Anna Demetri­ou is an estab­lished actress who starred in the film Viking Des­tiny. Along­side her act­ing career she has been writ­ing her own songs and now, with the help of pro­duc­er Tom E Mor­ri­son, is launch­ing her singing career.

What prompt­ed your move into music? Was this a dream you’ve been har­bour­ing for a while?
I was always incred­i­bly shy when it came to singing. At dra­ma school it took me a long time to be able to sing in front of peo­ple and not feel sick, but I’ve always loved it. I just saved it for the show­er or when I was in a large, echoey room with nobody around. That was – and prob­a­bly still is – the time I felt the most com­fort­able singing but we’re get­ting there – baby steps. I have come so incred­i­bly far from not want­i­ng to sing for any­one to buy­ing a gui­tar and writ­ing my first song to record­ing music in my room. And it has gone from there to record­ing an album – I can’t quite believe it some­times. I’m feel­ing more con­fi­dent all the time. There was so much I want­ed to sing about and the more peo­ple heard me the more they want­ed me to share. So what began as some­thing for oth­ers became some­thing for me. 

What made you decide the time was right to launch your singing career?
Tom [Mor­ri­son], my pro­duc­er, is a huge part of why I am here. We have been work­ing on my music togeth­er for over three years now, and launch­ing myself into the music world is real­ly down to his part­ner­ship with me in the stu­dio. We’ve grown into this togeth­er. We’re keen to get back after the pan­dem­ic and fin­ish all the tracks that need final tweaks.

Your first sin­gle is a dreamy bal­lad called I Can’t Wait. Can you talk about your singing style…
It’s a good ques­tion and one I strug­gle to answer. When­ev­er I have to cat­e­gorise my music on a web­site, none feel right to me or Tom. Even describ­ing it as a balled is a new one for me to think about as there’s this beat going through it that makes me think that it isn’t – but you’re prob­a­bly right as it’s not pop music. I choose ‘alter­na­tive’ usu­al­ly as it sits amongst a few gen­res. I take influ­ences from Lana Del Rey and Bil­lie Eil­ish from their real­ly del­i­cate, raw, lay­ered sound that I think comes through in my songs. But there’s also a lot of upbeat tracks on the album that arguably could move towards alt-pop, so who knows at this stage.

Your two sin­gles were pro­duced by Tom E Mor­ri­son and you worked with him on the film Viking Des­tiny. How influ­en­tial has he been on your career?
Tom has real­ly been respon­si­ble for all of it. David, the direc­tor of the film I was in, sent him some of my tracks and he got in touch. I was­n’t expect­ing that. I call him my ‘music dad’, haha. He takes my music which is very raw and adds things I would­n’t even have thought of, and we build on it until it becomes what you hear. 

What instru­ments do you play?
I only play the gui­tar. I would love to play the piano but I nev­er got round to learn­ing. When I was 17 I bought a blue gui­tar from Argos and googled chords and taught myself how to play. I still own that gui­tar ten years lat­er, and even though I now have a Fend­er, the blue gui­tar is still my go-to. Maybe it’s a com­fort thing but I have had gui­tar nerds tell me it’s actu­al­ly a great sound so maybe the younger me just had great taste and did­n’t know it!

Did you write some – or all – of the songs on your album? Can you describe your cre­ative process?
Yeah I write all my own music. All my songs are my own. I can’t imag­ine them not being because singing to me is so much about emo­tion and my per­son­al con­nec­tion. I don’t know why but most of my songs are sad – I think I’m more prone to writ­ing when I’m low. But I often have a sin­gle sen­tence and a song forms around that thought. Words always come first and then the melody almost seems to write itself after the narrative.

The sec­ond sin­gle is Twice the Breath which is a beau­ti­ful song. You’ve put out this sec­ond track just bare­ly after the first… it looks like you’re on a roll?
Twice the Breath is the first com­plet­ed song I ever record­ed. I wrote it for my moth­er’s wed­ding, it was her sec­ond mar­riage and the song was about that jour­ney. I nev­er got round to releas­ing it offi­cial­ly but I’m so glad it’s out now. We also have a cool music video, filmed by my amaz­ing­ly tal­ent­ed best friend Kitt Sul­li­van. It’s on YouTube and Face­book and involves a green screen and a tram­po­line – what more could you want!

The album comes out in spring. How is it pro­gress­ing?
Ten tracks have been record­ed. We just need to wait for the virus to be over so I can get back into the stu­dio and fin­ish them. I’m so look­ing for­ward to releas­ing the album, it’s a heart­felt work.

Has lock­down been an anx­ious time for you or has it been a pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence?
Lock­down began as a treat for me, which may sound odd to hear. I am an actor, very social­ly con­fi­dent and at ease in pop­u­lat­ed sit­u­a­tions, but I would still call myself an intro­vert. Being told I had to stay home and not work was a treat and I took the first lock­down as a love­ly oppor­tu­ni­ty to have time off from the hus­tle and grind. I loved that first lock­down. This time round though, I’m real­ly over it. It’s so impor­tant we adhere to what the coun­try needs and I’m stay­ing at home and hop­ing for a swift res­o­lu­tion. But yes, this one is more melan­choly for me, and I’m start­ing to feel a lit­tle stir crazy. My cat is lov­ing the atten­tion though, and I got a PS5 for Christ­mas so that has def­i­nite­ly eased the blow!

Do you have a good sup­port net­work round you?
Yes, it’s amaz­ing, I am very blessed indeed. Peo­ple who fol­low my act­ing career have been brought to my music, and vice-ver­sa. They are a loy­al lot who I love very much. My fam­i­ly and friends thank­ful­ly love my music and are look­ing for­ward to the album, so no com­plaints at all.

You are launch­ing your singing career in the mid­dle of the pan­dem­ic– have you had the chance to per­form live? As an actor I guess being in front of an audi­ence will not be a prob­lem?
My singing career is more of an ongo­ing instal­la­tion, which is nice. I record and release when I can, around oth­er work. My third track will be fin­ished soon and will be the final sin­gle release before the album is fin­ished. This is with­out doubt my favourite song so far and is pro­duced with piano. I haven’t per­formed live yet, I pre­fer work­ing in the stu­dio, but who knows what the future holds. I’m not closed off to anything.

How will you bal­ance your singing with your act­ing career?
Act­ing led me onto the music I make today so the two always feel linked for that rea­son. The crav­ing for shar­ing art informs both sides of my life. I always need to be cre­at­ing some­thing. In both sides of my life I am per­form­ing, sto­ry­telling, cre­at­ing and hope­ful­ly mov­ing oth­ers, and that’s what I’m hap­py doing. And grate­ful for any­one it reaches.

Anna Demetri­ou Face­book ; Twit­ter ; YouTube
Pro­duc­er Tom E MHor­ri­son ; Big Sky Song
Pho­tog­ra­phy © Aks Huckleberry

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