Bringing her own seat to the table, Annie Sama is an artist with a cause. Her unique approach to music, fashion and her tasty visuals have landed her gigs with icons like Jean Paul Gaultier and Dior. “I was inside a crystal installation and Jean-Paul Gauthier listened and smiled and sent kisses at me during my performance. UNREAL!”, she recalls about meeting the designer. Aside from music and fashion, Sama is passionate about speaking loud and clear against violence, homophobia, bullying, intimidation, racism, and misogyny because “we can do better,” she says. Most recently she transitioned her artistic persona from “APigeon” back to her birth name, Annie Sama, in order to shift directions visually and musically. Her EP “Clear” under Annie Sama, was released in September 2018. Fast forward to summer 2019, her newest single #bae is a bouncy soft summer anthem – that stays on your mind long after listening. Check out our exclusive interview, fashion video, and shoot by photographer Beck Graden, with styling by Jenni Lee below.
Your bio describes you as “working in music and fashion.” Can you elaborate on the fashion that you do/are interested in?
My work in the fashion industry is more as a talent model. Designers, photographers and many other artists come to me because of my work in music, my styling and the artist that I am. I decided not to do what everyone does but to create my own world. I unite creatives, push boundaries and impersonate their worlds and understand their works, the hours of refining one’s art form not well known enough with the best hands and the brightest minds. We rise together. Brands like Chloé showed up at my show and wanted to collaborate on a series of shows with me.
How would you describe your music in your own words?
Pop Electronic Industrial with a bit of rapping ‘cause I like the challenge.
Who have been your biggest influences?
Don’t get me started on this I can write a whole page on this of producers and singers and fashion icons. For producing music: Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers ,Gorillaz, DIPLO, Timbaland, Pharrell, Missy Elliot, Björk, Nija Charles (for Beyoncé, Cardi B), Boots, Mark Ronson. For singers: M.I.A, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Aaliyah, Diana Ross, Sia, and Miley Cyrus.
You were formerly known as “APigeon” Fill us in on your metamorphosis from APigeon to Annie Sama.
I wanted another vibe visually and musically. I just took my real name, Annie Sama!
Where are you from? It says on your site Quebec – Congo. Tell us a bit about where you grew up and where you are living today?
I was born in Sherbrooke, then lived in a small village outside of Montreal. My mom was a hard working nurse and a single mom and my dad is a Congolese preacher. My step father could barely read and write and was also an alcoholic. I’m proud of where I’m from cause everyone was so nice growing up in this small town. I really loved Montreal when I would go visit my dad because I would discover more about my Congolese family as well. I worked hard and I believe anything was (and is) possible no matter where you are from, or what trauma you lived. Now, I am based between Montreal and NYC.
Most (or all) of your videoclips are directed by you. What drives this creativity to direct your visuals? Where do you get your inspiration?
I wanted to show the beauty of my city and tell a story. I’m never alone working on these visuals, my different teams were amazing and you can find them in my youtube description.
You also have experience in producing. How did you get into that?
I wanted creative freedom so I bought gear and learned Ableton online. With very little, I was able to do my first album and that’s how APigeon was born.It was a cinematographic venture of 12 songs. At that time, I was just out of school in Jazz singing. Now I have evolved into electronic pop music and refined my tastes by going dancing a lot in Brooklyn, LA, Miami and many festivals I played at. Let’s dance, let’s have fun and be happy!
What is your favorite part of creating music?
That moment where I just know I want to release a song and it makes me dance or gives me shivers.
I read that you meditate during studio breaks. How did you get into meditation and how does it help you in what you do?
My mom got me into meditation cause my grand-parents would also meditate. Helps me to focus and to go through life.
What’s the inspiration behind your newest project/EP?
New vibes with my new single #bae that is a bouncy pop, electronic feel. It a summertime song for sure. I wanna dance and be happy and share that with people. For the future LP, I’m going towards a mix of pop electronic, techno house and industrial direction.
Having played at the Mode Design festival, the Jean-Paul Gaultier Love is Love Vernissage, and for Dior’s System Magazine launch party, tell us about these experiences! Any favorites?
It’s hard to explain the joy of meeting Raf Simons and A$AP Rocky the same night and performing for them at the Carlyle Hotel with an amazing dress by Canadian designer Pedram Karimi. UNREAL! Imagine Jean Paul Gauthier coming up to us before the show. My whole team and I with tears of joy to meet this Icon. Wearing a custom dress in his honor by Designer Xavier Laruelle and bottom by Bespokenov. I was in a crystal installation and Jean Paul Gauthier listened and smiled and sent kisses at me during my performance. UNREAL!! Imagine in this huge fashion festival in Montreal. NYC artist Scooter Laforge painting live on a white canvas dressed done by Pedram Karimi with Stephen Jones watching the show. UNREAL!
The fashion industry has always been there for me, understood what I was doing with my music, understands my CAMP moments, my vision, and officially put me on the map. Fashion is in my DNA and will always be.
Do you have any sort of routine when you are not in the studio (aside from rope-jumping!)?
A smoothie a day.
Aside from music, what are you passionate about?
Food and changing the world one person at a time. For us to take care of our planet, speaking loud and clear that violence, homophobia, bullying, intimidation, racism, and misogyny shouldn’t happen. We can do better.
Do you have any words of wisdom you live by?
DO – YOU – BOO <3.
Fill us in on what you have coming up?
More singles coming out in the fall and a full album in 2020. For this summer, I’m doing a live vocal set in the New PY1 Pyramid built by Guy laliberté in Montreal (it’s insane). A new dance party show in the fall and DJ sets Meanwhile, enjoy my new summer single #bae.