Mindfulness Merged in Music
Meeting Annei Lee
In this time of global crisis and distress new music has bloomed in China and especially now consciousness through its message is needed more than ever.
We had the opportunity to interview Ukrainian singer and songwriter Annei Lee who soothed us with her amazing voice and powerful lyrics guiding us into a unique place of reflection and empathy.
How would you define the style and sound of your project ‘Annei Lee’?
I would perhaps label it as ‘modern pop’. The music industry has changed quite a bit in the past years, and we see today more and more electronic sounds in different types of music. I personally love it and really enjoy to play with electronic software and ultimately create a mix with live instruments. You suddenly have bigger possibilities to create and to turn some interesting ideas into reality, something that is stuck in your head.
What first got you into music?
Funny thing is, I am actually a lawyer by degree. But throughout my childhood I have always been passionate about music. Back home in Ukraine I have been attending a music school where I was taught basics of classic vocals. However, in my early twenties I then decided to follow my passion ‘music’ and somehow taught and trained myself as a singer. After winning several vocal contests I then made it onto ‘THE VOICE’ and later on joined different music projects that took me to India and finally here to China.
What’s the story of your project?
Well, about 5 years ago I came to China from my home country, the Ukraine. In the aftermath of the 2014 revolution I was looking for some new opportunities and finally landed in Shanghai. As a singer I then started to perform at various venues and later signed with JZ Club in Shanghai. But it has always been my dream to work on my very own project, so I slowly started to put the pieces together for ‘Annei Lee’ as a singer/songwriter. Still I have to play different gigs throughout the country to support life and finance my project. But ultimately all my heart goes into ‘Annei Lee’, where I can express my views, emotions and eventually reach out to the people who like my music.
What’s the motivation of your project?
As mentioned, ‘Annei Lee’ gives me some sort of freedom and liberty to express my views and emotions and reach out to people through my music. Music is such a wonderful medium to connect and reach out to people all around the world, no matter where we come from.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Generally, my music is not just about a trendy melody and rhythm. Which of course you need, just like a good packaging in order for the audience to connect with your creations in first place. But coming down to the actual lyrics and the meaning of my songs they are much deeper. My songs shall make people think and eventually give them some sort of guidance in life.
What is your creative process like?
Usually I am not planning, or having the actual intention to write and compose a new song. It somehow happens in that very particular moment, when I get inspired by something, I take a pen and write down some of the lyrics. Working those lyrics into a song, coming up with a melody and composing the song is a longer process. Being somehow kind of a perfectionist you can imagine that many versions might evolve before I am actually happy with the output. Thanks to a lot of very creative people, musicians and very good friends around me who help and support this whole process is possible until having a song being released to the public.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Well, being an artist life never comes easy and in fact a lot of obstacles wait along your way. Only few very talented artists make it to stardom, but stardom might not be the ultimate goal. I think it is the journey itself, like life itself, that we have to manage and to accept. Whatever we do in life, never give up, work hard, stay focused and learn to be grateful.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Good question, most probably I would be sitting in a court room right now working to become a good judge. But who knows, I could even have become some sort of explorer, isn’t life about exploring every moment?
What’s next for you?
I am very excited about the upcoming release of my new single and music video for ‘Breathing’. A lot of work has gone into this song, and I am very pleased with the result, hope you all will like it.
What do you feel when you perform your songs?
It’s like entering some sort of different dimension. It’s not just about singing the song per se, but slipping into the ‘character’ of the song, feeling the emotions and thoughts. I think that makes it somehow real.
Where can we find you?
Instagram & WEIBO