Ten minutes with… singer-songwriter Anna Mitchell

Ten minutes with… singer-songwriter Anna Mitchell

On the back of the release of her E.P Fall Like That, singer-songwriter Anna Mitchell is gearing up for her first album release in February. Having completed a music degree at UCC, Mitchell became a member of the Cork alt folk band John Blek & the Rats touring throughout Europe, Britain and Ireland.

Now releasing her own material, 2014 is shaping up as a breakthrough year for the songstress. As a live performer, Mitchell has already shared a stage with Mick Flannery, Duke Special and Lisa Hannigan and is now on the road across Europe with American poet and songwriter Simone Felice. They will play in venues across Britain until December 5. See annamitchellmusic.com for details.

What are you up to right now?

Right now I’m chilling out in a lovely little cottage in Gouda, Holland, eating cheese, after a gig in the Spielgeltent with Simone Felice.

Who are your heroes?

I don’t really have any. I think once you get over the ‘posters on your bedroom wall’ phase as a teenager, and grow up you get to study people. You learn that a lot of people are just the same as you are, trying to get on.

What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?

The last decade for sure, as I am only 24, it’s the one I remember the most of!

What song sends a shiver down your spine?

Recently, Jeff Buckley’s rendition of The Other Woman. I had only ever heard Nina Simone’s version, which I love, but Buckley’s rendition gives the song another perspective and meaning, and of course his voice is beautiful.

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

Cork! Anywhere my friends and family are. I’m a home bird really. Being away travelling is great and I love seeing new places and getting the opportunity to play my songs to new audiences, but I sometimes wish I could bring a minibus of my nearest and dearest with me so I can share these experiences with them.

What makes you angry?

Ignorant ghoul bags with loud opinions!

What book influenced you most?

Anything by Bukowski.

What was the worst moment of your life?

Pretty good so far, touch wood, salt over shoulder, fingers crossed.

anna-mitchell1-n Anna Mitchell duetting with Simone Felice

Which local star in any field should the world outside Ireland know about?

John Blek, a Cork lad, with an amazing voice and a great songwriter too.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I’d worry less.

What is the best lesson life has taught you?

The greatest gift you can give to someone is your time; life is about relationships and connections.

What is your favourite film and why?

Cinema Paradiso, a classic from the late 1980s, is one of my favourites. The music score is so emotive and the storyline is so simple yet the relationships are complex, as in real life I suppose. I often get something in my eye towards the end, an eyelash maybe…

What do you believe in?

Hardwork, honesty and perseverance.

What trait do others criticise you for?

If we are heading to a gig, often on a long drive, I get really hyper once I hop in to the band van, and by the time we get to our destination, I’m burnt out from talking!

On what occasion is it OK to lie?

Tell the truth, be straight up with people, they may not like you for it but the good ones will stick around! I lied yesterday in a petrol station. I got a latte from the coffee machine, put some hazelnut syrup in it, and at the counter I said it was tea!

What do you consider the greatest work of art?

Oh jeez, I would have to say my album, out in February!

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Trisha Yearwood.

Who is the love of your life?

Did you ever hear the song Women Be Wise by Sippie Wallace? The lyrics go something like this: “Women be wise/keep your mouths shut/don’t advertise your man/If you talk about your baby/You tell me he’s so fine/I just might sneak up and try to make him mine.” I live by those words.