Solo Musician Interview: Anna Sweeney

Anna Sweeney Photo

Where are you from?
I grew up in Ayr. I live in Kilmarnock at the moment though.

How long have you been playing your respective instrument(s)?
Piano as long as I can remember! And I started playing guitar when I was fifteen.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
This album is pop, but I also write a lot of folk/blues material.

What are your influences?
Life! Relationships and people and memories.

Do you do covers and if so what’s your go to?
I’ll cover just about anything, but I’ve been playing songs by the Rolling Stones and Gillian Welch of late.

Do you have a process for writing your songs?
The main thing I concentrate on is to never force them- let them come from genuine inspiration. Most of my hooks/ melodies come from my subconscious; they just appear. If I try to force a song, it never has the same sparkle.

Do you have any interesting/funny stories about gigging or touring?
I do. Most of them are too embarrassing to mention. Woops. Oh- one time I accidentally announced I was underage halfway through a pub gig, and the promoter to this day hasn’t let me live it down. That one’s acceptable.

What song do you remember most from your childhood?
“Lay lady lay” by Bob Dylan. My parents always played it in the car.

What has been your biggest challenge as a performer? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so then how?
Coming back to it after 5 years out of music. It was daunting to say the least. That, and self-criticism, and self confidence. You need a thick skin, and it’s hard when you’re your own worst critic to have a real sense of self-belief. I check myself constantly. It’s okay to not be perfect.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?
Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Soundcloud- everywhere! My Facebook page and my website ( are good for finding my music too.

Have you released anything yet/if you have then how has it gone down and are you planning anything for the near future?
Album coming out shortly- the singles have gone down really well!

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
I’ve performed in the UK and the US. My favourite venue would have to be the Douglas Cafe in Nashville- the first place I ever played over there. Least favourite venue would be a small place in Edinburgh where I played years ago. It smelled like pee and the punters were terrifying.

Do you have any upcoming shows?
Album launch album launch album launch! 3rd March in Stereo! I’ll announce everything else after that. Haha!

What do you think about downloading music online?
It depends. Legally? Go for it. Pay for it. Otherwise, don’t bother.

What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
Getting tougher by the minute. I even see a difference in the last five years having come back to it after as long out of the game. Much harder to get people’s attention now.

And let’s end with something a little different…Which famous person, alive or dead, would you have dinner with and why?
This is really tricky. Maybe Jack Antonoff. Fancy co-producing my next album, Jack?


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