This past weekend, I got a chance to meet up with the amazing, Anjuli Stars , as we sat talked about Pitbull, the hustle and bustle of NYC, Def Poetry Jam etc. I was really looking forward to this interview the Starbucks in Kendall is TOUGH lol. Also you can catch the talented Anjuli Stars performing at Speak Fridays February 15th. at Inner Look 4925 SW 74th CT, Miami, FL. I will be in attendance. Peep game.
Womazing: Why the move to New York?
Anjuli Stars: New York, I kind of asked myself that question. I guess going through the process it was always a childhood dream for me to spend some time in New York City; to be inspired. That’s the main reasoning for it. It sounds a little extreme to just switch cities like that just to be inspired but that’s me. I’m such an artist, I have to constantly stay inspired so I think I needed that. But I’m actually here in Miami now.
AS: Yea I was out there for like 3 months. I spent 6 weeks in Queens and 6 weeks in Harlem.
W: How was Queens and Harlem?
AS: Beautiful. Queens is more like a suburbs so it kind of reminded me of living in Kendall where I grew up. In Harlem there’s a major renaissance going on so the borough itself is developing. In terms of the live music scene, A$AP Rocky is from Harlem but Harlem itself is still establishing itself. I think Brooklyn is established and the Bronx is like Big Pun you know.. but Harlem is still like Mase and Dipset. haha. Dipset is a very important group to the culture of Hip Hop. New York as a city, really inspiring, lots of intelligence up there so of course I loved it. It’s amazing, I just can’t live there.
W: You can’t live there?
AS: Well, I had intentions of spending the next year there but the weather kind of permitted me from really having my life over there. I’m asthmatic and since my voice is my job, I got sick while I was up there. The weather change affected me negatively. I still have a place up there so I’m going back and forth but my home base is Miami.
W: Alright, so I know that you do poetry so what would be a poem that you would present to Def Poetry Jam?
AS: Well I don’t do spoken word and DPJ is more based on spoken word artists. I really respect spoken word artists so I don’t dabble too much in that realm, because I don’t have a lot of experience with it. A lot of spoken word events in Miami seem kind of corny. I think its such a beautiful art that I don’t touch it. So most of my poetry I keep on paper. (Laughs)
W: What was your inspiration behind “I Wish”?
AS: I Wish was actually written a few years ago. it was inspired by a relationship that I had just gotten out of at the time. Once we had broken up, he had moved on but the relationship had been deteriorating. So “I Wish” was my ode to the relationship, wishing I had done more to stop that from happening. It was a slow decline, which I think most relationships are when they aren’t working out. You just don’t break up from one day to the next. So essentially “I Wish” is a regret song. It’s wishing that I had done more or less in certain situations. I just had a meeting with Lightworks Productions a couple days ago and we’re shooting the visual to that. “I Wish” is going to be the next video after “Fish in the Water”.
W: Who do you think you reach out to with your music? And who do you think your fan base is?
AS: I used to always think it was women more than anything because my music is really emotional. Until I started doing my live shows and the dudes would be singing the songs harder than the females. I was really taking back by that. I’ve heard people describe my music as emotional with a gangster element to it, which I find interesting because that’s not necessarily the direction or the lane that I think I’m in. I think its emotional, honest music. I think the fan base is really anybody that can relate to my experiences. Even my demographics on YouTube say I have more male viewers than female viewers.. I really don’t know who my fan base is I guess its just anyon that’s half-crazy. (Laughs)
W: What’s the name of your new project , and how do you feel about it?
AS: I ‘m not going to say too much about the projects I have in the works except that the material is incredible & some of my best work to date. The best thing about the new material is it will all be current work. A lot of the material that I put on Starvation 1 & 2 was material from the past and present. All of this material will be present.
W: How did Pitbull get on “Raindrops”?
AS: I put out this mixtape called Time to Shine in 2005, and at the time I was living in Boston, going to Berklee College of Music. I printed up maybe 100 copies. At that time, I wasn’t really up on the digital scene, remember, this was 2005. So I had absolutely no digital marketing just hard copies. I had this opportunity to open up for Wayne, Young Jeezy and Lil’ Kim and I passed my mixtape out to everyone . At the time I was just trying to get it into anyone’s hands. It got into the hands of this girl who happened to be know Pitbull through a family friend. She loved my music & she called me one day.
Now imagine getting a phone call from someone who you don’t know, it was a complete cold call. At that time, I wasn’t necessarily trying to be in the music industry, I just wanted to record music and do what I love. She called me out of nowhere “Anjulli Stars I love you, you’re amazing, I love your mixtape” and the mixtape was predominately rap. There were 10 tracks on it and 9 of them were rap, the only singing song on it was my song “Raindrops”. So she’s like “oh I know Pit he’s my boy, I want to give him your stuff” and obviously anybody who calls you like that, you’re going to be like “sure, let me know how it goes.”
Sure enough about a month later she called me and told me she had met with Pitbull. I guess he heard the tape and called her immediately like “who is this girl?” and this was before he blew up this was 2005-2006. I met him in Miami he said he was interested in putting the record together. I didn’t know what was going to happen for like 8 months. Then, when the album was about the drop, they contacted me saying they selected the song for the album.. It ended up becoming a very meaningful record because his father and his best friend had passed away earlier that year. He decided to dedicate the record to them
W: As far as your new projects are you working with any new people?
AS: On the new projects I would say, most of the new people that I’m working with are producers and musicians that no one has ever heard of, because I’m taking my music in a more acoustic direction. I’m working with live musicians that are amazing at what they do. I’m working with a producer name Young McFly, do you know who he is?
W:I haven’t heard of him just yet
AS: He’s really fresh, he’s probably one of the main new producers that I’m working with. Everyone else is just musicians. My latest single “Fish in the Water” was written & is produced by me, that’s actually me playing keys on the record. I compose a lot of my own music and then just bring in musicians to play it.
W: Wow you’re really talented
AS: Yeah I write, I play keys and guitar and I compose all my own music. I do arrangements for my live shows, it’s the real deal.
W: What’s it like bringing a band together? The struggle? How do you determine a keeper?
AS: I constantly network with musicians that I respect. I haven’t really had a consistent set of band members because its not a band. Anjuli Stars is a me and the music that I compose, create and arrange. I’m going to be changing the format of my show in a more acoustic direction. Also a lot of the music that I’m doing now is more acoustic based, and you’ll hear that when you listen to the new project. As far as selecting members, I gotta respect how they play, they gotta have that soul, that shit that I need. And I have to vibe with them musically cause live music is such an intimate expression. I can’t work with musicians that I don’t vibe with. I take it serious. As far as rehearsals. I’m an obsessive rehearser so I also need musicians that can understand that and work with that. The vibe is the number 1 requirement and that we get along….. because I don’t like to argue (Laughs)
That’s it, that’s all folks. See you at Speak Friday’s.. Thank you for reading, leave comments and feedback down below.