INTERVIEW: Ani Sandwith | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Sophie Robson

As the live music industry begins to wake from its pandemic-induced slumber, talented local singer-songwriter Ani Sandwith is preparing to release her first new record in five years. Time spent in lockdown has given her the opportunity to reconnect with the art of writing music. I caught up with her to find out what had taken so long, and why now was the right time to get back in the studio.

After taking some time away from the UK, and from normal life due to the pandemic, I had the chance to think about where my love for music lies. I realised that was in the live experience. I played so many different styles of music and in so many bands when I was younger that I never really thought about how to feed that into my own music. I spent the early part of this year in the studio recording new music, before going travelling for a while and being part of Summer Studios at Sage Gateshead when I got back. Now I’ve got a load of songs I want to share, and the best way to do that is in a room full of people.”

The result is a new record which has married refined production with Ani’s own signature, authentic songwriting. Though her musical is influenced by artists from across the region, her storytelling comes from her own lived experienced.

making music is all about connection; being onstage with an audience and creating a moment and an experience together is something really special

The record is called Too Close, which is one of the most honest and personal songs I’ve written. It’s about the feelings of a relationship breakdown and the personal battles that are endured to reach the point of breaking free. Songwriting is one of the only chances I really get to explore how I feel, and the last year or so has given me the perfect opportunity to do that. I think there was a lot of pressure on musicians to be creative during the lockdown; it was quite an ugly pressure to put on people. I’ve always felt like I need life to be happening around me to write music. I need those chance encounters and experiences.”

Too Close is a superb acoustic track which shows she’s just as talented on strings as she is on keys, with the vocals and guitar being captured live to encapsulate the intimacy and sonic diversity of the song. Though the song itself comes directly from Ani’s heart, she called on a few fellow creatives from across the region to pull the project together.

The first step was to get back in touch with James Hutchinson, who I worked with eight years ago when I was doing a project with The Lake Poets. The studio he works out of in Silksworth is incredible. It’s great to have such an amazing facility outside of a city centre. It’s sometimes easy for these places to get overlooked, but they’re often where you find the most talented people. Being back in that studio just made me super excited to get back to gigging again, like every artist. For me, making music is all about connection; being onstage with an audience and creating a moment and an experience together is something really special, and it’s what I thrive on as an artist.”

Ani Sandwith releases Too Close on 12th November

 

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