Emerging Indie-Pop artist Anna O is set to release her new single, Sleepless and debut EP, When The Winter Came on March 21. Hailing from Perth, the young artist was influenced by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Kimbra and Lorde.

It was during a two-year bout with glandular fever, that Anna O realized music was her calling. Other interests came and went but music was always on the forefront.

Sleepless, her latest single was penned one evening when the musician couldn’t quell the voices in her head, an all too familiar scene with insomniacs.

Music News caught up with Anna O to discuss song writing and the challenges of being a self-managed artist.

Music News - When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?

Other interests would always come and go, but music is the one thing I've never stopped doing. I had to pull out of formal music study at WAAPA in 2011 when I became bed ridden with glandular fever, which ended up lasting two years. Lets just say I had way too much time alone to think! Somewhere in those two years I stopped kidding myself that I could do anything else and be happy, so I decided that as soon as I was well enough I would hit the music thing as hard as I could. I titled the EP to reflect that season of my life.

Music News - Which artists have influenced you?

Such a big question to answer! I grew up learning jazz trumpet, so there was a lot of jazz and soul influences in there! Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone and Chet Baker to name a few. I’m also the youngest of seven kids, so as a youngster I was rocking out to my brother's and sister's favourite artists; Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Silverchair, Alanis Morissette, and George. These days it's Ngaiire, Meg Mac, Kimbra, Jessie Ware, Lorde, Asta and Janelle Monae; all sassy women with big voices and wicked tunes.

Music News - You just released your new single Sleepless. What can you tell me about that?

Sleepless was one of the first songs I wrote for the EP and it's opening track.
You know those nights when your mind is so busy, so loud, that you just can’t get to sleep? It was on one of those nights that I wrote sleepless. I was thinking about the contrast between the quiet buzz of the night compared with the chaos in my head, and tried to imagine what it would be like if we could hear a cacophony of insomniacs and their crazy thoughts, a giant choir of sleepless minds.

Music News - Previously you co-wrote songs with local artists and have recently made the shift into writing your own songs. What can you tell me about this?

A few years back my friend and I started writing together and formed a band, we played a few low-key pub gigs but it ended up dissipating quite quickly. Since then I've helped a few artists flesh out their lyrical ideas but I felt that if I wanted to write music and create a lasting career, I would have to go solo. The main factor behind this decision was that if someone needs to pull out, the work isn't lost and I can keep doing what I love.

Music News - What hurdles have you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
A big one is fear of vulnerability; it takes a lot to put yourself out there for everyone to critique. And honestly, money is a pretty massive hurdle when you're a self-managed artist and funding everything yourself.

Music News - If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

Other than music, my best subject at school was always Drama. So either way I'd be a starving artist! That, or anything to do with design, I'm a sucker for all things visual.

Music News - What embarrassing songs might I find on your IPod?

This is hard to admit.... Ke$ha! With a dollar sign, oh yeah.

Music News - Anything you would like to share, from upcoming shows to albums?

I'm super pumped for the upcoming release of my debut EP 'When The Winter Came' on March 21st. The opening track Sleepless is available for free download now from http://www.triplejunearthed.com.au/AnnaO

View Anna O’s clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi_ufsVTmr0