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ANNIKA Debuts New Music with I Really Don’t Want To and It Still Hurts

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

Life is pretty exciting for right now. The singer-songwriter has officially launched her new solo career, is preparing to become a first-time mom, and still has a lot more in front of her.

The twingle (twin single) release of I Really Don't Want To and It Still Hurt s is a second introduction to music fans. After her run with Leaving Thomas that included hot singles and award nominations and tour dates across Canada.

ANNIKA told me that originally her plan had been to wait for COVID-19 to calm down before she released her new music, but we all know it just kept carrying on. And then, she got pregnant and that wrinkle was added to the equation. So in the end, as it is with life, there is no perfect time, only the decision to move forward or wait.

And she decided to move forward.

Note: ANNIKA told me that she sees her silver lining of the COVID era and releasing new music as lower pressure to get out and perform while she's in her third trimester. I'm glad she has that. And that she's excited to get out and play after she's had the baby and things are safe and clear again.

ANNIKA Debuts New Music with I Really Don’t Want To and It Still Hurts

As we talked about the music, and launching this project, ANNIKA told me that it was never really planned. She didn't know if she wanted to continue with a career performing as a solo artist. She had been writing for other artists while taking some time off after the end of Leaving Thomas. It was her husband, Spencer (also a musician and producer) who looked at her and said that she needed to do something with some of these songs. They were hers.

ANNIKA talked about I Really Don't Want To saying, it's "a perfect example. To me that is my voice, my style, the Blues, the country, the piano," adding about the concept, "It was originally supposed to be kind of singer-songwriter, Donovan Woods-y almost and then when we got to the studio the band took it to that other level. And I thought, 'you know this is kind of country music still', you know storytelling at the heart of it, live musicians. So it truly just was formed."

The result is wonderful and is her voice and does sound like what we'd imagine a song from ANNIKA would sound like.

Press play to listen to I Really Don't Want To now.

ANNIKA - I Really Don't Want To

One of the things that I always ask artists about when they are releasing new music is, what's next? Sometimes it's touring or shooting music videos, or taking time off. Often times it's continuing to work on the next project or piece of a project they've already started, that we don't know about.

For ANNIKA, it's more of this project. Two more singles are coming this summer, two more after that in the fall, making up a 'Side A' collection, followed by the 'Side B' collection in early 2022 - and the plan of releasing a complete Deluxe album on vinyl after that.

We also talked about the industry side of things, with ANNIKA moving away from the male/female duo to a female solo career. At first glance, it's still country music with the same radio stations and festivals and charts. But it is a little more complex than that. And this new project and adventure will be in a new lane. She told me that she hadn't thought about it until I brought it up. Part of that, she said, is that she didn't know as she was writing these songs, if she was still going to be in country. She added that her main thoughts were that she didn't have to do a complete break-in to the industry or community because of her previous work, and that is a big step to be able to skip, for sure.

ANNIKA also mentioned that she sees her music fitting in alongside other women in Canadian country. Her sound is different from Meghan Patrick and Madeline Merlo (her examples) and how different even they are from each other. She mentioned her use of the piano on these songs, and how that differs from most of the mainstream county we're used to hearing. She's not looking to replace or slide into the same space that any other woman on the scene is currently occupying. But to find her own, with them.

Note: Throughout the call, Leaving Thomas and Bryton came up more than a couple of times. And it was absolutely lovely to hear ANNIKA talk about him with a smile on her face and the same love for him as a friend and her former band member that she's had the entire time we've known her. It's nice.

ANNIKA - It Still Hurts

The idea of radio play and the improving landscape for women getting played came up - as well as the reality that there are more avenues than ever for artists to be heard by their fans and new listeners. ANNIKA called it super exciting and said that she'd love to hear her songs on the radio. But in her mind, "I'd rather have 5,000 super fans that are just massive fans, they're on board, they come see every show, they sing along to the songs," adding "I feel like in today's world you can achieve that with technology, social media, and because people are more open to listen to women sing." all of it is exciting and promising and wonderful. And while ANNIKA says her expectations are low, she's also hoping for the best.

Life is exciting. For ANNIKA even more so. She has new music released to the world with more on the way. She has a baby on the way and will be a first-time mom. She's looking forward to playing live again, going to events like the CCMAs, and getting all the way back into the Canadian country music scene.

Now, catch ANNIKA's new round of 5 Quick Questions to find out what album she's reaching for to play front-to-back, where she wants to go on vacation, who she thinks we should be listening to - and more!

5 Quick Questions with ANNIKA

Thank you to ANNIKA for taking the time to chat with me, for playing along with 5 Quick Questions, and we can't wait to see her live and in-person (and meet the baby) as soon as we can.

ANNIKA Debuts New Music with I Really Don’t Want To and It Still Hurts

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