Opened for Shakira & Featured in Billboard Magazine! 38M+ views on YouTube - grateful & blessed to live my dreams.
I'm open to writing, demo'ing, singing lead vocals on cool tracks and want to connect with other great producers, musicians etc!
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Ana Free
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm very proud of the last EP I wrote, recorded and released called "The Weight Of The Soul". I know the love that went into making that record and feel lucky for the people who came together to make it a reality.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Toplining new tracks I get daily, recording tropical house covers and writing for my next album.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Mechi Pieretti is an amazing singer/songwriter for the big pop song genre - her voice can do acrobatics like nobody's business. Maria Zouroudis is a pitch perfect vocalist with an incredible sound. Axel Folin is a young and very talented producer.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital because that's what I owe my success to. Digital has allowed me to connect to my audience every day.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To always bring the best of what I've got to your track and respect the vision for your song/project.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: How no two songs are ever the same.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What's your turnaround? Answer: I can get you something rough in 2-3 days and something final in a week.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That throwing vocals on a track takes 10 minutes and that it's "easy" and "quick". Making something great takes time, effort and a prior learning curve of years that many people don't recognize.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What will the song be used for (is it being pitched to a label/TV/film/personal project)? If they could have any artist in the world sing this track who would it be?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I am a flexible and patient artist but on the flip-side it's important that the client respects that and doesn't take advantage of it. I bring my A-game - always!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My guitar, extra strings, a Zoom microphone, headphones and a GoPro. I wouldn't bring a shaker, I think I could craft one out of a coconut and some pebbles!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: It's been over 10 years now. In a nut shell, I started out with covers and originals on YouTube, enjoyed over 5 #1 songs (MTV and radio) in my native Portugal after a big telecoms company ran a commercial I (along with my first ever single) was in, toured for a couple of years across the country and opened for Shakira on the Sale El Sol Tour in Lisbon in 2010. After that I was the face of Volkswagen as a musician for the As Sun As Possible Beetle Cabriolet tour in Hawaii, then landed in Los Angeles and hustled to get my O-1 artist visa. That year I made it as a top 10 Finalist of the Guitar Center Singer/Songwriter Competition featuring Don Was. I've lived in LA ever since I ventured here in 2013 and have been working in music ever since!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Musically, my vocals are relatable, sweet and often hinting at raspy. I have quite an emotional voice I would say, that's why I'm not good at robotic, pedantic performance tracks. I can't help but bring some of my emotions into it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to collaborate with Bruno Mars. I just think our voices would go well together and his style is nothing like mine so that would be fun to explore.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always save and backup your music projects!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Everything is game for me. I usually work in the pop/rock realm but I love jazz, blues, country, Latin (I speak Spanish) and house. I probably couldn't rap but you never know ;-)
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I'm persistent but I'm not a perfectionist. I will go and go until it's right but I won't lose sight of the authenticity by being too hell-bent on if the pitch or note is perfect. I think performance serves a song far better than the "hitting that perfect note" (which can be fixed as long as it's close enough) during the session. I also know my limits - I know what I can and can't deliver and I'm up front about that. I'm a good communicator!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think I'm good at creating a fresh vibe. I don't have a belting kind of voice - I'm not that kind of artist and I wouldn't take on a song if I didn't think I could bring something authentic and real to the performance. My goal is to leave a mark on people and move them. I also try and look at the song as a whole entity because I never want to dominate a track, I just want the performance to come together and balance out really nicely.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When it comes to songwriting I like to record the first things that come to mind when I'm riffing along to the track for the first time. I find that those are the freshest most genuine ideas that serve as a base for the rest. Then I can dive into the nitty gritty of perfecting the verse or hook. I'm pretty compulsive at recording and when I'm in the flow I usually follow the rabbit quite far down the hole until all the ideas are down! If I'm recording vocals straight off a reference then I'll always try and give it the flair that the client wants from my vocal personality (afterall, why did they hire me?). I'm diligent about no noise in my tracks, getting the best raw take possible execution-wise and if needs be in post, fine tuning as perfectly as possible in Melodyne. It takes a long time because I put in the work which is why I charge extra for tuning.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I actually have 2. I have a smaller one in the living room which houses my Apogee Duet 2, Peluso C12, Tannoy speakers and all my composition gear. I also sometimes share the home studio my husband works out of here in the house when I get the chance to sneak in and record in there. That studio features an entire console including Adams, Bock Microphone, Apogee Symphony, various compressors and summing boxes etc. the list goes on (haha I'm not the gear geek in the house you guys!)
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I respect all people who choose to put themselves out there and tell their stories to the world. I'm such a big fan of music that it's hard to pinpoint exact inspirations but I'd say that I'm inspired by artists including Ed Sheeran who really pay attention to metric and story-telling, Beyoncé for her work ethic and vocal consistency and John Mayer for his ability to convey emotion using only his guitar riffs. In the production world, I'm always inspired by producers who can transcend a genre, change it, make something brand new out of what you thought couldn't evolve. I remember being impressed with what Skrillex did for turning around Justin Bieber's sound, for example. Like it or not, that was a trend-setting record!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I usually work with clients as a main vocalist. Producers will send me original tracks and I record here in my home studio. I also have a big covers presence on YouTube so I often collaborate in that sphere since I have a solid idea of what to bring to the table and how to keep a fresh vibe.