Personal stories

Anna Aliena Numbergirl artwork

69, 69, let’s do it: How Anna Aliena invented “Numbergirl”

Today I’m a bit nostalgic because it’s been a long time since I released my very first EP Silly Little Boys in 2011! One of the five songs seems sillier than the others because it contains one special line: 69, 69, just do it! Well, I must admit that the rest of the “Numbergirl” lyrics is only slightly more sophisticated than recent German schlager. For one reason: I, Anna Aliena, am the author! 😉

Let me be your number girl, at school I was so good at maths. Nonsense! I hated school, I was extremely lazy and at the end of grade 10 I was so bad at maths and physics I almost had to repeat the school year. Luckily I knew the number 69 even in those days, otherwise it might not have found its way into my song.

Numbergirl in the making: “Just f***ck!”

Anna Aliena in the making of Numbergirl

Credits: Anna Aliena / Go!Diva Records

If you expected a dirty tale from my youth, I must disappoint you, though. The true story behind “69, 69, let’s do it” is just a harmless episode from a holiday with no triple X in it. In June 2011 I visited Budva in Montenegro with my ex. Quite a picturesque place by the Adriatic Sea: stone houses in the old town, loads of tourists, even more Russians and several newly constructed buildings which do not fit the stone houses.

Right in the middle of this beauuuutiful scenery there was a beach bar playing techno music. Not just beats – the track also had an intelligent verse. “Just f***ck”, a guy steadily repeated and my ex was SOOOO happy about it. He was grinning like a sil… uh’m charming little boy and then he advised me to make music like that.

Only a couple of days after the holiday we split, but I decided to commemorate him. Thus, I wrote down the words: 69, 69, just do it. My ex and I stayed good friends for a while and of course he felt flattered because of my masterstroke.

Why I blurred Enrico Ludwig’s vocals

I never liked the idea to have my own voice on the 69 part. For that reason I asked Enrico Ludwig to record the line for me. He was a young man with musical and poetic ambitions in those days, so it wasn’t necessary to ask him twice. Yet after the recording session, I wasn’t quite convinced of the outcome which sounded too effeminate in my ears.

I actually wanted a masculine voice and therefore Alex from the studio had to blur Enrico till the original got unrecognizable. Maybe my own vocals would have been similar after editing, but who knows … Here’s the music and some of my paintings!

Happy New Year – Plans For 2016

2015 is almost over. I hope it was a good year for you despite the difficult political situation. For me the past year has brought a lot of musical and personal changes. In 2014 I definitely had more gigs than this year, but after all I decided to focus more on quality venues than being on stage as often as possible.

During the first half of 2015 I suffered from a slight lack of creativity. Some song drafts remained unfinished and unpublished because I simply didn’t consider them as good enough to be thrown out on the market. Due to surprising inspiration during my summer holidays (please read The Story Behind Tvoje Plave Oči), I suddenly had a strong urge to complete my EP The Muse differently than expected. I started to learn a new language, got rid of the pink wig connected with the Swinging Berlin record and said goodbye to a number of false friends.

After the making of The Muse I felt particularly attracted to the classical songs from the Croatian composer Josip Hatze. Thus, I started to arrange five tracks to be released on my first classical EP Serenada (learn more on Preview Of A Classical Record) next spring. In the meantime I discovered two additional songs which shall also appear on that record. In January I will film my first classical music video called “Suzi” (To A Tear). By the way, I have a brand-new quality camera to shoot overwhelming static and moving pictures!

In summer 2016 it’s fixed to go to Croatia to produce a breathtaking Tvoje Plave Oči video. I’ve already written a new first verse in Croatian (eventually I’m able to do it myself) and translated the song into English and French. The three new versions will be out on July 1st, 2016. As usual, I may also compose a series of new songs on which I will experiment with lyrics in different languages. Which language do you like most in connection with my voice? Before wishing you all the best for next year, I’m asking you to answer another poll:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! FROHES NEUES JAHR! SRETNA NOVA GODINA! BONNE ANNÉE!

