Interview

Deep Dive with Annika Wells [Q&A]

Miles Opton

When we think of the full musical package, one name always comes to mind: Annika Wells. The 24-year-old epitome of a successful singer/songwriter has written for some of the most influential artists of the decade, such as BTS, Illenium, and the Jonas Brothers (just to name a few). Now, releasing her first solo track, “F*ck Being Sober”, Annika gives the world a look into her mind with vividly honest lyricism. We thought it’d be a good time to touch base with her and learn about this transition and the musical journey leading up to it. Dive in below.

You’ve just released your solo track, “F*ck Being Sober,” why’d you choose this one to be first? What’s the inspiration behind it?

F*ck Being sober is exactly how I feel about the world boiled down to 3 minutes and 32 seconds. Why waste time on things that don’t make us happy when we’re all going to die one day anyway? I recorded the gang vocals for the last chorus at a writing camp with a group of my closest friends and the laughter you hear is us just genuinely having a good time. My project is the truest version of me exposed in audible form, and I felt like this was a fitting debut.

You’ve collaborated with a variety of musicians over the past four years… what made you want to transition to a solo career?

I’ve always known I would pursue my singing career, it was just about timing. When I first moved to LA I was a little lost and overwhelmed and I didn’t want to just throw something against the wall to see if it would stick. Instead, I decided to hone in on my craft, find my sound, and build genuine connections with other creators. Now I have something to say and I know exactly how I want to say it. And I’m going to say it as loud as I can.

You’ve worked with artists from BTS, to The Jonas Brothers, to Illenium- what are some of the biggest takeaways you’ve had from those sessions?

It’s been so inspiring to work with other artists who are so passionate and driven about their art. There’s usually a moment in the studio when you’re writing a song and everything just clicks, and it’s truly magical. Sharing those with such talented people has been incomparable. As much as I love helping others’ visions come to life, it’s a different kind of catharsis to finally do it for myself.

What’s your proudest moment so far in your journey as a musician?

My proudest moment was when I walked off stage at Madison Square Garden playing with Illenium. We performed to a sold-out arena of 20,000 people and closed the show with "Sad Songs" and my heart could not have been fuller in that moment. My parents have watched me grow from playing the piano at age 4 to writing songs at age 8 to singing in talent shows, to making it to the most renowned stage in the world. I don’t know if anything will beat that feeling.

What’s the most rewarding part of being a musician for you?

It’s being able to wrap up a specific feeling into one file of sound and deliver it to somebody else to unwrap and feel for themselves. Music is so mysterious and profound in the way that words and sounds can take us back to being a kid again, or make us want to profess our love for somebody, or allow us to be our truest selves. Being able to give somebody a feeling is the most profound gift I could ever ask for.

In just a few words, how would you describe your solo sound?

Weird. Honest. Wild. Quirky. Gross. Feminist. Profound. Squishy.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring musicians and songwriters?

If you have enough drive and put your feelers out into the universe, something will click. Think of the thing that other people are either too lazy to do or haven’t thought of yet. And do that thing.

In another life, if you weren’t a singer/songwriter what would you be doing for a living?

Dying.

Having already worked with some of the best musicians in the industry, who’s still on your bucket list to work with?

Alexander23, Lizzo, Bazzi, Lauv, and Jon Bellion. They’re all geniuses. I would cry.

What’s next for you? Anything we should be on the lookout for?

Oh sooooo much. I have more songs than I know what to do with - now it’s just about releasing them out into the universe in a timeline that allows me to get (roughly) 6 hours of sleep a night. It’s go-time and I have so much coming. I can’t wait to show you.

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