Lila Rose, also known as ANIIML, is a one-of-a-kind artist. Working also as a producer, film-maker, and activist, Rose is passionate about everything she does. Her spine-tingling music is a concoction of EDM and R&B that falls under its very own genre, ‘witch-pop’. As a singer-songwriter, ANIIML’s mystic style has earned her music a spot on many hit TV shows, from Fox’s Lucifer to The Royals and VICE.
Not only are her vocals enchanting, but the visuals portrayed in ANIIML’s music videos are equally alluring, none more so than her most recent single, “OUCH!”. This witch-pop arrangement is the perfect example of what ANIIML’s unique ability to combine her passion for music, film-making, and the mystical realm.
I sat down with ANIIML to learn more about the creation of her unique style and recent single.
Ariel Zedric: Using three words, how would you describe your music style?
ANIIML: Avant-garde. Witch. Pop.
Tell me about the inspiration for “OUCH!”
It written after getting a text from someone I was casually dating… the text hurt… but just a bit. I’ve been in an intensive leadership training (at the time of writing the song, deep in it), which has helped to show me how to chose to not let myself get overtaken by emotions. Artists can be so easily overtaken by the “feels” but at the end of the day, I’ve come to understand that our thoughts control our feelings and I chose to NOT let myself be directed and guided by the unpleasant and draining thoughts/feelings. I chose to empower, and strengthen myself and my mind with positive, intentional thoughts, and thus feelings. And so, a text that may have historically hurt my feelings was a simple “OUCH!”
What was your favourite part about filming the music video? Did you get to take home any accessories?
Well, first of all, there was no “take home” because it was actually shot at my house, in my backyard, under one of my favourite trees. That being said, seeing as this was an extremely low budget video, most of the accessories were either borrowed or rented, or I already owned.
I would say my favourite part of shooting this video was working with such an incredibly loving, talented, kind, good-natured group of people. Every single person was SO skilled at their craft and not only brought so much to the table, but also were so kind and so loving, and gave so much of themselves to make something so beautiful. Seeing the way everyone got along so well, with having never met before, totally warmed my heart to the max. The video was filled with good vibes, to say the least.
Your music has been featured on many TV shows, especially those with a dark side. Are there any shows that you could see “OUCH!” fitting in well on?
Yes! The truth is I don’t watch TV, so I don’t know many shows but I do think this song is extremely synced worthy, and I am crossing my fingers hard that this one lands a biggy. Orange is the New Black? New Girl? Now I’m just mentioning the shows I know.
Can you see yourself dabbling in acting? Maybe on a Halloween special?
I would actually love to get back into acting. I spent more years acting than I have making music. I think I’m a little rusty but I’ve still got the juice inside me I’m sure.
When did you start defining your music as “witch-pop” and what does that mean to you?
I started defining my music as witch pop after attending an industry party two years ago. Someone asked me what genre of music I made, and my sassy friend Misty who pretends to be my manager sometimes responded immediately by saying “hardcore witch-pop”. We suddenly looked at each other and said: “OMG YES!” It was totally unplanned, and absolutely perfectly describes my music: it fits within the pop structure but has a dark, edgy, magical undertone. That’s what it means to me.
What’s the craziest superstition that you believe in?
Hmm, craziest? Probably that if I see a baby on a plane we won’t crash. I’ve never told anyone that and that really sounds crazy.
Explain the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered in the music industry thus far. How have they moulded you?
Ahh! That’s a novel. Struggles have varied anywhere from shooting several music videos which weren’t good enough (for me) which will never go out. Wasting insane amounts of money on shitty publicists who did literally nothing for me, dating people I work with, being taken advantage of my numerous producers… the list goes on. Personally, I would say the greatest struggle has been the constant lack of certainty of this career. Having chosen a no-formula career constantly keeps me wondering, praying, and working endless hours to assure some kind of secure future for myself and my team. Of course, all of these elements have moulded me in many ways- mostly have toughened my skin to be able to manage my business in a way which will, in the end, sustain me for years to come (I hope).
What’s it like being a female in the music industry?
The discrepancies in treatment in the music industry based on gender are plentiful. The pressure of succeeding before the age of 18- and if you haven’t, you’re a failure, the pressure of being gorgeous in all the ways physically, being treated as if I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to production and tech, never being recognized for being involved in every single step of my art, etc.
Have you ever doubted your choice to pursue music? If so, what’s kept you going?
Absolutely not. This is the reason I’m here, and that knowledge is what keeps me going every single day.
Tell me about a moment in your career that has left you extremely proud.
To be honest, I’m rarely proud of myself- I’m very hard on myself and have a high bar. But if I had to force myself to be proud (good idea) I would say making money from music via sync placements is probably an achievement worth celebrating.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
Probably Beyonce. Don’t laugh. To me, she exhibits a sense of power, of don’t-fuck-with-me. She’s constantly pushing the envelope, and she’s vegan.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists in the field? How has your success story panned out?
Tons and tons and tons- too much to write here, but overall: if art is the reason you live, do whatever you can to make it every single day no matter what. Fuck what other people are doing, and do you. My success story is still being created every day.
Featured Image Courtesy of ANIIML