London-based New York R&B-pop singer, songwriter and producer ANISE has spent the large part of the year teasing us with exquisite new singles like ‘Toulouse’, ‘Obey’ and ‘Kinfolk’ in the lead up to her highly anticipated debut EP titled BLACK EVE. Along the way, the Black American songstress has been championed by global tastemakers such as Wonderland, PopMatters, Earmilk, PAUSE Magazine, SingersRoom and KAZI Magazine, to mention a few. On October 14, ANISE finally unveils the 6-track Black Eve EP, on the back of only just revealing the title track a few weeks ago to rave reviews and critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. Listen here.

What has been the biggest challenge that you faced while working on the EP?

This EP has been a long time coming and it's been such a transformative experience creating it. The process has definitely had its challenges at times though. I think for any independent artist who wishes for their work to be as professional and as quality as possible, the constant dance between working on the art, working on financing, and working on the marketing has been one that's tested my stamina (and patience). But you care enough to make the art and you care enough for it to be shared, so you do what you gotta do to see the vision through. Still, it's important to maintain wellbeing and a healthy spirit. So even in the busiest of times, I'd still make sure to get those little moments of self-care in: a bath, a short holiday, a manicure. Whatever it is I need to do to make sure I'm operating from a place of love and purpose -- and not exhaustion!

What is your favorite song on the EP and why?

I feel it's kind of taboo for an artist to admit she has a favorite of her musical babies, but we all do haha. Of the songs on the EP, Black Eve is probably the most precious. For me, she is beauty birthed from the darkness. The process of writing her felt divine, and for this reason, she's the title track of the project.

How do you want to impact your fans/listeners as your musical role models have?

I hope that I can inspire listeners to pay attention to their intuition. Many of us are far more powerful than we allow ourselves to realize. It's like Marianne Williamson famously said "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." Any nagging notion we have about what our path is in life is worth exploring. If it feels right, write the book. Take the job. Make the move. Following your intuition might not lead you where you expect, but chances are, it'll endow you with something much greater.

How has creating your EP served as an outlet for you?

I've been writing songs for a while now, but only started creating music with the aim of releasing during the pandemic. And knowing that I would release an EP, and not just singles, was a huge driving force for me in that mission. In music, there are so many hats you can wear: vocalist, instrumentalist, songwriter, producer. But it takes a different kind of energy to establish yourself as an artist. I don't deny that we live in the era of fast singles and catchy Tik-Tok tunes, but I believe in the power of projects-- of creating a full body of art. There's a certain intentionality that creating a musical body requires. Who am I? What do I want to say? What is my essence? And why does it matter? Creating a full musical project has been crucial in discovering my answers to those questions, and seeing myself as not just a singer, not just a writer, but as an artist.

What most would you like your listeners to take away?

I hope that my music gets my listeners to ask questions and to explore themselves. What forces in your world shape you and inform the life you're currently living? Which of those forces are external, and which are internal? I hope the EP causes them to reflect on what matters to them most and what, for them, makes their life joyous and worth living.

Have any artists inspired you in the creation of the EP? If so, did you incorporate any of their musical styles into your EP?

I'm drawn to sensual female performers like Sade, Diana Ross and Solange. These women and a handful of others have definitely inspired how I identify as an artist, as well as the essence I wish to resonate in the EP. But I've also been very drawn to strong female songwriters. From a lyrical point of view, artists like Victoria Monet, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Sinead Harnett have definitely inspired the attention I give my songwriting and the messaging I hope to convey through my music.

How has music created a community for you?

Finding community in music has been such a big part of my journey. I left New York for London in 2018 because I felt my life had stalled on the wrong path and I needed to start-over. While music was a part of my life in New York, it was hardly my day-to-day. A change of city was my way of saying "hold on, let's try this again." In London, not only did I start finding my voice as an artist, but I began collaborating with other like-minded creative souls. The Black creative community in London, in particular, is like no other community I've experienced. There's an instant familiarity that many of us within the Black diaspora have when we come across with each other but the Black American experience is also different from the Black British experience, and so this cross-cultural exchange with my British brothers and sisters has been really powerful for me. Ultimately, London is where I've found my tribe and this empowers and emboldens me -- as an artist, as a woman, and as a Black woman.