Fresh Faces: Annika Zee

If you’re into dreamy synthpop soundscapes and transvestites, pay attention to Annika Zee. We first heard her work a couple of months ago on Jacqueline Sir’s video project Parix. Turns out the two are friends and fellow NYU students and they’ll be teaming up yet again to film a music video that may or may not contain transvestites for Annika’s upcoming EP due out this summer. We invited her down to Milk to hang out and tell us more about herself, like how she began recording at age 13.

Who are your music idols?

I love eclectic singer songwriters like Sean Nicholas Savage, Grimes, Mac DeMarco, Blood Orange, King Krule and his friend Jerkcurb. I want to be an equivalent to these types of artists or at least have a very strong idea of who I am sonically.

How do you write a new song?

When I started out, I didn’t have a strong style. I would just strum some chords and sing emotional folk tunes. Now I’ll make chord progressions or program drums in Logic or Ableton and I’ll loop it, building soundscapes around this basic structure. It’s hard to be technically really good at everything so I have one person, Jacob Blumberg, help me nail my ideas down. The Parix trailer was predominately produced by myself although I did not do the drum programming. I plan to really focus on becoming a better producer and prolific guitar player.

Are you working on your EP now?

For sure, and I want Jacqueline to help me out with the music video. There’s a lot of sad introspective music right now. I’m trying to figure out how you can be introspective and convey meaning yet still have humor and subtly play with tone. By playing with tone, I want to challenge gender stereotypes and pre-conceived notions of female emotionality. I want to reference society and what is relatable beyond personal relationships, yet not disregard them entirely. Right now, I’m interested in the concept of narcissism and how as a kid from the ’90s, it’s shaping us with the rise of social media. Maybe in the music video I’ll film transvestites making out with themselves in the mirror or something like that. But we’ll see. It might not end up being that but it’ll be something weird. [Laughs]

Photography by Alexandra Gavillet

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