Interview with Anna Aarons: ‘A Perfect Day’ is a feel-good happy song.
‘A Perfect Day’ is Out Now
“I’m walking way above cloud 9, making my own sunshine” is the opening line of “A Perfect Day”. A feel-good happy song performed by London singer-songwriter Anna Aarons. This positive upbeat track, written by Dean Adams and Nick Moxsom, is out now. Released via Cute Spider Records and distributed by Horus Music.
Fusing lively cumbia with reggae beats and the most gorgeous ukulele sounds. Anna Aarons delivers a pick me up song, that gently lifts everyone’s mood into a happier space and blows away the worries of today. Her nonchalant vocal style appeals with her casual directness coupled with sensual melodic finesse. Gentle yet infectious reggae beats add a bounce to everyone’s step. The catchy singalong chorus perfectly expresses the universal mantra to happiness: “everything is A-OK, oh what a perfect day”.
Anna Aarons specialises in a brand of commercial yet authentic and soulful indie-pop.
Her distinctive voice is partnered with dynamic bass, driving percussion and a jazzy electric guitar. Featured on her last single ‘Words’ and previous offerings ‘Her’ and ‘Since You Went Away’; both of which celebrate female figures in Anna’s life. Her music conveys her sanguine ability to touch on dark themes, such as grief, in the lyrics and uplift them with a jazz-threaded kinetic production.
Inspired by Amy Winehouse, Anna has sold out multiple shows at Pizza Express Live performing her tribute to the late soul superstar. She began to develop a name for herself by busking on the London Underground, and her talent helped her reach the Quarterfinals of the Isle of Wight New Blood Competition. Now, she is delivering captivating new music that is indicative of her dazzling potential.
1. ‘A Perfect Day’ is out now. Can you tell us more about the song and what does it means to you?
For me, ‘A Perfect Day’ isn’t about cliches of great weather and tropical beaches, but about enjoying the moment, when life around you feels calm and you just feel fully content.
The essence of the song is about creating the feeling of abundance. Because the song has such an upbeat ukulele rhythm, along with the positive lyrics, it really speaks to me when I am feeling down. Automatically it puts me in a better mood – which is what I hope will happen for everyone who listens to it too. ?
2. I am loving the positive vibes in the song! What inspired such an upbeat song?
My guitarist Dean and his friend Nick wrote the song after an all-night music jam session on a beach with artists worldwide. The next day, still daydreaming about the night before, they put all those moments of happiness and a perfect day into this song. Dean then wanted my voice for the vocals as he knew the tone of my voice was the perfect fit, and I was, of course, happy to oblige. So glad to hear people are already enjoying the song so much. I think it’s something we really need right now after such a difficult year.
3. How would you describe your music to someone?
My music has been described as ‘commercial offerings that stray between soul and pop’. To be honest, I’ve never been sure what genre my music fits into as when I write songs, I don’t write to a fixed idea… songs just sort of fall out!
‘A Perfect Day’ is definitely the most ‘pop’ and I knew it would make a lot of people happy when listening to it. I’ve been lucky enough to meet such talented and loyal musicians. Dean being one, and my other bandmates Mehmet Raif and Will Jackson, co-wrote and produced my 2019 singles. I know artists don’t always talk about other songwriters, but to me, it’s been so great to have met others who have wanted to work with me and who have helped me get my music to where I want it to be.
4. Can you tell us about your musical background and how Amy Winehouse inspired you?
If we go right back, the start of my singing life was actually singing musical theatre at my dance school. Fast forward to Uni, and I sang at open mic nights and wrote songs. I then gained a TfL busking license where I would sing a range of songs, including a handful of Amy’s and people used to come up to me to say I reminded them of her (massive compliment).
After producing a music evening in tribute to her, I don’t consider myself a tribute act as I don’t pretend to be her. I present and perform as me, talking about her life and her inspiration – but I do dress a bit like her on those nights as I loved her style – I learnt more about her life and inspiration. The main way I relate to her is that all my own songs are songs about my life, they’re honest, and they’re therapy for me to write, which I know was the same for Amy. I don’t pretend my songs are the same level as hers, but that honesty and the love of playing alongside live musicians is the way I bring her into my music.
5. Your previous singles ‘Her’ and ‘Since You Went Away’ both celebrate female figures in your life. Can you talk through the importance of them to you?
