At the moment it’s quite hard to keep up with the currently-under-construction MilkBoy, whose vast majority of shows are currently being relocated, if not cancelled. However, I’m happy to say that this Friday’s show has not only not been cancelled but moved to a significantly more intimate location. This Friday, MilkBoy South Street (whose upstairs is usually home to open mic nights, comedy, and video game competitions) will be hosting soulful Aussie songstress Fatai for two shows (a 7pm show and a 10:30pm show). However, what we’re most excited about is UK, guitar-driven, singer/songwriter Anna Pancaldi, who will be opening the 7pm (and only the 7pm) show. Pancaldi already has three EPs out, yet this will be her first time in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Last week I got a chance to meet her and ask her about the first several years of her musical career.
Izzy Cihak: Not to start with a super huge question, but what have been some of the highlights of your musical career so far?
Anna Pancaldi: For me the sold out shows while touring; standing before a room of fans giving their energy and love, who are pumped about your music, is magic! So much of what we as artists do now is based online and in that moment it’s simply life, connection and affirmation that your music is speaking to people.
I also got to feature in a Levi’s campaign where they filmed us in four countries which was a lot of fun and then I got to write the music for the ad too!
And my first tour here where I thought I would just be singing at open mics, which then ended up with me playing a sold out show in NYC, gaining management, and performing live on CBS TV in LA, that was quite a moment!
Izzy: Do you think there’s anything that’s particularly important for fans and potential fans to know about your process of making music, or even just your aim as an artist?
Anna: I think that what I write about is very honest and raw. For me, the music that I have felt most attached to has been the aching sincerity of lyric and melody of my peers, which everyone can relate to on one level or another. That’s what speaks to me and I hope to those who discover my music. I aim to be touring all over the world with my music and continuing to grow in that. It’s been wonderful so far, but I have my sights set high.
Izzy: Have you had any favorite reactions to your work?
Anna: I have had some people come to me in tears after listening to my music as they felt connected to what I had written. That for me, really is such a precious moment. When you’re writing music, reflecting on your own life, you never expect people to feel in such a strong way for themselves. And also, just people reaching out writing to me about what songs meant to them in relation to their own life and how it felt like a release for them. it means so very much to me.
Izzy: What would you consider to be your most significant influences, both musical and otherwise?
Anna: Life for me, as cheesy as it sounds, has been my most prominent influence and the road I have walked so far, but I also grew up listening to the greats, whom I love very dearly, such as Jeff Buckley, Carol King, Stevie Wonder, Doris Day that have played a part in that too…
Izzy: Do you have any influences that you suspect would surprise your fans?
Anna: [Laughs], I think not. Just straight up living and maybe my love for Judy Garland and other greats like that from the old film. Our music isn’t that similar, but there’s so much honesty in her performing and delivery of her songs that I can’t help but resonate with her.
Izzy: I know you just kicked off a short batch of US dates that will have you here at our very own MilkBoy South Street in the very near future. How have the dates been going so far and what can be expected of the live experience when you’re here?
Anna: I love touring in the States. I feel so welcome here and you guys are so receptive to my music, which I adore! The live show will be full of my music, but also I love chatting with the crowd and having a bit of banter. I feel that element of performing is imperative so that people get a sense of you beyond your music. So, it’ll be a lot of fun!
Izzy: And what are you hoping and planning for after these dates wrap? What are you most excited about in 2019?
Anna: I am heading over to LA where I am writing away for my next release and very excited to be recording it there too! I’ll have a run of dates over on the West Coast and then back to the UK and Europe to tour it there too. So excited to be here right now though and playing for you all in Philly for the first time!