Anja Bowe: A singer with character!
Our first experience with Anja Bowe was as a member of the Bahamas National Youth choir, where her dynamic voice and captivating stage presence grabbed our attention. Watching her move through the local music industry from singing with local bands to her own solo shows has been inspiring as her presence on stage and voice never goes unnoticed. She can sing rake n scrape, she can sing pop and she has a beautiful relationship with the sultry oldies. If you have never had the opportunity to experience Anja perform in person we definitely suggest you look her up, but we caught up with her just to find out a bit more about what inspires her and what we can expect from her in 2018.
Do you remember the first moment you realized you wanted to sing?
The very first moment I realized I wanted to sing was around 5/6 years old during a short performance of “Colors of the Wind” from the movie, Pocahontas. This was probably my very first live performance outside of a church setting where I travelled with a local group to Abaco to perform. I never wanted to be a singer past the age of 10, my goal was always Broadway! But God had other plans.
Who are some of your vocal idols?
Yikes! There are so many but off the top of my head I have to mention first my local vocal idols, people that I have watched and in a lot of ways incorporate into my personal flair. Listening to voices like Naomi Taylor, Alia Coley, Sonovia Pierre, and Ms. Joann Calendar I could say that my life has been blessed with good examples to follow apart from them I am also heavily influenced by voices like Sarah Vaughn, Anita Baker, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, (the 90’s) Mariah Carey , Sade, and that’s really just vocals when it comes to my performance I study a whole different crew of artist
When you are performing we see a second persona come out. Tell us about what you love about performing on stage?
You have to love that crazy lady! Honestly sometimes I really don’t know what’s going on with me after song one and the nerves calm down. I mean, I watch these videos back and I am like “aaaayyyyeeee”! It’s weird because I used to HATE SINGING in public during my teens and because of my stage fright I had to get lost in the music, for example, when I am doing a cover, I have to recognize the overall character of the piece, am I being sexy, flirty, serious, angry, and how do I want the audience to feel from the tone of what I am singing.
“my dancing background has me obsessed with performers like Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez who I have studied and I love to slip little flirty looks or little moves they would use to bring a touch of intimacy between me and my audience.”
I like the idea of giving people more than a pretty face and a pretty voice but a full show, whether I’m singing one song or fifty. I look forward to accessing my alter ego and I guess acting out in ways I wouldn’t necessarily act in everyday life. I become a better, unstoppable version of myself, who’s in control cause I gat the mic. Sue me I’m a control freak!
What has been your most memorable experience so far in the music industry?
That would have probably been the first ever Lit Summer Series I had at the Underground Bistro, this was the first show I had to arranged myself with the help of some great friends at the time.
“What made this show special for me was, I had chosen and arranged most of the music myself. This gave people an idea about my personality and how eclectic and deep my musical archive is.”
It’s hard to describe my style because I can’t just fit into a jazz, or blues, an R&B, or a strict Neo Soul style, I give the audience a little of everything because that’s what I like, options!
Are you working on any original recordings this year?
Yes I am!!! Finally! I have so much to do in 2018! First I plan to get my tail in the studio and get busy on my EP, this may or may not be done in a year because studio work is new for me but I have to get started now. I have really waited too long. I feel I have a lot to learn when it comes to expressing myself without an audience, so far I’ve started with a lovely little tune called, “Coffee” that was written by Rashad Davis.
If you could collab with any local artist who would it be?
If I could collaborate with any artist I would hit um all! I’ve collaborated with Lee and Joann Callender and other artist in a more classical, or jazz setting with my aunt (not by blood but by love), Naomi Taylor and now I want to touch other genres, people like Judah Tha Lion, Chase Fernander, Osano Neely, Charissa Smith, Bodine Johnson, Rashad Davis, Anwar McDonald(writer) and multiple instrumentalist that make up my list of hopeful collabs but I won’t bore you.
What can people expect from Ajna in 2018?
Expect to see a whole lot more of me. Expect me to be a little more open with myself and expect to hear my music! I promise you will love it!