An Interview with Annie Scherer

FRAN: Annie why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself; your background and …everything ANNIE: Right., well I’m an independent singer songwriter, I do a lot of alt-pop music, and I got my start through classical piano which I started when I was six years old. And I performed that for thirteen years, and… Read more »

by FrancescaMulvery 7 months ago

FRAN: Annie why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself; your background and …everything

ANNIE: Right., well I’m an independent singer songwriter, I do a lot of alt-pop music, and I got my start through classical piano which I started when I was six years old. And I performed that for thirteen years, and then, uh my very first experience recording was when I was fifteen years old, and I worked with a professional national producer; we recorded an EP together and then I went to school for music, I studied Music Industry, and I just graduated, and I just released this album; that was my very first album and I wrote and produced all of it. I’ve produced all of it apart from one song, so yeah, it’s been very exciting.

FRAN: That’s very impressive, recording and producing it all yourself. Do you have a recording room where you live?

ANNIE: Sort of [Annie and Fran both laugh]. I have a very unorganised set-up, I used equipment that I’ve gathered over the years to record it, in my house here and it works for me, it’s very unprofessional looking [she giggles], but it was hard to use other locations because of Covid so I kind of just relied on my own stuff.

FRAN: So, have you been working on it for the past year, or did it start much earlier than that?

ANNIE: Actually, I well, I’ve written the songs over the years, so I-I think all these songs were written over the last three years, but I actually just started recording it back in September I think so it was a really quick album – but I had a lot of time ‘cause of quarantine, so,

FRAN: That makes a lot of sense. I’m sure everyone else has had a lot of time to do a number of things if they wanted, and in relation to another element of your background, a bit about where you were born and your family heritage, ‘cause I know in – yeah [laughs]

ANNIE: Yeah, so I am from Upstate New York, and I have grown up here my entire life. I am half Chinese and half German, and like Northwestern European. So my mom’s family is from China – my mom was born here but my grandparents immigrated from China, and on my dad’s side, his grandparent- or my grandparents are, they’re from Pennsylvania and their parents were from Germany so, I’m half-and-half and yeah now I’m just here in New York.

FRAN: Ah you’ve got a mix

ANNIE: Yeah [laugh]

FRAN: And I wasn’t sure about asking this question because I don’t know how comfortable you would be ask- answering, but in light of the Asian hate that’s come off Covid, what’s your experience and response to that sort of thing, have you experienced it yourself?

ANNIE: I mean people have definitely made some stereotypes and said some things before. I mean I don’t really think they were with the intentions of being offensive, but I think there are a lot of things that people tend to say and it’s kind of become normalised when it’s really not okay, so I think it’s good, that there’s been a lot of light brought to these things. I mean fortunately where I am here, I haven’t experienced anything beyond that, but it is really… it’s really upsetting and I think it’s important to acknowledge those things and I also think that, in things like entertainment there’s not really a lot of Asian-American voices. So, I hope that in the next years that’s something that’s recognised and there’ll be more diversity amongst Asian-Americans.

FRAN: Yeah, I mean, I personally, I can’t even imagine what you and other Asian people, members of the Asian community and other people of colour go through. Being a white woman I haven’t experienced any of what you guys experience – and that’s actually part of the reason that I jumped at the chance to interview you, because it’s bringing another Asian musician into the limelight, to get you – and get you more exp- well exposure’s not maybe the right word in this [she and Annie both laugh] current state of the world – but in the you know, getting you more notice sense.

ANNIE: Yeah, I feel like, I feel like the UK has had a lot of emerging Asian artists which is really, really amazing but I think we’re a little bit behind in America here, there’s not really a lot of Asian-Americans performing and acting and just…in entertainment.

FRAN: Yeah…I mean, I say yeah as if I know what you’re talking about -[they both laugh] I – but I have, I mean, noticed you can’t always tell someone’s nationality or their accent by their singing voice, because I know a lot of – I know of a lot of British artists who sing with an American accent and I always wonder [Annie agrees] why they’re doing that [they both laugh]. I would imagine it’s an artistic choice, because there are also a lot of British artists who use their native accent […] you have native language but I don’t know if there’s a native accent. But I thought I’d ask you what got you into music in the first place, ‘cause I know in our little – at the beginning of the interview you mentioned that you started in classical piano at six years old?

ANNIE: Yeah- well growing up even before piano my parents always played music for my sister and I, we listened to a lot of classic rock-’n’-roll like a lot of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, uh groups like that so I always loved music and then – my sister actually had taken piano lessons when she was six, and I was four at the time. And she didn’t last very long, she wasn’t very interested in it but I would use to go with my mom to drop her off and I always wanted to take piano after seeing her take it so I used to ask my mom like “When I’m older, can I take piano lessons?” and eventually I did so that was it for me and I love playing piano-I mean I don’t perform it as much now ‘cause I am doing more singer-songwriter music but, yeah I definitely credit a lot of my skills and writing, to the classical background.

Come back next time for Part 2 of the interview!