Credit: Zorz Studios

Conquering the New York City music scene can be quite difficult, but 17-year-old Annamaria looks like she has what it takes to do that and eventually… the world.  The talented singer-songwriter is kicking off 2018 with the release of her stellar and catchy new single “Affection” as well as working with major award winning producers to help her in her quest of music domination in the new year.

Annamaria sits down with Manhattan Digest to discuss how she came to the conclusion on her one word stage name, her numerous musical influences, how “Affection” came to be and what’s next for her.  Take a look.

Did you always want your stage name to just be Annamaria, or did you have any other ideas in mind?

When I was younger, people always either spelled or pronounced my name incorrectly and unfortunately this still happens. I always wished people would just call me by my name, Annamaria. There are no hyphens, spaces, or nicknames. Once I realized my name would start to get out into the world, I knew i wanted to be seen and called, Annamaria.

Your favorite artists run the gamut, from Tori Kelly to Michael Jackson.  Why are artists like these such inspirations for you?

I listen to a lot of different genres with a lot of different artists from all time eras of music. Tori Kelly and Michael Jackson are my top inspirations because a lot of their music doesn’t only have to do about love and lust. They write about issues or experiences that everyone faces or feels. Their voices are so beautiful and unique, and they are both so amazingly talented that I hope I can be half as good as them!

Speaking of inspirations, when did you come to realize that you wanted to become an artist at such a young age?

Since I was little, I remember telling me to stop humming or singing or dancing all the times. It was hard to do that because I always had such a big imagination filled with creative ideas. Eventually when I started singing to help whatever problem I was going through, I realized I wanted to do the same thing as the artist I was listening to was doing. Whether I’m upset or angry or even happy, listening to music relaxes me and calms my thoughts. I really want to do that for other people with my music. Whether it’s my lyrics for the track behind them I want to make someone’s day a little better when they hear my voice and can sing along.

Can you describe your sort of sound and how it will encapsulate audiences going into 2018?

When I first started producing my first producer, Eren Cannata, he asked me about what genre do I think I am? This question even today, I still don’t know a straight answer. I know some probably categorize me as pop, but some of my friends categorize me as R&B/soul. I love listening to both of those genres, so they influence my writing without me realizing it. I always like to keep a relaxed tone or catchy beat throughout my songs because that’s what I like to hear best too.

Tell us about your latest release called “Affection.”

Affection is a song that I wrote under pressure and very quickly. It was my first time at Water Music studios in New Jersey and Mike, one of the owners of the studio asked me to choose a track that I liked, so I did. After that, he told me to write to it and I was alone in the studio with the track on a loop.  I was very nervous, and already was sweating because it was so warm in the studio! Thankfully, the lyrics came straight to me with no hesitation and after about 14-20 minutes I wrote to the whole track. I really love this song and it will always have a special place in my heart because it reminds me of what I’m blessed to be able to do.

Outside of your favorite artists, do you have anyone you are dying to work with?

For a really long time I’ve been wanting to co-write a song with Dan Kanter and record a duet with Nathan Sykes. Both of these artists have shown me in all different ways of talented they are and it would be such an honor if I could work with them one day. They are underrated but so inspirational and unbelievably talented.

What are you most hopeful for going into 2018?

I am most hopeful for my music, my voice, and my sound to be heard. I don’t want only the people around me to hear it and buy it but also people from all over the word to try and connect with my lyrics.

For more information on all things Annamaria, check out her official website.