If you’re feeling a little on the “NUMB” side these days, well, the entire world can most likely relate. Feeling “NUMB;” however, is nothing unfamiliar to singer and songwriter Anacarina, who approaches the issue on the latest song from her new EP, One of Your Forevers, from the perspective of love in all of its complexities. As human beings, we are typically conditioned to bottle up love into this lightning kind of feeling that we are conditioned to believe is going to solve all of life’s issues. In contrast, Anacarina turns things completely on their head and poses the question, “why do people who supposedly love us also hurt us so much?” By the end of “NUMB,” we begin to understand why…
Anacarina elaborates on this idea and explains that our treatment of others often has more to do with ourselves than anyone else. “Sometimes we put our heart into the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to treat it,” the singer explains. “Often because they don’t understand what to do with their own heart, so much less that of another. This song was written from a place of rage. The point of view of me trying to understand why someone, who claimed to love me, would take actions that were in contradiction.
I have since come to understand that how people treat others is a lot more about themselves than anything else. The only thing we have control over is ourselves. We are at our best when we approach life and others from a place of love, appreciation, support, but we do not control how others will interpret, perceive, and ultimately react. There is not a vocal filter in the chorus or bridge; it is vocal inflection.”
Originally from Houston, Anacarina was already showing her artistic and imaginative side as a toddler while falling in love with opera. Writing short stories and poems followed soon after and then, by roughly 12, she was filling her school books with song lyrics instead of homework. Guitar lessons followed at which time she was forming a band with friends. As teenagers, they were playing music in local cafes before Anacarina branched off as a solo artist at the age of 17; her debut Soot Covered Soul dropped in 2015. As each year passed, the artist has become more enthralled with songwriting, particularly since she moved to California in 2018.
It’s not every day we get to speak to such a visionary artist as Anacarina, so we caught up with her for a few questions about “NUMB” and also staying grounded as a musician.
Tell us more about your new song “NUMB.” When was this song written, what was the process like, and did you collaborate with anyone on it?
“I am so excited to share it! ‘NUMB’ is a song I wrote going through a breakup. It’s was written from a place of hurt, on my guitar, and is all my original lyrics. I traveled to Nashville to work with Jonathan Lee Chan, my producer on the One of Your Forevers EP, out this May!”
Oftentimes musicians come up with a melody before they get down to writing the lyrics. What came first with “NUMB?”
“‘NUMB’ flowed organically. I sat alone, in my room back in Houston, playing guitar (I fondly remember spending hours writing, just like this). Often, I receive the title of the song first, and that’s exactly what occurred. I then picked up on a chord progression, a nice strum pattern, received the verses, then the chorus… It just flowed.”
Generally speaking, “Numb” is about the reverse side of love, asking the question why do those who love us hurt us. In your life experiences, what is the best answer you could offer to such a complicated, thought-provoking question?
“This is a great question. The word ‘love’ is misused all the time. To clarify, the feeling of loving, and being loved, is a far different feeling than that of hurt. It’s through our perception of situations and of how they relate to us that we hurt ourselves. For me, my experience has brought me to the knowing love is an uncondition. Love is unconditional, and it’s a state of knowing and feeling. I allow myself to live from a place of this knowing, allow myself love and be loved openly. I allow myself to feel my best. Loving is natural, it is easy. The opposite is unnatural. It’s only when we are thinking thoughts that are contradictory to love that we feel hurt.”
You worked with Jonathan Lee Chan to produce “Numb.” Was this your first time working with Jonathan? And what qualities did you enjoy about working with him as a producer?
“I love Jonathan. He was the first producer I ever worked with, back in Houston. High school was a tough time for me and I appreciated the opportunity music provided to express myself and find my center. Recording in the studio was the first time I felt confident that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and exactly who I was supposed to be. Days when I knew I was going to work on my music, I was floating on air. I remember the drive to Sugar Hill Studios after class, the first time I met Jonathan, and I liked him right away. He was fun, talented, knowledgeable, and we believed in each other. He has been an inspiration to me in many ways, especially as a musician.
We recorded my first song, ‘Going Under,’ which lead to my first album, Soot Covered Soul, together. After he moved to Nashville, I told him I wanted to record an EP, met him there and we accomplished One of Your Forevers. I love that he, too, is passionate about making quality music and is always excited to create. I adore him, and I am proud of all we’ve made together. So eager to share our newest, knowing it’s our best yet!”
I was perusing your website and I noticed that you mention some observations you have made about how to lead a good lifestyle, including developing a good sense of humour. What are some things that make you laugh and how does it help you stay grounded?
“I love this question! Yes, I believe life is supposed to be fun! I am naturally quite giggly and easy to make laugh. I have been told that I smile and laugh a lot. One thing that makes me laugh is David Dobrik’s ‘Vlog,’ I love it! I also love the show Impractical Jokers. I think I relate so well, because it’s important for me to spend time with those who I can have a good time and laugh with. I see life through very playful eyes. My family was silly growing up, my sister, Lorelei Acuna, knows how to really make me laugh, our cousin Chase Biggs, and Sheldon Snyder, a good friend of mine. I much appreciate people with good humour, it’s important.”