As the new rising star of the esteemed Kompakt family, Anii has made quite a name for herself in a short space of time. Having recently caught her making her Ibiza debut at Hi where she delivered an energetic, mature and uncompromising techno master class we took some time out to discuss her upcoming Kompakt show at The Cause, London as well as her path into dance music.
We have read that you were the proud owner of a fake ID and used it to get into a night club called Centrum in your home town at the age of 16. Did your love affair with dance music start at home in Poland or a later date?
Yes, it did start back in Poland. We used to have this little rave in a botanical garden as well in a place called Bydgioszcz, which is where I fell in love with electronic music. I used to go there without my parents’ permission and we has to sneak out the house. It was amazing, and it got me hooked.
You have been living in London for over 13 years now. In that time you have graduated from Point Blank Music School and become an integral part of clubland whether DJing or attending illegal parties & warehouse raves. What is it like growing up as an artist in London?
I think it’s hard in London, there are a lot of creative people out there all working really hard to get to where you also want to be. You have to keep your head down and put every part of you into your work.
For the first couple of years, I went out to so many secret raves, mainly in warehouses, some pub basements and more. It was always a way for me to open my eyes a little more to the scene and culture here and also open doors to new opportunities.
I think it’s important to make sure you get out there and see the city, as much as spend all your time working. Lots of clubs like to bring international talent, which is understandable, yet I think London has such a huge number of artists we are yet to discover living in the city.
You are being dubbed as the ‘rising star’ of the Kompakt family. As a brand, Kompakt is one of the most prestigious labels in dance music. How did this relationship come about and what does it mean to be part of such a genre-defining label?
I feel very blessed every day to be a part of this label family. I still wake up most mornings and think it’s a dream. The story of how I got signed is actually quite strange and funny! I actually guessed what Michael’s email could be and tried a few formats. I didn’t get a bounce back on one of them and he actually replied! It was when he was away on tour in Australia, and when he got back we continued to chat about demos. Since then he has become a good friend, and we play regularly together and of course I had my release on Kompakt with another to follow this year. I feel very lucky.
You have an upcoming show at The Cause London for The RRP presents Kompakt on May 31st. This is home turf show for you will you be bringing any new music or doing something different to make it extra special?
I have SO much new music to try out!! So, don’t you worry – it will be extra special this Friday. There is a pile of new and unreleased tracks which I can’t wait to hear on the dancefloor and more importantly see the crowd’s reaction!
You have upcoming gigs in Tokyo and Ibiza as well as Audio River festival in your native Poland. As your profile rises the size of the crowd is likely to increase and the people you play in front of change. As an artist do you think you have to be versatile with your sound or do you think you shouldn’t compromise your core values?
I have never had to compromise, and I make and enjoy all kinds of music. Stuff that takes you on a journey and makes you dance is the best kind – it doesn’t matter if it’s an opening gig to 100 or a big headline slot at a festival in-front of thousands of people, it always brings me the same joy. Stick to your core values, always. Sometimes you might get a bit lost along the way, but deep down you know what they are and how they make you feel.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for aspiring artists?
Getting a track to break, being heard by the right people and getting that initial recognition that you need to get the ball rolling. It’s hard. Very hard. There is such a huge number of artists, tracks and more – it’s never-ending.
It’s hard to stay positive sometimes when you always get a ‘Thanks but no’ to all your emails. You have to learn to pull through and not get you down. I buried myself into music and production and believed something would go right in the end. I still have to continue this mindset now, just because I am signed to one amazing label, doesn’t mean I can now chill.
There has been a lot of attention given to artists physical and mental health recently and rightly so. What do you do to keep healthy?
I do yoga nearly every day and also get up early, so that’s it’s the first thing in my day, after my cup of coffee I like to also ride my bike all over London, instead of getting public transport. Means I am fitter, and also more environmentally friendly. I am also a vegan and have been for years. I think that this has helped with my general health – being plant-based alone. I enjoy coming up with new recipe ideas and getting in the kitchen. It’s therapeutic.
Finally, if you could play to any dance floor in the world (open or closed) where would it be and why?
Ohh Exit Festival! I love that place. The concept of it all is amazing. I went many years back and I remember a lot of good vibes from the artists, staff and crowd. Was a very nice festival, and one of a kind. I must go again, hopefully, one day to play on their dance stage!