Premiere: Watch Anne Dereaux's "LMLY" & Get Acquainted With 'Book of Lolita'
After the release of her first EP, Book of Lolita, and after appearing on HBO’s hit series Big Little Lies, Anne Dereaux, architect-turned-musician and actress, has had a busy past few months. After beginning a promising career as an architect, the Nashville-native and LA-based artist picked up and left the firm she was working at to pursue a career in the music biz. MILK.XYZ sat down with the singer to talk her the story behind Book of Lolita, her song writing process, and more; plus, watch the official “LMLY” video below, premiering exclusively on MILK.XYZ below.
So do you want to tell us about your new EP?
Sure, I started putting it together while I was working in LA at this architecture firm. Then I decided that I wanted to pursue this for real. A week after putting that notice in, I got a call that I was selected to be on Big Little Lies. So it was like this sign that I was making the right decision. So I quit, I did the show, and finished up the project. Somehow I pulled things together because we’re indie, yanno? We don’t have a big budget. We put out the single in March. Then the day after that came out Rick Rubin hit us up. It’s like every time a big decision was being made something works out. So it’s like you’re on the right track. Then we rolled out a few singles and then put out the full EP July 21. It’s like things are building and coming along the way we couldn’t have imagined. So the EP is a story, a narrative. It’s called Book of Lolita. It’s going from the beginning of going through life and experiencing things that are difficult to go through and mourning. And then coming full circle looking at the bigger implications of that hurt. How does that effect the bigger picture? I think it’s something you experience listening to every song in sequence.
How did you come up with the title?
It’s funny because I think a lot of people probably associate with something that is probably not associated to laughs But when I was little, like eight, we weren’t allowed to watch TV. My parents were very like, “You’re gonna go outside and climb trees!” You know what I mean chuckles It was that kid if household. But I would take in the alter ego. I would be like, “No, I am Lolita. I am not doing what you’re gonna tell me to do! Today I am not cleaning my room.
I would not character. And my mom was kinda a psychiatrist…
Oh my God, she was is like psychoanalysing you!
She was probably like, “Something’s wrong with my daughter.” She was worried because I would really not break character. I was gonna do what I wanted to do and wear what I wanted to wear. Leave me alone.
So this narrative is following a protagonist that is taking her own journey and following her own path. What better protagonist than this little character I created when I was a kid? This girl was like I ain’t gonna take no shit and do what I want to do. Because that’s kind of where I am in my life too. I’m leaving behind what many would call a very promising career. Like…what are you doing? I wanna do what I want to do. I’m taking this chance and putting everything into it. So that’s what Lolita is.
That’s nuts and amazing. So your music video for “Mourning” just came out. Do you wanna talk a little bit about that?
Yeah! When I was at the architecture firm, one of my co-workers, Jacqueline, had a boyfriend who happened to be a director. Even when I was at the form I was in a little pop band, previously. We didn’t put that project out. It was kind a fun thing that we did. We would play shows around town and [Jacqueline and her boyfriend] would always come to the shows. They were just like, “Man, you should go solo!” so they were always very supportive of what I was doing. Once I went solo [Jacqueline’s Boyfriend] was like, “I wanna make a video with you. I’m starting my own production company.” So, given that we don’t have any money, he actually did the video, funded it, and everything. Basically, me and my manager styled it, took care of hair, makeup, and clothes. But he really did the production. We came with a concept and did storyboarding together and he just killed it. It was all green screen. It took a lot of effort, but that was the cheapest way to do it.
That’s sick, so what was the final straw that made you completely change careers.
You know, honestly, it’s really funny watching Insecure right now because the character, Molly, is experiencing something where she found out that her peer, who’s is a white male, I’d making way more money than her. I had, sort of, the same thing happening. I didn’t really know how to address it. I was so angry and I was was working so hard here. What is this about? Then I found out and I was doing all this stuff. If I wanted this to happen I would have to put my all into it. Like I might as well be broke doing what I love than be broke feeling like I’m being taken advantage of. So I was like shit, I’m just gonna quit. And so I quit and then I got the Big Little Lies role which covered me for a couple of months. Maybe this was like something I am supposed to do.
That’s awesome! What is the experience like working with producers and writing your own music.
Its interesting! So one thing I learned to do what record myself also. I have this little recording studio set up in my house. It’s kinda half and half. If I’m working with a producer then we can record something in the studio and get together. It’s more efficient because I am able to get more stuff done at home. They can send me ideas. I can get them ideas. Then once we’re in the studio I can polish it off.
So you’ve compared to FKA Twigs and Banks and more. Can you name more of your influences? How does it feel to be compared to such big names?
It’s complimentary, you know. Because I think they’re amazing women and amazing artists. And I think by default people are going to want to categorize what you’re doing in some way. But I want to make sure that it’s understood that I’m on my own path. But for those to be the comparisons, I totally embrace it because they’re awesome.
Who are your biggest influences?
I would say…so growing up in Nashville, my family was a little bit anti-media. Well, not anti-media, but a lot of the music I listened to growing up was like blues and old shit. So it’s funny, I listen to a lot of real blues music. And then I started to discover other stuff. I went through these phases of things I listened to. Bobbie Gentry, she was a country artist in the 60s, but if she would have come out, she’s almost like Lana del Rey, in a way. I think Lana jacked her swag a little bit [Laughs]. You know? She’s tight. She’s really a soul artist but at the time it was like, how do you categorize this white girl who’s sexy and swaggy. You know what I mean? She’s actually someone who composes everything, produces everything; she was tight. I went through a big Otis Redding phase, but then also like a Killers phase [Laughs]. So it was varied.
Talk about your songwriting process.
It’s pretty personal, in terms of the lyrical content, but I usually try to start based on melody. Because I feel like when people are listening to music, what sticks with them is the melody. They don’t always remember the words, but it’s the melody that catches you. So I go there first, then fill in the words later.
Stay tuned to Milk for more rising stars.