It was these words from Nina Simone – “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me, no fear” – that have both inspired and resonated with the life story and music of anaïs. Her new EP ‘Before Zero’ began life when anaïs was studying at NYU at their highly prestigious Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music where her friends and contemporaries were Arca and Gallant.
After moving to London in 2015 she began to make connections and further her music. In her captivating single Nina – an ode to one of her heroes, Nina Simone – a serpentine, Lauryn Hill-like vocal and melody are the bellows beneath a fiery lyric that takes as its inspiration from Simone’s statement. Alongside the exquisite Nina on the EP sit two more original tracks – Set In Stone and Window – as well as a wonderfully moving cover of Charles Aznavour’s La Mamma. All written and produced by anaïs herself, it’s a fiercely intelligent observation of the world from the perspective of a young black woman who’s traveled extensively and has no real place to call home.