Annie Sama: Breaking Barriers

By Erika Tremblay

Formerly known as APigeon, multidisciplinary Montreal-based artist Annie Sama charms audiences with her boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm. She’s making waves in the music industry, but also in the worlds of visual art, fashion and dance. Her star is quickly rising both at home—her mother is Quebecois; her father is Congolese—and abroad. Our chat with this penultimate multihyphenate.

You’re working on a new record. What can we expect?

«I like to maintain some mystery in order to surprise people. So, I’m not sure that I want to talk about it! [Laughs.] What I can say is that I’m working on an aspect I’ve never worked on before. The EP will lean both hip-hop and electronic.»

What themes do you want to explore on this record?

«I’m not sure why but I have a knight theme in mind right now. [Laughs.] I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe over the past few months and it inspired me. I also believe that there is a mix of love, strength and poetry in my songs. There’s a lot of talk about ghosting and self-love these days. As for me, I want to explore the theme of romantic exchanges in a positive light. Of course, I’m inclusive of all kinds of relationships (LGBTQ) and am interested in exploring ways to experience freedom through them.»

Are you working on any other projects?

«In my free time, I’m working on a series of drawing and paintings. Eventually, I’d like to put together a visual arts exhibit. I’m also developing my career internationally. I’m actually flying out to Los Angeles this week.»

You travel a lot. What impact does it have on your work?

«Travel allows me to discover who I am and what I want. It gives me a global outlook on life. When you’re anchored in a deep-set routine, you can be blind to what’s happening all around you. Travel allows me to observe that pull between the desire for both freedom and routine. It gives me a chance to step back and be analytical.»

Where would you like to travel this year?

«I love expansive landscapes and vast amounts of space so I’m drawn to Iceland. Asia is also calling me. I’d like to visit small villages in Japan, Vietnam and China to learn more about their respective cultures.»

What role does fashion play in your life?

«In some ways, it’s part of my project. I’m working on the direction I want to take this year and fashion is part of it. For me, it’s an important aspect of self-acceptance.»

How would you describe your style?

«Fashion icon. Truly! I’ve been called upon to collaborate with many designers who have a vision of me and what I should wear. I inspire a direction. For example, as part of my collaboration with Chloé, we took the time to sit and see all the pieces in the showroom to find the one that would be best suited for my performance.»

You were recently on the cover of ELLE Québec. What did that mean to you?

«It’s great to be recognized in Quebec. For three years, interest has come from the United States, where I’ve worked with Vogue and Interview. I was starting to wonder if Quebec would ever be interested in my work. The fashion industry has been supportive since the beginning. I think that people are visionaries here. On my end, it’s business as usual but it’s obviously flattering to achieve a certain level of recognition.»

What message do you want to convey to your audience?

«That self-acceptance is essential. Until you learn to accept yourself, you’ll always be seeking for control. You need to love yourself in order to love others. Time passes so quickly. We could create something so much bigger and truer if everyone accepted themselves. That’s actually why freedom is an important theme to me.»

Fine Annie Sama’s music on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube