Interview: Anna Krantz Talks Pillows, Tone, Music, and Car Insurance

Anna Krantz

Dublin-based singer-songwriter Anna Krantz introduces her brand-new single, “Unacceptable,” a song probing the innate human need for art and music, two disciplines recently designated “non-viable” by the UK and Irish governments.

Written during a Zoom call along with Grainne Hunt, the Spartan melody is at once visceral and exquisite. Brimming with passion, it displays the range and evocative hues of Anna’s deluxe voice.

Anna has written with Geri Halliwell and Cliff Richard, as well as working with Nashville’s Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, and Mickey Guyton. Two of her songs appear on Ed Sheeran’s EP, Loose Change, with whom she’s shared the stage.

Guitar Girl Magazine spoke with Anna Krantz to discover more about the story behind “Unacceptable,” her songwriting process, and what kind of guitar she plays.

What three things can’t you live without?

  1. A comfortable pillow.
  2. Hair straighteners.
  3. Omega supplements.

What’s your songwriting process? Melody first, or lyrics?

It kind of all comes together at the same time. I usually get a lyrical and melodic hook first and then write the song around that.

What inspired or motivated your new single “Unacceptable?”

I was trying to get car insurance in Dublin. I was turned down by lots of companies because of my occupation. One company told me “Musician is an unacceptable occupation.” She then put me on hold… To music!

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?

A sense of being seen, related to, understood, and feelings of joy and uplift.

What is your definition of tone? Has your tone changed over time? 

My definitive tone is my voice. No matter what production choices I make, the tone of my voice is my own. I’ve experimented with more electronic and programmed production over the years. Growing up I loved to play around with programming sounds on Logic. But essentially, I’m a classic singer/songwriter. I always will be.

How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?

When I was eight years old my parents were looking at a new house. The house had a piano in it. I sat down at the piano, having not played one before, and wrote a song. I’ve been writing songs ever since.

Which musicians/vocalists influenced you the most?

Bonnie Raitt is WAY up there in terms of musicianship and vocal control. Aretha Franklin’s vocals also school me every time. Joni Mitchell’s candid lyrics. Van Morrison’s romantic atmosphere. Carole King’s perfectly structured songwriting.

Which artists are you listening to right now?

Dermot Kennedy’s voice kills me. I love it! I’m really enjoying Miley Cyrus’s new album, particularly the track “Bad Karma.” It’s dark and sexy and brilliantly produced. I run a lot, especially during lockdown, so I always have an up-tempo pop playlist on the go which I update regularly.

Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?

Everything Barbara Streisand… Although I feel proud and guilt-free sharing that. Oh and I’ve just got into watching Gogglebox. It really makes me giggle and I have no idea why!

What kind of guitar do you play, and why?

I play an acoustic Martin. Simply because when I picked it up in the store, to me, it had a thousand songs inside waiting to come out. That’s always been why I choose any instrument.

Why do you make music? 

For the same reason I breathe in and out.

How are you handling the coronavirus situation?

Up and down really. Some days I feel pumped and inspired. Other days I feel stuck, unmotivated, and just want to cry. I miss my family so much. I’m based in Dublin and they’re in London. It’s tough for everyone. I’m just so grateful to live in a happy home, with a wonderful partner and to be able to continue writing and releasing music.

My understanding is the UK and Irish governments have encouraged artists to abandon music and learn utilitarian skills so they can get ‘real’ jobs. How do you respond to that suggestion? 

I play them my new single “Unacceptable.”

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