We are delighted to welcome Annabel Gutherz to Divine Magazine. Annabel Gutherz is a rising singer-songwriter hailing from Montreal, Canada. In 2018, Annabel released her debut single, Legends, a philanthropic song whose total proceeds are donated to education-based charities in North America.
On top of her musical endeavors and academic career, Annabel is the published author of children’s picture book series, Annie’s Pajammies, which will soon be sold with a corresponding line of pajamas. A portion of the proceeds from every Annie’s Pajammies unit sold is donated to help facilitate access to education in countries across the globe.
Interview with Annabel Gutherz
Getting to know Annabel
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
The Galloping Hoarse
You are a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?
If I was a new addition to a crayon box, I would be the color marigold for a number of reasons. Marigold is a combination of yellow, orange and red hues. Yellow which I believe is symbolic of joy and positivity, orange which may represent indecisiveness and impatience, and red which I believe to be evocative of passion, energy and caution. I feel like I am a mélange of some of those qualities!
What would be the ideal food to have cooked for you on a date night?
Goodness! If this was a diva date night, I would have to go with edamame choclo, tofu monzu ponzu, dumplings and avocado sushi! For an at-home, pajama date night, without a doubt steamed peas, sliced Granny Smith apples and chocolate would be part of the equation!
What makes you nostalgic?
Songs make me feel nostalgic, as music evokes memories that transport me back in time. When I hear Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” I’m reminded of the magic of my first concert, and the nerves of auditioning for a number of musical theatre shows, as “If I Ain’t Got You” was always my “audition song.” When I hear “Maybe” from Annie the Musical, I’m reminded of the excitement of my first on-stage performance, “Treasure” by Bruno Mars of long drives at night in the whimsy of summer, “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks of learning how to play guitar, and many, many more! That’s the beauty of song!
Tell us what your ideal partner might look like if you could order one from ‘Partners R Us’.
Two words: Harry Styles!
If you could learn any language fluently what would it be?
If I could learn any language fluently, it would be Italian. In fact, I’ve been learning Italian from Duolingo, an in-depth language learning app, for a little over a year now! Lo raccomanderei vivamente!
What’s your favourite board game?
CATAN, CATAN, CATAN, CATAN, CATAN! … Have I mentioned CATAN? 😉
Are you finding the isolation of the pandemic conducive to your writing or is it hindering the experiences you can write about?
Interestingly, I believe the isolation of the pandemic has been quite conducive to my writing. Prior to the pandemic, I drew much inspiration from personal experiences. My rather solitary and sedentary existence during lockdown actually motivated me to look beyond the walls and confines of my own experiences, and inspired me to write from other perspectives. Whether it was writing a song based on a character from a TV show, movie, photograph or novel, or writing from the point of view of different people, I thoroughly enjoyed creating stories through this process, which further fostered by sonic creativity as well! I also feel as though the isolation of the pandemic inspired me to better engage my imagination and develop unique characters and stories.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I would urge my fans to be kind, not only to others but to themselves as well. Kindness is like a seed in that, once it’s planted, there is no knowing how much it will grow, how far it’s roots will spread, and how much beauty it will inspire.
What would you be doing right now if it weren’t for your music career?
In addition to my music career, I am actually the founder of Annie’s Pajammies (www.anniespajammies.com), a social enterprise that helps facilitate access to education across the globe through the sale of a didactic children’s picture book series. A portion of the proceeds from every book sold is donated to an education-based charity. The first book in the series, Annie’s Pajammies and her Magical Rainbow Ribbons, helps give children of deprived backgrounds access to education through the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project.
This book is on Amazon and will soon be sold with a corresponding pair of pajamas, box and puzzle set!
Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction, or did it simply gradually evolve in whatever direction it found?
While I have always been interested in music, my musical journey has certainly not been one of deliberate direction! I stumbled upon songwriting when I was writing a diary entry, and heard the written words and phrases as melodies in my head! I continued to write songs as a means of expression and recreation, until 2018. I opted to record one song I had written, Legends, in a professional studio, which is where I met the owner of Piccolo Studios and my now-producer, the most wonderful Dominique Messier. He had asked to hear other songs I had written, and I willingly and enthusiastically shared. It was then that I truly recognized my love and passion for the craft, and opted to enroll at Berklee College of Music and pursue this career path.
Of your own music, do you have a favorite song? If so, can you pin down why?
As a self-designated “Song Mom,” I have a special place in my heart for every song I write as they each contribute a stitch in the tapestry of my life. That said, if I absolutely had to pick just one, my favorite song from my debut album, Loose Ends, would have to be my next single release, “Skylark.” It’s a simple acoustic song about love, feelings and special memories. A song I recently wrote during the pandemic, that may tie with “Skylark” as my favorite is a song called “Retrograde.” I noticed a lot of individuals expressing fears of stagnating or “moving backward” in their respective ambitions and pursuits during this unprecedented time. I am of the firm belief that we are always learning, growing and as a result, moving forward (never in “retrograde”), which is what the song is all about! It’s very theatrical, fun and sonically dense, and I am so excited to one day share it!
What are your ambitions as a songwriter and musician from here?
I would love to be a touring artist, performing for and connecting with people across the globe, building a compassionate and accepting community of individuals who love music! I am also eager to write for other artists, as telling stories through song is at the foundation and intersection of my interests and passions. To name a few, Amy Allen, Ingrid Andress, Julia Michaels and Taylor Swift are songwriters and artists I admire deeply.
Today, Annabel has released the disco version and music video of her single, Not The Girl, from her debut album, Loose Ends.
“Not the Girl” is a song about a very charming and intelligent boy. As the lyrics suggest, he was capable of “mincing words like an acrobat” while wooing girls with the flash of his brilliant smile. As easy as it would have been for me to fall for the fervor of his rhetoric, I was not fooled! The song is about empowerment, seeing beyond a magnetic facade of a player and not falling for their antics! It’s an ode to everyone who is “Not the Girl!”
Not The Girl (Disco) is anchored by a funky pop bass paired with Annabel’s retro-rock vocals. Using lyrics such as, “My heart’s not an instrument, won’t let it be played by you. You’re so flirtatious, you’re all kinds bodacious. No I’m not the girl who’s gonna be fooled”, Not the Girl is a song about feeling empowered by recognizing someone’s true intentions and not falling prey to their antics.
Download & Stream Not the Girl Disco
Co-Directors: Annabel Gutherz and Ruben Font
Videographer, Hair and Wardrobe: Marla Gutherz
Makeup and Lighting: Olivia Gutherz
Set Design: James and Marla Gutherz
Songwriter: Annabel Gutherz
Vocalist: Annabel Gutherz
Percussion: Dominique Messier
Programmed Instruments/Synths: Dominique Messier
Guitar: Kaven Girouard
Saxophone: Pierre Messier
Backup Vocalists: James, Marla and Olivia Gutherz
For more information, please visit www.annabelgutherz.com.
Spotify: Annabel Gutherz