Earlier this year, Anara Publishing started a new series of Instagram Live sessions called “In Conversation With”, where once a month we have an in-depth chat with one of our artists about their plans for 2022. For our May 2022 session, we were joined by Tel-Aviv based alternative hip-hop recording and performing artist, AGAT. Her music is described as fresh hip-hop that delivers a unique signature fusion of electronic motifs, tantalizing beats, and powerful thematic discussion.
Let’s start from the beginning AGAT. Where did your music journey begin?
I’ve always listened to music. It started with my dad playing records for me and my brother when we were kids. Then I started learning theatre, and when I was 14 years old, I started learning music and playing in bands. I learned drums, then I moved to guitar and piano, it wasn’t until much later that I started singing. At first, I didn’t think that I could be at the front of anything because I was kind of silent. But yeah, then I discovered that my voice is the best instrument that I can use. I started writing songs, continued with being in bands; I had a metal band actually and we released an EP when I was 17 years old. Overall, I think it’s good that I have knowledge in music that is wider than singing alone. I’ve also started studying production, which has helped me a lot.
If you could pick 3 words only, how would you describe your signature music style?
Colourful. Fun. Quirky.
For anyone new to the world of music publishing, can you discuss your experience with Anara Publishing so far?
The reason that I initially joined was because I had less knowledge in music rights, and I really wanted to learn about (and get put forward for) sync opportunities. I believe that sync is the best way to earn money in the music industry, especially as it exposes your music to a new audience. Debs and Jagoda at Anara Publishing are really nice women, I adore them. They’ve helped me with a lot of things regarding music rights. For example, in one of my songs, I used lyrics from Lou Reed but reversed them. We then had the obstacle of getting permission from Lou Reed’s label, but they helped me to get everything sorted. They also helped me with co-writing agreements, along with many other things.
What about your experience with music synchronisation?
I try to attend sync conferences by myself. I’m also a member of Clubhouse and I join a lot of Zoom masterclasses. I think it’s important to do things yourself (as well as your publisher) to push your career from every direction.
Who are your biggest influences in music and why?
My music influences come from multiple directions. I mean, David Bowie is an inspiration, but I think that it does not reflect in my music at all. Like musically, it’s not the same genre, or style. However, his approach to music and writing songs has really helped me. It’s a really important tool. Lou Reed is also a lyrical inspiration.
How do you unwind after a busy day of making music?
I like watching cartoons, Adventure Time is my favourite. I also like playing card games, and I really enjoy food.
A creative question for you! What is the meaning behind your green coloured branding?
Green is the colour of nature, but also the colour of money and progress. Specifically, money. I sometimes think that we as people are evolving in a bad way from being connected to our natural feelings to being commercialised without noticing.
As a musician, how do you deal with stress and take care of your mental health?
I think it’s something you should take care of all the time, because it’s easy to forget to pay attention to yourself. Don’t go to extremes, don’t be too happy, don’t be too sad. Take it easy. It’s hard to do, but keep trying to remind yourself.
How do you start your songwriting process?
It’s different every time. Usually, I prefer lyrics first. That way you have the meaning of the song and the words that can guide you to write a melody. Other times I just write the hook, and then go from there or write the beat first. It depends on who you’re working with.
On your latest album, you’ve got lots of collaborations. Could you tell me about your process of collaborating?
The whole of my last album was produced by Gal Oved and we did everything together in our studio in Tel Aviv. The album involved a lot of collaboration and we had various musicians that came and played piano and guitar, which we would then sample into the tracks. We also then had major collaborations with singers and rappers, for example, Zelooperz on the track ‘Wait For Me’. He’s an awesome dude who I reached out to on Instagram, and he agreed to work with me. We had a video conversation where I told him about the song, and then he wrote the lyrics, recorded them, and sent them back to us. We edited everything and then the song was complete.
What is the most effective way to promote your music?
Be cool. I mean, the most important thing is to just always be yourself. Never try to do things just because you think it looks right, because it will end up being fake.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2022?
I plan on doing a lot of live shows. My next show will be in Tel Aviv, and then I have a show in LA and a festival in Latvia. There might also be a show in Spain. Let’s see how it goes, I also plan on writing more music because it’s important to release new things. I really want to come to the UK too.
Tell us about the new music you’re working on at the moment…
I want my new music to be fun but personal. I’m exploring different areas right now, so we’ll have to wait and see.
What is your advice for up-and-coming songwriters?
I’ll quote Kenny beats. Don’t overthink.