Last updated: 05/28/2012 12:00:00 PM
The youngest of four children, Anjulie grew up in the Toronto suburb of Oaksville, Ontario, raised by immigrant parents from Guyana - a South American nation culturally influenced by its Caribbean neighbors to the north. As a result, her household was filled with everything from Afro-Caribbean calypso, reggae, and South American Latin music, to the pop and rock emanating from her older siblings' radios. The melange has definitely influenced Anjulie's debut - a sophisticated blend of indelible pop smarts, hip-hop edginess, and world-music spice, topped by Anjulie's sultry vocal stylings that she created with her producers and songwriting collaborators Colin Wolfe, who has worked with Dr. Dre and Monica, and her longtime collaborator Jon Levine, keyboardist for Toronto's funk-pop combo The Philosopher Kings.
Anjulie and Levine first met when then-17-year-old Anjulie, already a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer hustling to catch a break, was doing an internship at Metalworks recording studio in Toronto. "I was basically cleaning the studio and getting coffee for people," she says. "Jon came in and he was in a famous band, so I knew who he was. He asked me to have some lunch, but the people who work behind the desk are not supposed to hang out with clients, so I got fired." Despite that minor setback, the story has a happy ending. Levine was intrigued enough to accept an invitation to hear Anjulie perform at an open mic night, which led to their current creative partnership. In 2005, the pair wrote two songs for actress-singer Emma Roberts' debut album Unfabulous and More. Anjulie's other songwriting credits include co-writing a track on the Philosopher Kings' album 2006 album Castles, and penning "Don't Call Me Baby" - a Billboard Top 10 hit in Canada for EMI recording artist Kreesha Turner.
"Anjulie's songwriting is strong and confessional, but with a real pop sensibility," Levine says. "As an artist, she is never satisfied to dole out the same empty pleasantries that most singers do. When we were making her record, I always believed what we put down on tape. Sometimes we'd have a song completely finished and we'd both be happy with it. Then the next day, she'd come into the studio with an entirely different verse written. She wanted to make sure it truly resonated and wasn't just hooky. It's that kind of determination that makes an artist great."
With her self-titled debut, Anjulie is looking forward to putting a band together and taking her music out on the road." Being onstage performing is definitely a high point for me," she says. "It's so euphoric to perform live; you can really feel the energy from the crowd. I admire people who have the whole package and can really put on a show. That's what I strive to do."