Anjali wows the Asian press....Eastern Eye
Heaven's missing an Anjali
Welcome to the extraordinary world of the jet-setting diva and DJ
Words: Asjad Nazir
An incredibly sensual take on lounge exotica, The World of Lady A is the second album from enigmatic diva, Anjali. The very adventurous release picks up where her highly acclaimed debut album left off and is a multi-layered cocktail of influences that transcend cultures and is arguably one of the most original albums of the year. A singer, songwriter, DJ, thinker and super-babe, Anjali invites e-mag into the musical world she has created for herself...
What have you been doing since your last release?
I took some holiday time out collecting music and inspiration from far away, adventurous and intoxicating places and then I completely overhauled my studio. I was working on some medieval equipment so I upgraded to a Mac and logic audio software and then spent time having a nervous breakdown learning how to use it! Apart from that, I have been lucky to DJ all over from New York to Berlin.
How long did it take to put your latest album together?
It actually took about 9 months, a little bit like a pregnancy, but I was always collecting ideas since I finished the last solo album.
What influences have you incorporated into the songs?
Everything from Ananda Shankar to Alice Coltrane to sexy French pop, luminaries such as Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin and a major influence on my music is the film soundtrack world.
Describe the sound of the album to someone that hasn't heard the album?
It really is a unique experience! A cinematic, panoramic, sensual and sonic sound; it's funky, exotic and indefinable as it glides from veering sitars and guitars to tainted sixties pop.
You come across as quite mysterious in your songs, are you?
Mystery is a lovely word and I am a clandestine lady. I like to hide behind my many veils of many colours. Music and mystery are symbiotic.
What is your favourite track on the new album and why?
Obviously I have loved and nurtured each track, but I do love Rainy Day. I think it's a perfect slice of song writing in a Burt Bacharach kind of way ? or a least that's what I was trying to achieve. I also adore Stinging Sitars x 9. I play this in every set that I do. I also heard Public Enemy's DJ, Spy Kid, do a great mix of this track with Warm it up Kane by Big Daddy Kane.
What in your opinion makes a good song?
(Thinks) something that touches people; a good song is something that is not contrived and free falls from the heart I guess!
If you could record a cover version of any song what would it be?
I'm not really into cover versions at all, but I do think the best cover version I have ever heard is Soft Cell's Tainted Love. They turned a Northern Soul hit into an electronic masterpiece!! If I was to do a cover version then I would like to try the Pixies track Hey form the album Doolittle.
Who were your musical heroes when you were growing up and why?
I adored Blondie, Michael Jackson and Chic. Then I really got into punk and alternative music, and I was a Velvet Underground fan. I loved sounds that were a bit different and psychedelic and I've never been a music snob. I like music from all genres; one of my favourite albums from when I was growing up was the Muqqadar Ka Sikandar soundtrack.
What are the main unfulfilled ambitions you have?
Luckily I haven't got many. I set out to write music and that's what I'm doing and I've done stuff that I'm very proud of so I'm content in that manner. I always wanted to go to Goldsmiths University to study art and design; I managed to do this and complete my degree. However, I wouldn't mind meeting my soul mate, a tasty heartfelt man would fulfil my unrequited passion. Maybe it's time to have a look on aunty.com (laughs). Has it really come to this?!
Away from music, what do you do?
I eat lots of matter paneer and pilau rice. I'm nuts about food. I love to spend time with my family, hanging around in my kaftan and eating my mother's homemade delicious pizza. Indian style, of course. I love art galleries, long walks and exploring the unknown. I'm also a sucker for astrology.
What makes you happy and what makes you sad?
Meeting genuine people with good souls and humble nature makes me happy. Meeting selfish, money-obsessed people with no conscience makes me sad.
What was the last book you read?
The Joe Meek biography.
What was the last CD that you listened to?
Actually, I just had to review five new albums for the British Airways in-flight entertainment magazine and radio station. I've left the new Kraftwerk album in the CD player alongside the Human League's greatest hits that were on the review list.
Describe yourself to someone who doesn't know you?
I'm a genuine sweet soul of a girl but being a descendant from the Rajput warriors that sweet can turn sour if someone crosses me or my family (smiles). I then won't hesitate to get my sword out. I'm definitely a passionate lady and I enjoy living in a daydream world. My mind is my best friend.
Anjali's Seven Deadly Songs
The Whole Story Album by Kate Bush
It's so original and brilliant, simple as that.
Mondo Morricone by Ennio Morricone
One of the greatest film composers of all time alongside A R Rahman
Jerkin The Dog by The Mighty Hannibal
My DJ set seems incomplete without it
Je T'Aime by Serge Gainsbourg
There will never be another track like this; it was shockingly sensual and x-rated at the time
The Green Man by Shut Up and Dance
A timeless classic slice of dance music. It will always be one of the best.
Forbidden Colours by Ryuichi Sakamoto
Beautiful sounds and melodic sadness
The title track from the film Yeh Vaada Raha
It is played at every Indian wedding in town; there must be a reason for it. Love and romance rules!