If you want genuine energy and emotion dripping from your music playlist then look no further than musical chanteuse Ana Baby. With many-a catchy hook and memorable turn of the phrase, this talented siren is quickly rewriting the playbook for an entire industry. Showcasing brains, wit and a killer fashion sense, Ana is riding high currently with two new hit songs – Show Me Love and Gotta Have It All – and is gearing up for a future EP release, Evolve.
Vents recently had the distinct pleasure of talking with Ana Baby about her music, the record industry and life during the time of a global pandemic.
Vents: Hi Ana and welcome to Vents! Before we get started, how have you been doing during these historic and tumultuous times?
Ana Baby: Hi Vents baby … thank you for having me during these historic times. These times have been trying going from covid into a civil war but in theory this can be a truly elevating experience if we stay strong.
Vents: Congratulations on your new hits Show Me Love and Gotta Have It All! Can you talk to Vents readers a little bit today about your new music and how it reflects where you’re at in your own life?
AB: Well I believe anything new is an extension of something pre-existing, so with my new mixtape and new music, myself and MEGATRON Presents a collection of music that still reflects where I started mixed with tracks I had to step out of my comfort zone to be able to create the sound.
Vents: When can we look for an EP release?
AB: By the Fall I’m releasing my full mixtape MEGATRON Presents Anamiss Prime. There was a delay with deciding the name. I was going to call it Anamall but I felt a higher transformation was happening so we have finally arrived baby and soon to follow that, most likely by top of 2021, my EP Evolve will be released.
Vents: Touring is obviously a huge part of the music industry, a genuine way to connect with the fans and promote the music. How has the global pandemic changed the touring scene and the ways in which you promote your work?
AB: Oh man, it’s drastically changed the music industry on all levels; everyone was shaken because artists make most of their revenue through shows, tours, and appearances and we use our platform to promo ads for individuals and corporations. Covid hit and almost had me stuck. Funny thing is that God is so great and where I was lacking before the covid kicked into gear and now I’m booming and now I do live shows from home and it’s more engaging and convenient. However, I am excited to perform outside and get that energy again.
Vents: Do you think the music industry will face permanent changes as a result of the pandemic?
AB: Oh I hope so; a lotta systems need to be restructured even in the music industry. Some artists that were thriving before the pandemic are suffering and operating under different guides because it’s new territory. It’s time to update and evolve our ways of being.
Vents: Musically, who inspires your own work?
AB: A lot of classics: I can listen to Lauren Hill anytime.
Vents: Could you describe what your process is like in creating new music? Which comes first for you, the lyrics or the music?
AB: It depends: When being creative you can’t control the process you can only harness and strengthen the conduit that helps you to facilitate the creation of the vibe. I don’t have children, but I imagine in theory it’s like what comes first, a contraction or the water breaking? It comes as it may assume and my job is to focus on breathing through it until the labor results in an actual masterpiece of life. For me my music is my baby for now.
Vents: You’ve worked with so many talented artists such as Jadakiss and Chris Brown. Is collaboration a huge part of making music for you?
AB: It wasn’t at first because I’m such an alpha woman. I was like ‘I’m every woman, I don’t need nobody!’ But it takes a village to raise a baby and I believe in quality. Why break my brain trying to copy someone’s style when I can get them on a feature, keep the economy stimulated, bring new music to the consumers all with quality pure organic swag. It’s more authentic. I learned that along the way you want to diversify your brand, collaborate by having features from big artist and create a way to put my city on is the goal. There’s a lot of talented artist in our own communities that just need a chance.
Vents: What ultimately led you into wanting to be a musician?
AB: My mom put me in piano classes when I very young and then my sister actually discovered my rapping when she found my diary and took me to the studio. I did background vocals with my sister on an LL Cool J album and after that a check was mailed to me! I’ve been hooked ever since.
Vents: Is it challenging being in a historically male-dominated industry or is that (hopefully) not even an issue?
AB: Unfortunately it is still an issue even though we have evolved and have more females in the industry, which is progress. However the intent on how females gain the exposure is an issue still because it’s expected that we’re to be exploited. The reality is that sex sells and influences trends. It’s condescending to feel that women are pitted against each other, or need a male co-sign to be relevant. There’s still colourism in the industry, and it’s still too much hypocrisy that exists and that fosters the sexism. It’s hard to navigate in a room full of vultures but if it was easy everyone would do. I know I’m worth it.
Vents: You’re a Bronx native of Puerto Rican lineage. How has your upbringing and your heritage informed your music?
AB: Listening to India, Selena, Celia Cruz, Jerry Rivera allowed me to embrace my confidence and add some spice to the mix; my mind is open to different rhythms when I flow.
Vents: We noted earlier some of your more prominent collaborations with other musicians; who would you most like to collaborate with that you haven’t as of yet had the opportunity to?
AB: I mean I would love to collab with anyone, but I really like Megan Thee Stallion and Saweetie. I love DreamDoll for that new baby drip, but I would really love to work too with classic and legendary stars like Chaka Khan or Diana Ross.
Vents: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
AB: To bring back development deals. I think these major machines have adjusted to the microwave sound where they can manufacture a carbon copy and make a quick buck back, but the quality sucks and the artist fades and the music we listen to starts to get diluted because of a concern for quantity over quality. Development deals gave artist the time to groom something potential into something credential and artist can get back to making classic songs again.
Vents: You’ve been applauded for not only your music but also your personal style which is unique and original. What inspires your style and are there any style icons in or out of the music industry that you admire?
AB: I majored in fashion which aesthetically helps my music because I get to express my views through my clothes. My sister is such a fashion power house musical stylist; Talia Coles who really helps mold my image and delivery.
Vents: You’re stranded on a deserted island. Which one album and which one film do you have with you to pass the time while awaiting rescue?
AB: Well first I would need the book How to Build a Raft from Scratch for Dummies because I’m never going to be stranded long! For the tunes I would need something spiritual like Yolanda Adams to get me through the struggle.