Music has always resided inside of Anna Mabel, but it took some time to get things aligned. As we all know, life can throw a whirlwind of hurdles in our way but when we’re strong enough to push through – the result is always worth the struggle. That’s Anna Mabel, a strong individual who battled a cascade of things that may’ve led others to stop trying. From the health issues of a loved one to inner turmoil, she shared with us how it all led to her kickstarting a career in music and releasing a handful of singles in 2021. We talked about all of that and then some, likes what she has in store for the new year.
Kendra: What or who initially got you interested in music? Was this something you knew you wanted to do since you were a kid, or did you find music later in life?
Anna Mabel: I was born into an unmusical family and I was the odd one, as I was singing before I could even talk. Music came so naturally to me. I started to play the piano when I was seven years old to accompany my singing. The first songs I wrote in my teenage years, and I was always performing and taking every chance I could to learn more about music. But I grew up in a small town with limited opportunities and my parents encouraged me to pursue a career in a more stable field than in music.
That is why I never had the courage to follow my passion for music. I had a career in business for years, even though I always felt out of place in my day job. It was only after several years of dealing with depression that I realized that it was not right to deny my natural inclination to sing and write songs. Even though it has taken every ounce of my courage to say goodbye to my old life, pursuing a career as a music artist has made me feel complete again and I feel like I am finally on the right path.
Kendra: Now you found it and you’re doing great! Four singles in 2021, and I’m assuming more to come. What made you want to release singles instead of a whole album at once?
Anna Mabel: I was too eager to wait for the whole album to show the world what I have to offer! Releasing singles one by one is a good way to offer my audience small glimpses of my inner world and introduce them to different sides of me. They can be slightly different from each other, but they don’t clash or steal away the attention from each other. That is also the norm in today’s music industry, as releasing singles gets more plays than releasing an album.
Personally, I love albums, as they can take you on an emotional journey and you can include songs that are more artistic and adventurous than the obvious single-type of songs. I will definitely release an album at one point, trust me.
Kendra: Your debut single, “Let My Color Shine” is so wonderful and allows us to celebrate ourselves fully. Did you want to come out of the gate with this one as a sort of reminder that you can do this?
Anna Mabel: “Let My Colors Shine” was the first song I wrote after several months of not being able to write any music. My child, then only 3 years old, fell seriously ill and my life changed totally at that point. Spending months with her in a hospital led to my marriage falling apart and I was in terrible turmoil. But when the worst anxiety was over, I was able to start building my life back up again from scratch, and in that process, I was forced to face myself honestly for the first time.
I came out as a queer person to my friends and family and started to talk openly about my struggles with depression and an eating disorder. I found peace within myself like never before, and then I was able to write music again. This song just wrote itself and I let it pour out of me as it was. To my surprise, it was in English, as before I had written songs only in my native language Finnish. So, this song “Let My Colors Shine” is in many ways the beginning of the new me. It led me to pursue an international music career and write songs that are honest about vulnerability and imperfections in us humans. I want to touch people’s hearts with my music and it starts with opening your heart and your past to the world to see.
Kendra: As for your last single of 2021, it got more sensual. “You Don’t Have to Love Me” is a song I think a lot of people can relate to – whether they’d admit to it or not because I think many have been in a situation like the song explores. That moment where yeah, the person may not be “the one” but you want them to be the one for the night. Was this inspired by anyone in particular or were you thinking in the general sense?
Anna Mabel: The scenario is straight out of my life, of course! I was totally dependent on somebody that was in a place in their lives where they couldn’t commit to a relationship. Even though my heart was breaking every time we met, I had to keep seeing them, because being without them completely was unimaginable and the mutual sexual attraction was something I had never felt before. It was a choice of getting at least the good sex out of the hopeless situation.
And of course, as a songwriter having so much going on internally, you write a song about it! I believe that the most embarrassing feelings are the most universal, and that’s why I wanted to release this song as a single, as well. I’m happy with how it turned out, as nothing is one-dimensional. This song embodies that real-life situation with its array of emotions, from sensuality to hopelessness.
Kendra: Since it’s January, I’m asking everyone…not for a lengthy resolution, but for a resolution, a goal they have for this month. What’s yours?
Anna Mabel: I have been so bad at posting stuff on social media, so my resolution is to be more active and sharing more of my thoughts and my journey on my social media accounts.
Kendra: Again, four singles in 2021 – but what’s to come as we get into the new year?
Anna Mabel: Next I will release an EP, write a bunch of new songs, and start to plan for my album. As an independent artist, I am in charge of building my own career, so I am also starting my studies to become a music manager to better understand this crazy industry and to be able to also help other artists in their careers.