Meet Anna of the North, the singer featured on Tyler, the Creator’s Boredom
Tyler, the Creator’s fourth studio album, Flower Boy is out today
There’s only a handful of guests on the record. Lil Wayne turns in a verse, Frank Ocean sings a hook and Tyler goes toe-to-toe with A$AP Rocky on lead single Who Dat Boy.
On two of the tracks, vocals are provided by Norwegian singer Anna of the North with her contributions most prominent on album standout Boredom. Once the news was revealed, Anna took to Twitter to show her excitement.
I’m on two fucking songs with @tylerthecreator 😭
— Anna of the North (@anna_ofthenorth) July 12, 2017
Now, as a bedroom songwriter who’s now gearing up to drop a debut album on Different Records, Anna and Tyler could be considered kindred spirits. We tracked Anna down to her home country and put in a FaceTime call to find out more.
Hi Anna! Firstly, how did the collaboration on Tyler’s record come about?
It was actually really organic. We released Sway a couple of years ago and the guys really liked it. They played it on Odd Future Radio and Taco got in touch with me on social media. He was just like, “Hey! Cool song!”. We just started chatting and we’ve kept in touch ever since. They played a festival in Norway which I also played and they snuck me backstage, so I met the crew and hung out for a bit.
Then, later, Taco sent me a message on social media like, “Hey, what’s you email?” and I was like “How come?” and Taco said, “Tyler needs some help!” Then, Tyler emailed me, so it was really organic.
Were you a fan of his music before?
Yeah! He’s the coolest. I have huge respect for those guys – they’re really artists. They do what they do and they make the music they want to make. They don’t do it for the audience, they do it for themselves which is super cool.
Did you record the track together or did you send them over?
I sent them over from Norway.
Did Tyler describe a vision for the tracks to you over email?
Yeah, he had this hook which reminded him of Sway and he wanted me to sing it like that. He liked my voice on Sway because it’s so raw I think. I remember recording those vocals in GarageBand and the vocals were peaking. I was probably a bit insecure about my voice – I just layered the vocals and kept layering them because I felt like the more I recorded, the stronger it got. That’s kind of how we made the Anna of the North sound – me being insecure about my voice! It was just super raw and I think that was something Tyler really liked. He wanted that vibe.
If you’ve felt insecure about your voice in the past, do you think validation from an artist like Tyler helps?
Of course. If I can get recognition from Tyler then fuck everyone else! That’s good enough for me. That’s all I needed, I can die now. It’s probably the biggest thing that could’ve happened for me.
What does the track Boredom mean to you?
That song’s so cool. I really imagine him writing it while being really bored. For me it’s just the daily thing of people sitting there – nowadays with the internet and scrolling up and down the phone, it’s just people not doing anything, being bored.
You and Tyler both started out as bedroom artists, do you think the track resonated with you for that reason?
Yeah I love that track. It’s so spot on. “Find some time/ Find some time to do something/ Boredom got a new best friend”, it’s just so simple that I think loads of people can relate to it. We’ve probably both been sitting there.
And as a fan of Tyler’s music, where do you think this album ranks in his catalogue?
It’s his best! He’s changed a bit, a little less aggressive. I think it’s more beautiful in a way.