by Dom Jones
Berklee alum and Grammy-winning artist, Anna Wise, performed in the Caf last week during her visit to Berklee w/ her band Sonnymoon. I was one of the fortunate Songwriting majors who had office hours with her earlier in the week. Obviously, I knew Anna from Kendrick Lamar’s song “These Walls,” on the To Pimp A Butterfly album, but before I met her, I wanted to listen to Anna, the solo artist. So, I went to her website, and what I saw, front and center, was a video for her latest single, “BitchSlut.” I was taken aback by the title of the song, but was curious to hear what would follow in the content. Take a moment to watch the video below.
If you heard the song the way I heard it, an anthem of empowerment and examination of the entitlement that accompanies sexism is what emerges here. Taking something enraging – these derogatory terms often flung at women, for no other reason than the manner in which we choose to engage (or not engage) with the opposite sex – and transforming it into something that illuminates that story creatively is what I would come to expect from Anna during our short time together, both in the office hours and at the Caf show.
As the Caf show filled up, Anna would sing familiar songs, unreleased music, eventually inviting her band Sonnymoon to join her on stage. What stood out was how personable she was, frequently conversing with audience members and even coming down from the stage to dance with show goers. The fun and familial feeling of the show was a reflection of how organic Anna’s music is and the abandon with which she engages performance.
It was also great to see her mesh instruments and electronics in her set, with the guitar player from Sonnymoon, and Anna using a looper to record hooks/background vocals on the spot during her solo songs. Much of what artists are doing to be innovative (and frankly, to reduce overhead) was illustrated in this set, making it not only an exciting time, but also a learning experience. Ultimately, Anna’s time here at Berklee gave us a glimpse into what some of us can expect after Berklee if we work hard and stay consistent.
The Feminine EP is out April 27th, 2016, and is available for pre-order on iTunes.
DID YOU ATTEND ANNA’S CAF SHOW? WHAT DID YOU THINK? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!