Merry Christmas from Anna Aliena

2015 has passed extraordinarily quickly. At least that’s my personal impression! Only two days left till Christmas Eve and then the remaining days of this year will rush by like seconds. Please don’t mind if you think I’m exaggerating!

Even though there is no snow in Germany, I hope that the holidays will be bright and cosy – or as Queen sang on “Thank God It’s Christmas”: Let’s hope the snow will make this Christmas right … Irony? Yes, irony is great in combination with Christmas!

If you haven’t listened to my Christmas song “Buy, Buy For Christmas” yet, this will be your last occasion in 2015.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! FROHE WEIHNACHTEN! SRETAN BOŽIĆ! FELIZ NAVIDAD!

Tribute To Freddie Mercury

Today 24 years have passed since Freddie Mercury’s death on November 24th, 1991. For me he has never been gone, but unfortunately I was born too late to see him live on stage. I consciously discovered Freddie’s music about two years after his death when Queen was generally considered as uncool among kids. Nobody else at school liked my passion. My classmates rather had a crush on Nirvana, techno and euro dance. In my opinion Freddie had the best voice in the whole universe and it didn’t take a long time till I joined the International Queen Fan Club in London.

Being a school-hater, I learned more from Queen than from my uncreative teachers. Suddenly my English flourished tremendously and the other kids started to wonder who had taught me all those words. No-one tracked down my secret. Of course I had picked up my vocabulary from Queen lyrics and the monthly fan club magazine. Learning English became one of my beloved hobbies in those days, making music my destination in life.

Fascinated by fellow cat lover Freddie, I tried very hard to write a tribute song about him. My very first attempt was called “Immortal Genius”. Every day my mother told me how awful it sounded and my best friend from school days agreed with her. Thus, I dropped the idea for many years. Luckily I rediscovered it three years ago when I wroteThe Show Goes On, the last track on the Alien Pop EP. The song is actually my personal reply to “The Show Must Go On” from Queen. As far as I remember, I was busy with the composition around November 24th, 2012, Freddie’s 21st anniversary of death.

Every year at the end of November my old friend Magnus (Herr von Keil) hosts a party at the cosy gay bar Betty F. in Berlin. Wearing hilarious costumes and playing Queen  records which are only interrupted by our live performances is our way to commemorate one of the most wonderful voices in the history of rock music. Last Saturday I dressed up as Freddie from the “I Want To Break Free” video. As you can see on the photo, I looked like a guy and other guys seemed to take me for a man … When I sang Queen’s “Thank God It’s Christmas” and my own Christmas carol Buy, Buy For Christmas, I could not hide my biology any longer. Anyway, it’s always a lot of fun to sing for Freddie and dance to Queen music with my friends who share my fate of being born too late. We will definitely keep our queeny tradition which also means drinking lots of Caipirinha. Freddie might have chosen champagne, though!

 

Nocturnal Blue-Eyed Inspiration

After reading this article you will probably take me for a freak. I think I am, but at least I’m a creative freak with a certain talent to learn foreign languages. During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking that I had never truly liked the German verse on Tvoje Plave Oči. You know, I automatically visualize a stupid German tourist looking for fun with sun-tanned beach boys! 😉 That’s not what I am. I’m a good girl who would never dare to … Well … 😉

First verse for Tvoje Plave OciI tried to get rid of my thoughts at quarter to three in the morning, but closing my eyes would not help me fall asleep again. Suddenly I remembered a line from a Croatian rock song I had listened to a couple of hours before: “Ne mogu zaspati” (I cannot fall asleep). I switched on the light, took a pen and a piece of paper to write down my new first verse for track 6 from my latest EP The Muse – in Croatian language! It didn’t take long to search for the words. Seemingly the song lyrics had always been there expecting to be discovered. Not bad for a person who started exploring that kind of vocabulary only four months ago! Somehow it felt spooky and unreal.

On Wednesday I almost believed in a dream. However, it was naked reality as I found a piece of handwritten evidence next to my bed. Happily I also remembered the booking of a trip to film the video for “Tvoje Plave Oči”. Since Tuesday evening it has been fixed and scheduled for June 2016, and for private reasons I will not reveal the settings to you! 😉 Just be sure that after the holiday I will release two new versions of the love song: one version completely in Croatian and “Your Blue Eyes” in English. Yesterday I’ve also made slight changes on the instrumental arrangement.

