Anais Cardot is one of Ottawa’s talented local artists who is working hard to have her music heard – music that she writes, sings and produces mostly on her own. Her music spans genres and sounds, as she plays ukulele, guitar, and piano, and draws inspiration from the likes of Bob Marley to John Mayer. We caught up with her to talk about the release of her new EP.
How did you get into music?
I’ve actually been making music since I was a kid. I was always singing with my father and my sisters at night, so I guess that’s where everything started. I used to make covers only, but I took it seriously 3 years ago, when I started to write my own songs.
How has music helped you to overcome adversity in your life?
Music helped me say things that I wasn’t able to say. I can be a really introverted person sometimes so I tend to keep everything for me because I always feel like what I’m saying is not good or smart enough; thanks to music, I can free my mind. For example, if I’m hurt I’d never let someone know, but in my songs I can say it. I used to get bullied when I was 15 and music was my outlet. It made me understand that I was way better than what people used to call me, and that even if I’m different it doesn’t mean that I’m worthless.
Tell us about your latest single. My latest single is “Fly With Me”. I actually wrote it in 20 minutes, it’s about leaving a place and explaining to someone I care about the reasons, and asking this person to come with me somewhere else.
What advice do you have for anyone trying to get into the music industry? I’m still trying to get into the music industry, but I’d say that you should always do what you want, don’t let anybody tell you that you have to change something or that your music won’t be appreciated. Always surround yourself with good and honest people that understand you and your music, and that will bring you something good. It’s true that sometimes you’ll get discouraged, but it is what it is, just stay confident, trust the process, always work hard, keep creating, accept critics even if their bad and painful because that’s what makes you improve. Also, don’t do it for the money – just do it cause you love it.
Who are some of your main influences in music? I grew up listening to Bob Marley, Jacques Brel, Etta James, Louis Armstrong, Sam Smith, Tori Kelly,
Jeremy Passion and Ella Fitzgerald. But now, Rex Orange County, Sabrina Claudio, Daniel Caesar, João Gilberto, Jakob Ogawa, Omar Apollo and John Mayer are my main influences.
Describe your musical style.
I wouldn’t say that I have a musical style, cause I feel like saying this tends to limit my music; it limits what I do. But it’s mostly a mix of everything: from jazz, to indie, to R&B, and more.
You play a lot of musical instruments. Do you play a role in the production of your music? I play three instruments: ukulele, guitar and piano. I actually only know basic stuff, but I keep working in order to know more. I’m always composing my own songs, so I’m the one finding the melodies, and the lyrics. Sometimes, my beatmaker friends make some music for me, and I really appreciate that. But in my EP, I’ve created some songs, and then my amazing friends help with the production (like adding drums, playing guitar or mixing, etc).
You have an EP out called Woolgathering – what’s it about?
So, my EP is about daydreaming (I actually researched for a better way to say it and I found Woolgathering). I’m always dreaming, creating things in my head, and thinking a lot, so when I was done writing my songs, I noticed that it was literally what I’m always thinking (or dreaming of). My EP is really a journey in my mind, in my dreams.
What’s your proudest achievement as an artist?
I’m really proud of three things: the first was to make this EP, because people were always saying that they don’t know me, so now I guess they do. The second was to make an animation for one of my songs, like a cartoon, I’ve always wanted to do that. And the last one was to be able to sing with my father; I mean, it was just an idea inside of my head, but I’m proud that I was able to find his voice and put it together with mine, to make this song as if he was still here!
What’s next for Anaïs? Any new single or project you’re focusing on?
Just work! I’m still working on some stuff, writing songs, and improving my guitar skills. I hope I will release another EP soon. That’s pretty much it!