Most European pop singers would be in a rush to get famous in America. Not Norwegian electro-pop artist Annie; she's taking it slow. The 26-year-old singer did a quick four-city mini-tour in the U.S. a few months ago, and she'll be doing eight more dates starting Tuesday. But there's a reason for her smaller steps: Annie's only been performing live since January.
"It's quite a big challenge for me," she said. "It's completely different than if you're a band. Going into the studio, it's like you're practicing. But when you're doing electronic music, it's a totally different thing to take it out live, play it live. I was really, really scared [the first time], and had to think for a long time about how it would be, but it went OK. I'm becoming much better."
Annie — who started off as a DJ (see "Stunning Norwegian DJ Makes Pop Even Hipsters Can Love") — first bolstered her live performances with a bit of turntable maneuvering, singing for half the set and spending the other half spinning Blondie, M.I.A. and Peaches records to offset her bubblegum electro-funk. Gradually, she built up to singing a full set, leaving turntable duties to her partner, Timo Kaukolampi. And for her next tour, Annie's adding a guitarist. She won't have to look far for moral support, either — she's going to be the opening act for her pals in the Norwegian duo Röyksopp, who helped produce her debut album, Anniemal.
"They're really good friends of mine, and we've been talking for a lot of years about doing something together," she said. "And I think they are really, really good at combining good melodies and exciting production, so I like working with them."
Annie's also recently worked with James Iha, the Rapture, MSTRKRFT and Death from Above 1979's Sebastien Granger, who've all done remixes of her songs (the Rapture, for instance, did a take on "Me Plus One"). She additionally has an entry in the DJ Kicks mix CD series due October 25, featuring Le Tigre and Bow Wow Wow along with two new Annie tracks, "Gimme Your Money" and a live version of "Wedding," a song she debuted on her last U.S. tour. However she presents the new material, though, she promises it won't be boring.
"I've been partying and partying, every day," she laughed. "Not a day without a party. It won't be [just] me and my laptop. I want to do more than that!"
Annie and Röyksopp tour dates, according to her label:
- 9/13 - Hollywood, CA @ The Avalon
- 9/14 - San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine
- 9/15 - Portland, OR @ Berbati's Pan
- 9/16 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox
- 9/19 - Chicago, IL @ Metro / Smart Bar
- 9/20 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
- 9/21 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
- 9/22 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club