Meet La Morena: Anita A
Anita is a soul singer and fashionista from Dublin, Ireland. Although she currently resides in Madrid, Spain she is the definition of an international woman! She's talented, multi-faceted and she's one morena making big moves on the scene in Spain that you should have on your radar!
Rapid Fire: Either / Or
Apple OR Android
Stilettos OR Wedges
Make-Up OR Au Naturel
Au Naturel (But with my eyebrows done!)
Can you tell us more about yourself? Where are you from, and what do you do in Spain?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria (Edo/ ijaw heritage) and have had the blessed experience of traveling in my childhood to places like Ghana and Benin. Eventually, my family settled down in Dublin, Ireland, where I basically grew up since I was a kid. But don't ask me to speak Irish or any of the Nigerian languages though..! Scarlet lol.
Think about the first time you performed in front of a crowd. What was it like? How has your performance style evolved since then?
I'm always nervous! My stomach always develops some serious boa constriction any time I go on stage. I've loved singing for a long time though and have been in lots of plays and choirs growing up. I'm used to performing as a group, and the first time I did it was probably as a baby for some family home video. My first real performance in front of crowd would have been for school at my high school graduation, an experience I'd probably describe as seeing a young girl, literately scared stiff, and a voice coming out lol. I never moved! Joining a gospel choir helped me shake it up a bit more as I grew older. Now, I've recently started doing music as a solo artist, and I have to find new moves that portray more of myself. I'm still in that self-discovery process.
Some people would say that moving abroad may stunt dreams/life goals. Has moving to Spain helped your music career? How so?
Well... I moved initially because I was incredibly dissatisfied with my previous job back home. I wanted to also improve the Spanish I learned while at university. So choosing Spain, Madrid, killed two birds with one stone. Adventure and purpose. I worked as a teaching assistant pretty much all through uni and I wondered if I could pursue it seriously and become a teacher one day.
A few good friends pointed out how much I actually love being in a classroom, so coming to Spain and experimenting with the work I'm doing has actually helped me decide for sure to get into teaching. I've fallen in love with it, definitely a great move coming here. That's — on paper — what I'm doing, because of course my music is emerging now as well. Moving here has also been great for that, as I've felt more creative and have started taking music lessons in my spare time. I´m even writing music again, something I have not done in years.
Your wardrobe is #goals. Who are some of your style icons?
Why thank you! To be honest, I don't really follow particular people or anything. I see something, I feel good in it, I buy it (for a reasonable price though, Im not about to go broke to look good!). Comfort is also very important to me, you won't see me bleed for beauty. I love reading the style sections of magazines and I'm inspired by whatever catches my eye. I'm drawn to black for its ability to go with everything, but I like colourful pieces too. Overall, I like things that make me feel like a curvy grown woman (lol), which is why I love designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga and Giambattista Valli, the feminine and womanly vibe I get from their outfits makes me giddy. I dream of owning pieces of their collections.
What are the main differences between the music scene in Dublin versus the scene in Madrid?
I was just talking about this with a good friend of mine, I think Ireland is such a musical place. I've gone to a pub and randomly started singing with friends (after some dutch courage lol) and never had the urge to do so anywhere else. It´s so normal, the busking stuff I see around Dublin town is also genuinely enjoyable (most of the time). I'm not surprised people like The Script or Thin Lizzy have come from there. And now with so many nationalities, we have people from Africa and Central Asia for example, who are also bringing in their styles as well. In Madrid, I feel like there´s a lot of creativity and its different, but there´s just more craic in Ireland lol (look it up!).
You're a natural girl! *virtual high-five* What's your go-to protective style? And tell us two produts that are always in your beauty arsenal?
Ha! I am probably the most lazy naturalista ever! I'm not like those amazing youtube girls that sleep with the right combination of several products in their hair and wear scarves at night (the most basic thing). I don't even have the patience to do cornrows properly. But so far, it's been a journey of almost 3 years and I've got a routine of a nice deep cleansing wash in-between long-term hairstyles. I get a 2 litre tub of thick, plain greek yogurt and (usually) add aloe vera liquid, and then basically let my hair soak it all in for 30 mins, or more if I get distracted. After I wash my hair, it feels so good afterwards. So thick, curly, healthy and fed. That´s before I've even added any castor oil after the drip-dry! It might not work for another person, but works for me. As for protective styles I use the same ones I've grown up with, braids, twists and yes, sometimes weaves (if done right). I have a soft spot for braids though, and there are so many different styles. Right now I'm sporting a Ghana cornrow/weave which I´m seriously feeling.
Imagine: you're getting ready for a photoshoot. Take us through your beauty routine: what's a must, and what products can you do without?
I had a photoshoot last year in Dublin to promote my music and the POW Collective (Power of Women) label I'm working with, but I didn't have a beauty regimen as such. I just made sure to look after my skin like I always do. Sleep, water, and a good moisturiser (a combination of almond oil and regular non-oily body creams) are a must for me everyday.
Are there any new projects in the works for you?
I just released my first single, Oh My! which I feel great about. I'm currently aiming to produce an album for this year, a first for me! I have been featured in a video for another artist, and would like to work on producing one for one of my songs this year if possible. Overall, I just want to improve my sound, and solidify my performance style. I was recently invited by the lovely musician Erin Corine to join her for her Nina Simone series this spring in Madrid, the details are pending but I'm so excited! There´s also a summer jam type of performance I'm doing in Dublin this year as well. Really optimistic for what is to come this year.
Where can we hear more of your voice on the inter-web? Link us to your profiles!
This interview was conducted by Danni. Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful life partner. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.