The last year has seen anaïs rise to become one of the most enigmatic new voices. Using her varied life (whether studying the violin in France or staying silent for seven months while adjusting to life in Ireland), she has shaped the unique sound of her music to make an important statement about the world as she finds it. With her rich, powerful voice, she’s been able to communicate those experiences around discussions of race, selfhood and resistance without shying away from saying the things that need to be said but for obvious reasons are not said in most “pop” music. Her recent full length project ‘Darkness At Play’ with producer Om’Mas Keith and her debut EP which preceded it ‘Before Zero’ demonstrated this and have been influential amongst a growing audience setting her stall as a fearless new talent.
‘Lost My Faith’ is the start of a brand-new chapter, finding anaïs sounding braver and bolder than ever. It’s the first single to come from her debut album (expected later this year) and as such, delivers an important first taste of what is to come. Combining art with politics, ‘Lost My Faith’ carries a powerful message having been inspired by her first hand view of radicalised police brutality in the US and resultant loss of faith in the systems and institutions that are supposed to govern on our behalf.
On writing ‘Lost My Faith’ and creating the accompanying video, anaïs says –
I started writing ‘Lost My Faith’ to express the despair and hopelessness that I felt as a person of colour from the persistent murdering of minorities, because of their colour, gender, sexuality and or religious beliefs at the hands of police in the US. The catalyst came from growing up in Oakland and witnessing the Oscar Grant murder. In the 10 years since there have been a relentless number of examples from Charlottesville to the recent massacre in the New Zealand mosque. Perhaps it is not a faith lost but a faith we’ve never had in a world that continues to show we are constantly under attack and that the systems that are supposed to protect continually fail us. Bruce Springsteen identified this twenty years ago in his song “American Skin” and yet nothing has changed. In the video for ‘Lost My Faith’ director, Dumas Haddad, and I decided to focus on the faith that we have to have in our communities to provide safe space and support. The video represents the inescapable concern a family of colour has when their child leaves the home for the outside world, a troubling burden not shared by all people and in this way pays homage to Bruce’s lyric’s of almost two decades ago:.
To quote ‘American Skin’ from Bruce Springsteen:
Lena gets her son ready for school
“She says now on these streets Charles
You got to understand the rules
Promise me if an officer stops you’ll always be polite
Never ever run away and promise momma you’ll keep your hands in sight
Cause is it a gun?
Is it a knife?
Is it a wallet?
This is your life
It ain’t no secret you can get killed just for living in your American skin”