Exclusive interview

MonkeyRat

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Where did you grow up?
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
What influenced you to get into music? 
Living in the Faroe Islands - creativity became a means of survival.
How did your whole group come together? 
​I am lucky to be married to Arnold Ludvig, an award winning bass player & composer from the Faroe Islands.  In 2005, I attended the Copenhagen Blues Festival in Denmark and saw Alain Apaloo, from Togo, Africa perform @ Mojo Blues Bar - I was blown away - the way he was dancing and singing with his guitar - he reminded me of Prince. 
In 2006, Arnold Ludvig & I flew back to Copenhagen and went back to Mojo Blues Bar looking for Alain, but he wasn't there. We asked where we can find Alain and they suggested we look at La Fontaine, Jazz Club. On our way there, I saw a figure walking towards me, when I realized it was Alain, stopped him and asked, "Did u play @ Mojo Blues Bar in 2005 during the Blues Fest?" He looked up at me, as if to say to himself, who is this crazy lady and replied, "Yes, why?" That's when I looked up and say a store front sign with the words, Bella Anna, when he asked, "Who are u?" I replied, "Oh my God - it's a sign - look, that's my name - Anna!
In 2007, Arnold Ludig & I moved to Copenhagen started playing only as a duo at Open mics. In 2008, we started playing as a trio with a Swedish drummer and started to feature Alain Apaloo. In 2010, we met our superb Danish drummer, Jens Stoklund and together, we, MonkeyRat have been playing as a band ever since.
What is a songwriting session like for you? 
As soon as I get an inspiration, I write the words down.
What inspires you to create? 
Usually my emotions take over and I express myself in words.
Other times, it's something I see or hear.
What is your local music scene like? 
For a tiny country like the Faroe Islands, with a population of only 52,000 people, there is a very vibrant music scene.  Faroe Islands has a long standing singing & music culture. 
Since 2015, hosts, Arnold Ludvig & I started the first weekly Open mic/Open stage event @ Reinsaríið's Cultural House.
Do you work with other artists? 
No, but In 2018, I was selected to participate at KODA's co-writing session @ Reinsaríið. This was the first time I co-wrote a song with 2 other songwriters.
Do you perform live often? 
Yes. MonkeyRat has performed in the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, and the US.
Tell us about your latest project. 
MonkeyRat just released a super funky digital single called, Good Morning Reykjavík, Official Release March 20,2020, on Tutl Records. It is out on all digital music platforms worldwide. It is also the first time I co-composed a song with Arnold Ludvig.
What can we expect from you this year? 
We are awaiting the release date of MonkeyRat's next digital single called, U Gotta Love Being U, co-written by myself, Anna Iachino, Beinir Troest Rasmussen, and Hans Andrias Jacobsen during Koda's co-writing session. I chose MonkeyRat's guitarist, Alain Apaloo to sing the song, because of his distinct African accent and spiritual journey and feature the soothing soulful vocals of African American singer Deborah Herbert. Arnold Ludvig arranged the song and I produced it in the studio with Arnold Ludvig and Louise Nipper, our award winning sound engineer since 2009. This is MonkeyRat's first pop/singer songwriter/folk song with a powerful message of positivity and love in a time that is most needed for the world.  

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