different because it was written by Richard and this girl called Hanna.
RS: You’re a DJ as well, what was Pop Till You Drop like?
Annie: Pop Till You Drop was great, it was me and a girlfriend of mine. We were having it once a month and booking artists like Peaches, DJ Adam Mac. Lots of different bands and DJs, it was such a fun time. We always had candy and popcorn for people to eat, because people in Norway always tend to get really late to the clubs, but when we were serving candy they always arrived quite early. That was really fun and we were always DJing. We started DJing for the very first time in the very beginning, so none of us were extremely good. We were just doing our thing and it was quite a mash of records everywhere, but it was fun!
RS: Do you spin on record or CD or on a laptop?
Annie: I always use vinyl. I sometimes have a few CDs, but usually it’s just vinyl. For sure, I think the sound is better and it’s just a nicer format I think.
RS: Which do you like better, DJing or singing?
Annie: DJing and singing are completely different. DJing is great and it’s always very nice if you play some new songs that you’re really into and you see that people like it as well and dance to it, having a good time. But it’s definitely fun for me to make music, that is true to my heart. I love to make music and I really love to sing it as well.
RS: Do you ever sing over the records that you play?
Annie: No, but we maybe better start to do some sort of DJ and live performance. I’m probably going to DJ a little there and sing and maybe do some sort of combination of that in the future.
RS: Cool. I read you had a lot of fun in New York, was that your first time in the US?
Annie: I’d been to New York once before but that was quite a long time ago, like about five years ago. It was so wonderful, I love New York and I think it’s a great city. I would love to see more of the US because it seems really great, so I’m really looking forward to going on tour and traveling around the US.
RS: What was your favorite part of the trip in New York?
Annie: It was really exciting to see that people were really into the music and really interested. For me, that was so wonderful. I never expected the US to be interested in my music at all, so that was just mind-blowing. One of the greatest things was to play at the Tribecca Grand Hotel, because there was so many people there and everybody was enthusiastic and really into it. I love to hear the crowd singing along to the songs. They were screaming Annie and it was so much fun.
RS: Is it a requirement that both the brilliant pop stars in Norway have a name starting with the letter A?
Annie: Do they?
RS: A-Ha, Aqua, Annie….
Annie: That’s funny. I think that Royksopp are great and they sure don’t start with an A.
RS: How long did it take to make the video for Chewing Gum?
Annie: Actually it didn’t take too long. We went to the studio about six in the morning and we left about two in the night. So it didn’t take too much time, but I was really, really nervous. It was my first video and I’d never done anything like that before so I was really, really nervous. It was great fun and I really enjoyed to make Heart Beat, the second video, because I had already done one video, so it was fun.
RS: How do you like the different remixes of your songs, what’s your favorite?
Annie: I think maybe the Alan Braxe remix, its very good. I also just received the remix done by Rapture.
Annie: The Rapture did the remix for “Me Plus One” and I think that’s really, really good. The Rapture is one of my favorite bands so I was really pleased that they did a remix.
RS: Is there anything you want to say to all your fans out in the US?
Annie: I’m really, really looking forward to coming back. I can’t wait until my album comes out and to come over and play some live gigs. It’s going to be really, really great and I hope that I see all of you at my shows.
Interview conducted October 2006.