It’s the first time for me to edit a song which has been released before. Maybe “Tvoje Plave Oči” is a story still waiting for its ending or perhaps I’m in love with its language. In fact, I can hardly wait to produce the video! I know I will look beautiful in it, but never as beautiful as the scenery to be featured in it. By the way, here’s the beginning of all this blue-eyed nocturnal inspiration: The Story Behind “Tvoje Plave Oči“ … Very sentimental, isn’t it?

Swinging Berlin Meets The Muse

Recently I’ve revealed plenty of interesting facts about the last muse who helped me finish my forthcoming record The Muse. However, there is more to my new EP than blue eyes, unfulfilled longing and Croatia! 😉

In fact, the whole story started at my Swinging Berlin record release party in the most popular of all overrated capitals. Just as all the other records from my portfolio as a solo artist, Swinging Berlin had been inspired by somebody. Contrary to my expectations, that person appeared at the venue although I had not invited him.

In his presence I felt torn. Inside of me there was a mixture of raging anger and a certain delight to see him again. Yes, when I went on stage, I actually wanted to slap him in the face, but at the same time I enjoyed singing in front of him. He was even naughty enough to take pictures of my performance! We didn’t talk except for saying hello and goodbye.

After all, I was happy about having created Swinging Berlin. Furthermore its muse had the magical power to fill me up with even more inspiration. In August 2014 I wrote The Muse and its German version Die Muse. It took a while to arrange the track because my motivation had almost reached point zero …

Last winter around Christmas destiny gave me another worthwhile encounter which resulted in Sasha, but afterwards all my attempts to compose more music were meant to fail. I was no longer satisfied with the outcome of my endeavours!

One morning in January I woke up before 5 a.m. without being able to fall asleep again. Thus, I was wondering where to travel in summer … What a great coincidence! A couple of hours later my holiday was booked out and I would never have produced Deine Blauen Augen” / ”Tvoje Plave Oči if I had slept till dawn. Well, life is full of surprises sometimes. 🙂

“The Muse“ press photos in the making

During the production of a new record I always wonder how I should present myself on the cover. On Swinging Berlin I used to be a pink object of art who is hardly recognizable as the person behind the mask. In 2014 I had already been aware of the fact that my appearance would change on the following EP. But in which way? Honestly, I had no idea!

If you read my previous articles, you may remember that I suffered from a lack of inspiration until summer. In addition, parts of my equipment got broken without my fault and it took several weeks to get them back from the repair service. A couple of days later I went on a holiday in Croatia as you know from the article “The Story Behind ‘Tvoje Plave Oči’“.

Sunset in Starigrad-Paklenica, CroatiaWhen I took a series of sunset pictures at the beach of Starigrad-Paklenica, I wouldn’t visualize how they might look on the cover or on the press photos for my new EP The Muse. I was merely thinking of the muse who triggered off the fire to complete my record!

Back in Berlin, I wrote the songs Deine Blauen Augen“ / “Tvoje Plave Oči and I’m Gonna Fly Away. Finally I realized that my artwork for The Muse should be connected with Croatia where my creativity had flourished more than I could ever have dreamed of.

Original cover photo in front of the green screenSo I contacted the photographer Christina Katz who had also taken my press photos for Alien Pop in 2013. In the beginning of July we met for a photo shooting at her studio in Berlin. In comparison with my former productions, I wore very light and natural make-up while posing in front of Christina’s green screen. Of course I had already chosen a couple of holiday pictures for the background. During the session I imagined how I would smile at the muse if he were standing next to the photographer. Never again will I see him in this life, but the simple thought of looking at each other evoked a sparkle in my eyes.

After the photo shooting I selected the best pictures for a photomontage. Eventually Christina took me back to my most romantic sunsets of this year. If you buy The Muse on CD, you will also be able to enjoy them in the booklet.