INFLUENCES: Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, Django Reinhardt
ALBUM: Anna Calvi, out March 1

Anna Calvi began playing guitar at age 13, but it wasn’t until four years later that she began learning to sing. “I’d always wanted to be a singer, but it was hard for me because I’m so shy,” she says. “But I just worked on it—five or six hours a day. I was very secretive about it. It was the scariest decision that I’ve made, because of the kind of person I am. But slowly, slowly, slowly, this big voice emerged.” She started performing live, backed only by harmonium player and percussionist Mally Harpaz and drummer Daniel Maiden-Wood. “They are both such great musicians, and I like working with restrictions,” Calvi says. “I love the rawness of the three of us.” Former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones saw her opening for folk-rocker Johnny Flynn and convinced Domino Records to sign her. After spending a total of three years writing and recording, Calvi is set to release her self-titled debut album, produced by Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Marianne Faithfull). “When you’re doing 12-hour days and putting all your time and energy into something and all the time thinking, ‘No one may ever hear this,’ it is difficult,” she says. “It’s nice to come out of the rabbit hole and into the sunshine.”

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