99: Anna Neale

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Manage episode 288486646 series 2312064
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Anna Neale is my latest Nostalgia Interview guest, and it was a huge pleasure to meet up with Anna who is a music industry professional. Anna is an artist, songwriter, composer, engineer and producer, she has toured the world, and released three albums. Anna has also served on various music industry committees including the Ivors and has been in the music industry for 20 years.
Anna, who is based at the University of Kent, talks about how academia is a form of performance and how there are other industry professionals who have made a similar journey into academia. She compares putting out an album to putting out a research paper.
Anna’s research focuses on songwriting in industry practice, and she talks about how she has always been business savvy. She also examines the implications of technology on songwriting and discusses how we are living in an attention economy – where time, not money, is what is precious.
There is a disassociation now between the artist and the fan, and Anna talks about how there is no loyalty to a track on Spotify in the way there used to be with vinyl. We have access to everything instantly these days. She went to the same school as Paul Weller and she tells us where she stands on Oasis vs. Blur.
Anna talks about how students today will listen to music she heard when she was their age, which didn’t happen with previous generations, and she discusses the difference between analogue and digital sound.
Radio was the be all and end all when she was growing up, but Spotify has taken its place – and Anna tells us whether she thinks radio is still relevant. She also questions why the charts are still there in their present format and why the mainstream charts could be seen as a dying breed that the industry is trying to flog.
We learn that Anna studied music at Oxford Brookes and was a member of The Commitments. She talks about how her degree opened up a new way of looking at songwriting, and we also discover that she did a project 10 years ago on Pompeii with Mary Beard.
Towards the end of the interview, we learn that Anna’s memories are mainly positive, and she talks about campaigning for women on what is the the darker side of the music industry. We learn that when you’re a creative practitioner it can be dangerous to go too far down the nostalgia path and that keeping yourself in the present allows you to remain fresh, and that art can be a good way of keeping nostalgia in check.
To find out more about Anna go to her website: Anna Neale.
Please note: Opinions expressed are solely those of Chris Deacy and Anna Neale and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Kent.

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