Ann Vriend creates music that reflects a living, tangible soul. She leaves her listeners with an unforgettable experience; an opportunity to feel her music in a way that is authentic to every individual. Ann is clever, poetic and inspired. Rhythm & Ruffle is thrilled to have her as one of our Featured Artists!
WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU?
Good music instantly transports you to another world, where the emotion of whatever vibe it’s in, is intensely that. It’s like a drug with absolutely no negative side effects.
WHICH DECADE INSPIRES YOU THE MOST MUSICALLY AND WHY?
I think the late ’60s to mid ’70s. There was so much quality music and recordings happening then; the bar was really high. Not just anyone could make an album and put it on the internet. And it was before the major labels got too out of touch with things and lost sight of what was good and what wasn’t. New genres were being created in R&B, Rock & Roll, Jazz — everything.
WHICH FEMALE ARTIST HAS INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST AND WHY?
Aretha Franklin in her Atlantic years. She is just SUCH a great singer and musician — her timing, phrasing, energy, precision yet passion. She is/was a band leader and self-accompany-est. I’ve heard Jerry Wexler built those recordings around what she played and sang and arranged with her background singers, meaning that really all those big songs she had hits with were her renditions and arrangements. So many times females get the “you’re just the eye candy and nice little icing on the cake singer, while the boys are the real musicians” treatment — but not the case with Aretha. People saw and felt her real genius and I definitely do too. No one makes the hair on my arms stand up quite as much as she does.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR FELLOW, EMERGING FEMALE MUSICIANS?
Hmm. Remember to put the quality of the music first. If you build it they will come.
WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE MUSIC GOALS?
I’m working on some new tunes with my band to record in the studio in Germany next week. We’ve been playing them on tour the last few weeks and getting an amazing response insofar as people asking about those specific songs at the merch table, and singing along with the songs even though there’s no recording of them yet. So, once they are demoed then we’re on track for doing my next album. And in the meantime, a single of mine will be released to Australian radio next week, along with a video for the song, “You Can Have Me.”
HOW IS ANN VRIEND GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
I don’t have ambitions like that. I just want to make music that really makes people feel. So if it’s uptempo funky soul music to dance your cares away to on a Saturday night, then I want to make people dance, or if it’s contemplative mellow music for being alone, then I want to do that. I don’t have a political agenda or aspirations to start any kind of cult or anything, haha. To me the purpose of art is to make people feel and think; as long as that happens with my music, I feel I’ve done my job. I take that seriously and if people leave my concerts or after listening to my recordings, feeling they’ve had cathartic moments — then I am happy.
You can follow Ann Vriend on Twitter and like her page on Facebook!
P/C: Leroy Schulz