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

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Poised to release her debut single, 20 year-old Ani Sandwith is certainly no inexperienced newcomer. Having played music since the age of six, and performed it live since the age of 14, her upcoming single Sun Around The Moon is the work of a musician who has spent an unprecedented amount of time and effort developing her own distinct voice.

“For me, real, soulful music should come from a place of true emotion; be it love, hurt, pain or whatever. I struggle to write about things that haven’t affected me in some way.” She says. A tribute to a friend who tragically passed away last autumn, Sun Around The Moon shows the profound progress Sandwith made as a musician in the year that followed the release of her debut EP. “I feel like I’ve grown up a lot as a person in the last 12 months, and I think that reflects in my music. I’ve started playing a lot more guitar, and although I find it really, really hard, it’s massively pushed me with my songwriting! I listen back to my EP and although I’m still proud of it, I feel like those songs come from a younger me with different intentions. I’m really enjoying the music I’m making now. There’s no point in holding back, you’ve got to just dive in with everything you’ve got, follow your instincts and cross your fingers and toes!”

For me, real, soulful music should come from a place of true emotion; be it love, hurt, pain or whatever. I struggle to write about things that haven’t affected me in some way

The sound of Sun Around The Moon is definitive proof of her musical evolution, building upon the piano-driven, sparse, soul-baring minimalism of her 2014 EP Things We Have To Do with a greater degree of confidence and assurance. It is beautifully composed, with Sandwith’s voice and her intricate, spacious, harmonious piano augmented by ethereal inflections of strings and deep, resonant drums. Although it may sound big and bold, the song never boils over the top, and remains incredibly raw throughout, with Sandwith’s vocals the most vividly emotional core of the piece. “I just wanted to get everyone in a room, record it and see how it sounded. We made a massive effort not to ‘touch’ the music too much; we felt like it would naturally transpire into what it was supposed to be without us messing around with it.”

The single is being launched on Saturday 13th February at Newcastle’s Alphabetti Theatre, and the singer promises the event will be quite the grand spectacle. “It’ll have fire eating, circus tricks…the full works!” Sadly, for anybody hoping to see Sandwith exhaling flames in the middle of her set, she’s only kidding, but, to make up for it, the show will still offer something different to her regular solo shows. “I’ll have the band with me. My brother plays bass, my best friend Adam plays drums, and my lovely friend Katie plays cello. I’m very lucky to have some of my favourite people as my band mates!”

Sun Around The Moon is a profound statement from one of the region’s most promising singer songwriters; not many people can have such a strong voice so early on in their careers, but Sandwith is an exception. Watch this space.

Ani Sandwith launches Sun Around The Moon at Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle on Saturday 13th February.

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