Anna Wise is a boss. You only need to look at her bold artistic statements to know that, whether it’s the sledgehammer of BitchSlut or indeed her glorious new EP, The Feminine: Act II. We caught her over email to ask her about the EP, her process, and everything in between…
So, straight up. How wise does Anna Wise feel at the moment?
I feel like I’m in a dream of a movie. I’m often lucid and feel as though I’m writing my story from a deep place of remembrance, like I’ve been here before.
The EP is called The Feminine. What is ‘feminine’ to you?
Strength, creativity, intuition, openness – all about flow.
Related to the above, was there a reaction from people about you calling a song BitchSlut?
Yes, and I expected that. What surprised me was how many of my friends’ mothers wanted to speak with me about it. Me being so bold made them boldly share their thoughts with me on something we might not have spoken about had I not released “BitchSlut.” One brought up a good point of what can happen to a woman’s psyche when the cat calling stops, when women are deemed “unfuckable.” More often than not, women are considered fuckable or invisible.
Is it a reaction to being prefixed by the phrase “Kendrick collaborator” all the time, or does that not bother you?
That doesn’t bother me because I know I’m more than that. I’m extremely grateful for the work I’ve done with Kendrick, and I know that’s not the extent of my worth. I have a different idea of what’s successful than you might imagine.
Coconuts is a dream of a song. How did the song and video come about?
I’ve been working with Dane Orr for years, and we’ve made songs in all kinds of ways. Writing “Coconuts” reminded me of when we wrote a Sonnymoon song called “Bungee,” in that it came easy for both of us and we created separately. Dane made the beat really fast and sent it my way via the internet. I wrote the melody and lyrics right away, it all came out perfectly. It’s one of those easy, simple gifts from the other side of the veil. I played it live at my next show, and then every night during my last two tours last year.
For the video, I wanted to make something where the camera movements were planned and worked around the choreography. So I listened to the song over and over, walking, driving, on planes, everywhere. One day in Glendale, CA, I decided I wanted a pedicure. The guy did an outrageous job, rubbing between my toes and shit. He activated some creativity that must have been stuck between my toes! I closed my eyes, put “Coconuts” on, and the whole video flashed before my eyes.
We’ve had the Grammys recently, an award you’ve received yourself. Did that change things for you, or are you more inclined to agree with Frank Ocean’s comments about the ceremony?
Those are two separate things. It absolutely changed things for me, and I am grateful. I’ve met some incredible people who work for and with the GRAMMYs. I also agree with Frank.
What’s next for Anna Wise?
I’m putting out my next EP (The Feminine: Act II). I just directed a video for my friend Madsion McFerrin and I’m looking forward to directing more of my friends’ music videos. I’m excited to tour, travel the world, meet new people, play lots of music, go for that good feeling and spread it as far as I can.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Fatima, Kimbra, Niki Randa, Kid Cudi, Kate Bush, Noriko Ogawa, Frank Ocean, Phillip Glass.
Finally, the question we ask everyone: favourite Beyonce song?
The Feminine: Act II is out now and can be streamed below.