From Portland, Oregon, Annie Dang began her musical career in the raw, underground music scene in Portland. She originally sang with only her guitar to accompany and has since been expanding her instrumental repertoire. Annie Dang’s inspirations are derived from a vast array of genres including electric soul, funk, and R&B. One of her strengths as a musician is her flexible ability to always search for new and unique sounds.
Annie Dang’s newest single “Shake” is a quick-paced record that is sure to get her listeners grooving. Her early Motown, '90s R&B and funk inspirations are evident as she invites her fans to “Shake” with her. “Shake” has recently been categorized as “retro Latin tinged soul,” and rightfully so. Its vintage percussion backtrack will have you dancing the swing, and don’t forget about some Latin hip action. Annie Dang shows us just how musical she is by incorporating a variety of instruments into her song including trumpet, tambourine, and smokey horn. Not only does “Shake” get fans on their feet, but it also touches the soul. Annie Dang belts her vocals with a contagious ferocity, sharing her spicy personality with fans. Lyrically, she sings about personal experiences and observations in aims to engage and inspire her audiences. “Shake” is certainly an electric single, making Annie Dang a budding artist to watch for.
Be sure to check out "Shake" here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Annie Dang! “Shake” has a vibrant energy that we immediately fell in love with. Can you tell us about the message behind your lyrics for this single?
At first impression, most people hear the song and think it’s about dancing but it’s actually about overcoming obstacles. Life is a constant movement. Whatever obstacles we may face, take it in stride and “shake” it off.
Although you originally sang alongside a single guitar, you include a multitude of instruments in “Shake.” What instruments do you play? What made you decide to incorporate many more instrumental sounds into your music?
I play the electric guitar. I originally started off playing the acoustic guitar, but a friend of mine let me borrow his electric guitar and fender tube amp, and it all changed after that.
I started implementing digital effects pedals like looping, ambiance, and delays.
Soon after I was the vocalist/guitarist in a Neo-Soul band. There was a lot of improvisation which made room for me to utilize and experiment with my effects. As for incorporating other instruments, I always felt my songs had the potential of a fuller sound with the right backing.
I met my producer Andrew Korn at while performing an acoustic set.
Prior to working with Andy, I had a handful of producers and engineers that reached out wanting to work with me, but they never came down to watch me perform all business. Andrew came down, introduced himself and that type of gesture spoke measures. We got together, drank coffee, ate tacos. I performed my songs for him and had a listening session. Sometime after, we agreed to several songs we’d work on together.
For “Shake” we fused an old school Jackie Wilson influenced drum groove with the Cuban dance rhythm called Pilon. When I used to play it solo on guitar it was a totally different vibe. Now it has a grooving rhythm section, horns, and a bunch of backing vocals. Putting all these new elements together, it creates a whole other life, the result is what you now hear.
You have many different genres that you draw inspiration from. What were your main sources of musical style when you were creating “Shake?”
I wrote “Shake” awhile ago. When I first created the song, I was still in the process of teaching myself guitar. I would go and perform at open mic nights. At that time, I was notorious for playing the rhythm guitar super fast -my approach was similar to banjo strumming. When I performed songs like “Shake”, they were more stream of consciousness type performances. It was a good experience, I was able to sow my oats as they say.
Having started off in the underground music scene in Portland you have certainly evolved into a new artist. Can you elaborate on your journey to getting to where you are today?
Passion and practice, and to need to be able to independently accompany myself with the guitar as a solo performer. I started out in the local open mic scene performing as a vocalist and was tired of asking other musicians to back while I sang.
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?
Spreading the word about my new EP. Releasing new music, new videos, and putting a killer band together. You can check it all out at anniedangmusic.com.