Arts

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SHE HAS HER sunglasses on, her face to the sky, and she’s been feeling so fly. She is Canada’s latest “brand new bitch” on the music scene—well, at least that’s what Anjulie Persaud, known simply as Anjulie, declares in her single of the same name.

The song has been heating up Canadian and U.S. airwaves, becoming a dance club anthem with its catchy hook, upbeat tempo, and girl power-esque lyrics. With a Juno nomination under her belt, the Oakville, Ont., native has been plucked from dance floor obscurity, touring with Hedley across Canada to the delight of many screaming fans.

“For me, it’s about shedding skin,” says Anjulie about the track that earned her a dance recording of the year nod. “I was transitioning through from one record company to another and I was transitioning from [breaking up] with my boyfriend … a lot of things were happening for me to feel like, you know … a new person in a lot of ways.”

Although the road to the 20-something, singer-songwriter’s current success wasn’t all glitz and glamour, hard work, ambition, and talent has paved the way for the dance superstar to make it to the top.

“I kinda started in the industry as a songwriter, so that was the first thing that kind of opened me up as for writing songs for myself and discovering what I had to say and what I really wanted to express with my own record,” explains Anjulie.

While Anjulie’s second single, “Stand Behind the Music”, had a more rock, pop-edge feel to it, and asks people to stand behind whatever they believe, the singer-songwriter still notes all her songs contain a cohesive message.

“The messages in all my songs are pretty cohesive. In ‘Brand New Bitch’ I talk about—it’s a dance song, but I still talk about getting out of a relationship and being a strong person and finding your confidence and finding, you know, your sense of self through that,” says Anjulie. “So is Stand Behind The Music”, but it’s a much more universal message.”

For her upcoming album, Stand Behind the Music, Anjulie penned songs most teens and young adults can empathize with, which is what gives the record a singular message. With cheating partners, depression, and suicide, among others, Anjulie covers many topics in her album.

“Yeah, I think it’s a coming-of-age record in a lot of ways. Figuring out life and love and struggles in your twenties—and what it is in this time we live in. So, it kind of does goes through a lot of different subjects on the record. There’s one called “White Lights” and it’s about suicide and depression. There’s one called “Headphones”, which is about being thrown into L.A. culture,” she says.

Anjulie explains her no-nonsense and tell-it-like-it-is persona comes from the influences she had growing up, like Alanis Morisette, Lauryn Hill, Eminem, and Kanye West. Similar to the artists the Ontario native looks up to, Anjulie has racked in the praise from music critics all around, which is why when asked to sum up her year in one word, Anjulie chose the word “surprising.”

“With ‘Brand New Bitch’, we were focused on a launch in the U.S. and it got leaked—a radio DJ in Canada started playing it and then it took off. It was really with no support by me, you know. So I was surprised that it did as well as it did, and I’m still surprised that it’s playing nine months later on the radio.”

Sofia Hashi