Anna Shoemaker is a NY-based alt-pop artist who became a SoundCloud sensation three years who when her mashup of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and Chance the Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” went viral. Since then, she released her debut EP, East Side with GRAMMY-nominated producer JT Daley in 2018. She just released her brand new single, “If You’re Going (I’ll Go),” from her new EP which is set to be released on February 28. We had a blast chatting with Shoemaker about our high school love for Ashlee Simpson and Usher, getting margaritas and tacos at SXSW, her artist of the decade, dream collaborations, and more. Read an excerpt from our interview below and scroll down to listen to our full interview!
PR: Who are some of your current artists that influence your music today?
AS: It’s still such a wide range of people. I still listen to a lot of Lauryn Hill and I really like Summer Walker’s writing and SZA. That album [Ctrl] is amazing. I love Clairo too. Car Seat Headrest is my favorite band, they’re amazing. I’m also really inspired by my friends! My friend Ricky James, he lives here in Brooklyn. My other friend Tyler Cordy who is in Brooklyn, and Shawn Smith in Philly. I feel like working with my friends has been the most inspiring because they are such great artists and I love watching their process.
PR: What’s the overall theme of your East Side EP?
AS: I wrote all of those songs when I just moved to New York. I called it East Side because I was living in the East Village. It was all just kind of me figuring out how to be a person in New York and how to navigate trying to get on my feet and figuring out myself. I’ve had so many jobs since I’ve moved here, I was nannying and working at a restaurant in the East Village and it just felt like everything was so overwhelming and it still is. When you’re trying to navigate everything, you feel like you’re never going to get to where you want to be. When you get to where you want to be, that’s not even where you want to be anymore.
PR: Can we talk about your song East Side? That one is my favorite.
AS: That’s my favorite too! That one just kind of came out of me. I wrote it by myself and I just had this simple guitar going. I was just writing and didn’t really think about chorus or bridge or anything, it all just came into place. It didn’t feel like pop, it didn’t feel like anything, it just felt like a song that meant something to me and made me feel something. I don’t even play it live, it’s just a really special song. It feels like an homage to the songs I used to write when I didn’t have access to production and would just record voice notes.
PR: Let’s talk about your new music. Will this be an EP?
AS: It’s going to be an EP coming out on February 28!
PR: Can you tell me a little about If You’re Going (I’ll Go)?
AS: That’s one of my favorites. With a lot of these songs, I wasn’t thinking too much about where they were coming from inside me. At the time, I thought this song was a love song. It was like, “if you’re going, I’m going to go with you no matter what. Even if you’re going insane, whatever it takes, I’ll be there.” I kind of look back at that now, and I think that’s not how you should act in a relationship. You should be a ride or die but not… dying. I look back on that now and it’s crazy that when I had written it I thought of it as a love song and now putting it out months and months later after I’m living a different life now, I’m single now, it’s so weird to perform it and all of the emotions that it brings up. I feel like I’ve reclaimed it in a way, like I am who I am and I’m going.
PR: Are you done writing the EP already? Do we know how many songs?
AS: Yeah I’m done writing it! It’s 6 songs. I’m really excited. The sixth one that we snuck on there is a BOP! I was looking at all the songs so differently and I just needed one more that is like this is how it’s going to be moving forward. It wrapped up the five songs like let’s go and move on.
PR: When can we hear your new single?
AS: January 17! It’s very exciting. This one has been a long time coming.