‘Since You Went Away’ is a song directly inspired by Amy. Her track ‘October Song’ from ‘Frank’ samples Sarah Vaughan’s ‘Lullaby of Birdland’. Recently, my family discovered old recordings from the 60s of my late grandmother singing Sarah Vaughan’s ‘Passing Strangers’. I’m told I get my singing voice from my grandmother and, what with that song also being one of Sarah Vaughan’s, I really wanted to see what I could create with this song in a nod to October Song. My grandmother died before I was born, but I’ve always felt so close to her, and this song really helped me express that and was written not long after my Grandpa died. ‘Her’ is about my sister. Amy has a song on her first album about her brother, but I didn’t know that when I wrote this one. I was playing around on my guitar one day, and this song just fell out… my sister is my best friend, and, despite her being five years younger, there are a lot of times I’ve felt as though she’s been my big sister and the song just delves into our relationship. I also love the bassline that Mehmet added in my 2019 release of the song – everyone really enjoys this one when we play it live. I know you didn’t ask, but ‘Words’ is also about a female figure in my life. It’s just not as nice a story as the others. This one was therapeutic for me; to have been able to put a painful experience into a fully realised song alongside a music video that I produced myself alongside a friend – it’s a great feeling, and that’s what music is all about for me. I think a lot of people will sadly be able to relate to that song.
6. I am loving the artwork for the single featured on your Instagram. Can you talk through it?
Thanks, me too! As you can tell from my previous singles, I love having art for my single artwork, so Dean and I worked together to find an artist to capture A Perfect Day perfectly. It was made by Nugraha, a hugely talented illustrator from Indonesia. We approached a few artists, and most painted ‘typical’ perfect day scenes with tropical beaches etc., but Nugraha’s indoor scene really depicted just what the song means to me – and especially after a year where we’ve been inside, it showed how, if you’re still able to do something you love (which for me is obviously singing), then you can still have a perfect day. I love the colours in the picture and the details of the headphones, the bunting and fairy lights and even the little penguin – even though I’ve never met Nugraha, he managed to capture me perfectly!
7. You are London born. What are your favourite things about the city?
Ooh, good question. My favourite place in London is the Southbank. I studied Drama, so The Globe is one of my favourite London landmarks, and I often visit there and then walk down the Southbank towards Waterloo. I love the river, and there’s always a feel-good vibe down there – Central London can feel quite manic, but even though always busy, the Southbank always feel chill and happy.
Also, having been a London Underground busker was an iconic moment in my singing career – buskers get a better rep now (probably thanks to our mate Ed), and that experience captures London. Singing in the background for all the London commuters, the tourists, and those travelling across the city in the middle of the day was the best way to watch London while doing what I love most.
8. As we are easing out of lockdown, what are the 3 things you can’t wait to do again?
I can’t wait to gig again!! I have my first Amy show after a year and a half booked in for 18th July, and it’s now 10 years since she passed away, so I’m really looking forward to that.
I also can’t wait to go to the theatre again (I have my eyes on tickets to Frozen the Musical:D). And to see my best friend from Leeds because it’s been too long – she was meant to be getting married last October, so I can’t wait to see her soon. She made the cute ukulele strap which is due to feature in the Perfect Day music video 😀
9. What is your top tip for living your best life?
Live your life for yourself and not what you think others want you to do or expect from you. Find what you love doing and do it. I’ve learnt that you can’t plan too far ahead, and you have to make of life what it throws at you. After being very aware of how short life can be with both parents having lost a parent very young, and with being in a car accident that, although unhurt, was terrifying. I realised that you have to grab opportunities because you never know what moment will be your last. You have to find those opportunities; they don’t come to you.
It sounds idealistic, but I’ve learnt that there’s usually a way to make money from what you love doing, so it may not be as hard as it seems to find a job you enjoy doing. Also, distance yourself from things that make you anxious. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised I don’t have to do the things I don’t like doing just because I feel I should. Counselling is a great way of helping you achieve this – it’s something that needs to be less taboo because it’s there for anyone who is struggling with any aspect of their lives, not just those with serious mental health struggles.
10. What are your plans and ambitions for the future?
I’d love to do more writing soon, as it’s been a while – sadly, lockdown didn’t provide me much inspiration, but I have some old lyrics that need some music. I want to bring my Amy show to more audiences as I love to keep her legacy alive (along with others who do the same) and always have room in my life for music.