Embracing the Mature Sounds of Deep House - ANKI

12 Feb 2021

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Heard about DJ Jourdan Borde's new partner in music? We have, so we invited ANKI, the lovely lady herself in to find out more about her vocal work and why she decided to come to Koh Phangan.

ANKI was kind enough to give her vocal showcase EXCLUSIVE to Phanganist, so have a listen whilst you read her interview!

Hey Anki, so tell us how you have come to be on Koh Phangan?
I actually wanted to come about a year ago because one of my managers lives in Thailand and we were planning to get me here. However in the meantime I got invited to go to the States in the beginning of 2015 and I was there for a year working and singing.

I also met Jourdan in Los Angeles for the first time due to a track we collaborated on whilst he was here in Phangan and I was in South Africa.

After we met things escalated quickly and we fell head over heals in love to make a long story short. After my Visa had ended for The States, we made plans to go back to my home Country, South Africa together to regroup and decide where to go from there.

We were only there for three months, and because the Dance scene is not very big there, we decided to come here to Koh Phangan where Jourdan has a lot of contacts and friends for the type of work we do.

And of course I was happy to come live on an Island.

Tell us how you became a professional singer?

After graduating at the age of eighteen, I auditioned for a Theatre show called ‘Girl Talk’, and I was lucky enough to land the part as the lead Pianist and Backing Vocals. The show ran for about six months and after that I did a few more theatre shows but eventually I got frustrated with The Musical Theatre scene because it was not really my Passion.

But of course it was a great start on performing experience. I started working in The Studio of my ex boyfriend where I began to Compose and Record my own music. I also started doing private gigs for weddings and Corporate Events until finally I landed a Residency at Coco Bongo Dinner and Dance Club where I performed and DJ'd for six years.

In between I did a lot of work on the side and I was either working on music in the Studio or Singing somewhere live, but that was basically all I did from 2007 until 2012.

After spending so much time on my Production skills in the Studio, one of my friends told me about Soundcloud and I started putting all my Music online for free listening. Suddenly so many Producers from all over the world started asking me to do vocals on their tracks and very quickly I built myself up to where I am today thanks to Soundcloud and Facebook through which I still do most of my work.

I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Italy, Amsterdam, Malta and other parts of Europe due to my singing and collaborations. I made some Music videos and live performances with the Producers I worked with and I met so many people who gave me such a Boost in the Industry and I am so grateful for that!

Tell us a bit about the scene in South Africa?
As far as Musicians and Bands go, performing at Restaurants, Clubs, Corporate Events, Hotels and Casinos, it's quite popular and a lot of musicians do that for a living, but that's a completely different genre for what I'm doing right now, even though I started off like that.

The most popular and supported music in South Africa is Afrikaans music, which sounds a little bit like Country and it definitely has the same feel to it. I really don’t like that type of music at all, even though I have written a few Afrikaans songs for some Successful Afrikaans Artists and I have also won an Award in 2010 for Songwriter of the year by a very highly acclaimed Television Broadcast channel and Magazine called ‘Huis Genoot’.

As I said it's not really my thing so after that I really focused all of my attention on what I wanted to do which is English, Electronic Dance Music and Pop.

How did you discover the dance music scene and know this is what you wanted?

Being a dance vocalist with Trance, EDM and House kinda fell into my lap. I grew up listening to Trance and I remember as a little girl I always wished I could sing on Trance music one day.

Trance is not very big in South Africa so I never really thought it would ever be possible, but looking back on my life now, I can confirm that the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ really is true!

Tell us about your work with Jourdan Bordes, is it a new sound for you?
Yes, before I met him I hadn’t done Deep House before, I had done a few House tunes but it was more commercial as my voice tends to be more poppy.

One of the Label owners which he works with sent me one of his tracks and requested I do a vocal on it. It was the first time I really did a Deep House Track, it was something new and fresh for my ears and it grew on me so much that it has become my favorite genre and we are currently working on a Deep House/ Tech/ Trouse/ Pop Album, very interesting influences.

For me it's a big change, but I like the fact that Deep House has a more mature crowd and sound to it, and I think that's what I really love about it.

Have you done any gigs so far here on Koh Phangan?
We played at Fubar Guesthouse and Party Venue, which was very different to the EDM and Trance crowd I am use to, but the response we had was really good, everyone loved it and were asking who we were and where they could find our music. It was more relaxed and free to put it that way, so it was very nice.

Jourdan also played instrumental tunes and I sang along like busking style, which is my favorite!

What can we expect from you at Jungle Experience?
To be honest I don’t know what to expect myself! So I’m going to go and have fun.

We’re planning to do a really nice set, starting with a big Intro to show off my voice and then hitting them with some real Bangers! I’m really excited as I’ve never done anything like this crazy festival before, so I hope for the best and I trust it will be a massive success.

For now I am following Jourdan as he has played at Jungle many times and it is only one of a few times they’ve had a live singer so I feel very honoured.

As soon as our Project grows we are planning to get a keyboard on stage so I can play our tunes live as well as sing.

We caught up with Jourdan Bordes after Jungle Experience to see how the set went and he says - 
It went really well, it was amazing to have Anki sing and bring somthing different to celabrate my 20th set there. Also there was a nice crowd and it was cool to see everyone smiling on the jungle floor dancing!

And we asked Anki how she enjoyed it too - 

I had so much fun!!! It was really different to any show I have ever done before and definitely the most colourful! 

It was amazing to sing in front of such a big crowd and the response we had was great! 

People didn't expect a live singer which made it even better cause I love doing unexpected things like that!  It was wonderful and I would like to thank Jungle for having me...

What have you enjoyed about being on the island?
I definitely love the humidity and the constant Summer, which sounds crazy but South Africa is really dry, we came from winter and it gets really cold and as it is dry cold it gets very irritating.

I love the jungle, you can just go out of the house, walk through the jungle and on the beach, it’s a whole different world away from society. It doesn’t feel like you’re in a controlled environment, like not in the system anymore and I’ve always wanted to get away from all of that.

Leave us with your music philosophy?
My philosophy with music is, I try not to sing about crap and I try to have a deeper meaning to my songs and lyrics.Something that really speaks to you if you listen carefully.

How I project with my voice, touching people on a different level, so it’s not just seen as a ‘cool song’ or ‘nice beat’. It all has to come together, tell a story and draw you in.

Music is a very powerful tool and you can speak to people and have a big influence on the way they think or react.

I always try to have a positive message, light, love, beauty and freedom. When I was younger I used to sing about break ups, being depressed and all the problems in the world, until all these things really started to manifest in my life and I realised how powerful your words really are.

So I changed it, and now everything I put out in the Universe I do it consciously and with great care. After all we are what we think of