I want to thank the duo composed of Anana Kaye and Irakli Gabriel for responding so rapidly all these interview questions. They open up about their new single “American Smile”. In case you don’t know, these talents are originally from the Republic of Georgia (Europe). Notwithstanding, their stay in the United States still allow them to develop their careers into the world of indie music.
1 – When did you move to the United States?
Anana: I moved here in 2013, in the fall. Feels longer though!
Irakli: 1992. Thanksgiving Day. Remember it very clearly – it was a freezing but a gorgeous day in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, NY.
2 – Do you remember how did you meet your musical partner Irakli Gabriel?
Anana: (laughing). Yes, vividly! I was friends with his cousin, Nina – well I still am – and he was visiting Georgia on a holiday, staying at his shack in the mountains. So Nina suggested that we go visit him, as I had seen some footage on Youtube of him playing.
Irakli: I remember I was living in the mountains at my cabin, working in the yard and fixing stuff and had not showered in days. I was not sure I wanted them to visit me. But we got on really well from the get-go, strumming Bowie and Dylan songs on guitars.
3 – What is the best investment you have made in your artistic life?
Anana: Hmmm…. these days I think it’s very important and beneficial to learn technical aspects of recording or video making ourselves – so I think it certainly has helped that we could produce the bulk of work ourselves, musically and visually, before seeking out collaborators.
Irakli: I’m not sure it has to do with the “American Dream” idea, although it evokes that vibe, I suppose. I feel it has more to do with the power to do good or evil and making a wise choice and America’s role in it. And it’s a huge role, obviously. But time is of essence, as always. “Time’s a great convincer” might be my favorite lyric in the song.
5 – Who wrote the lyrics?
Irakli: It was a collaboration with my good friend and a great songwriter, Freddie Stevenson. Freddie contributed most of the lyrics, he’s a wizard. When we work together we usually write the music and get a lyrical concept, idea together. Anana definitely added her distinct musical touch and turned the song into a folky ballad. It could be a rocker too.
6 – What’s your favorite scene from the “American Smile” music video? Why?
Anana: We like the scene where we’re playing guitars surrounded by the toy train came out. We shot it ourselves and it was a lot of running to and from the camera and trying to get it right…I like the decor in the room too, it came together naturally and there’s some symbolism to it if you look at it closely.
7 – Would you ever consider returning to Georgia?
Anana: You never know these days what can happen! But no plans at the moment. We’re loving it here in the States.
8 – In your opinion, what’s the greatest advantage that the United States offers to indie artists?
Irakli: Probably diversity – lots of great musicians, collaborators, like-minded people. Lot of talent around to be in awe of and get inspired by and to learn from. Most of our musical heroes are either from the US or UK…or Canada. But all them did great work in the US, whether it’s in New York, Nashville or other towns. I find just being here very inspiring. I would not mind if there were some more grants and support programs though.
9 – What genre best represents Anana Kaye’s music?
Anana: It’s about the songs to me. When a song is written, more of ten than not it asks to be performed and recorded in a certain style . That can change though, as times goes by. But I think we’re both drawn to more melodic stuff generally, although there are times when you just have to rock out and exorcise some demons. Labels/genres were invented for marketing, I think.
10 – Finally, can you tell us your main goals for 2018?
Anana: More writing, more recording, more videos and live music. We recorded some new songs last year and looking forward to releasing them soon!
Irakli: Keep working, and the rest will take care of itself. Hopefully!