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    Diana Anaid

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    Genre:Pop, Rock
    Rank: history »
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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1I Go Off lyrics
    2Dumb Opinion lyrics
    3Oh No lyrics
    4Why Should I lyrics
    5Temporary Visitors lyrics
    6Beautiful Obscene lyrics
    7Blarin' Out lyrics
    8Addiction lyrics
    9Just Leaving lyrics
    Last Thing lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Beautiful Obscene [2004]


    Diana Anaid has come full circle. Which is why her fourth album "Diana Anaid" (due April 2010) is self-titled, as was her debut album "Diana Ah Naid" from 1997, when she used a different spelling of her stage name.

    "Apart from introducing people to my name, without the 'h', I've come full circle to a simple but powerful place," explains the singer songwriter who is based in Byron Bay. "The music on the new album takes me back to my original self-produced wall of sound."

    That sound made her a darling with community radio and the triple j network, who made her debut single "I Go Off" a alt-rock smash. But singles from "I Don't Think I'm Pregnant" (1999) and "Beautiful Obscene" (2004) crossed her over to mainstream radio as well. Her last single, "Last Thing" also broke her into the Top 30 of Hot Adult Contemporary formats in the United States. It got her an invitation to showcase at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis and a run of clubs in California.

    Rather than build up her career even further, she took a break for a few years. She looked after her father as he slowly died from cancer. She watched her son grow into a strong independent teenager. She tried to trace her family tree: she lost touch with her mother's clan after she died when Diana was a year old. She set up a studio in her home, and learned how to use every aspect of it. She grew her spiritual soul through ideas in self-help books.

    As a result, she has made her most radio-friendly record to date. True, that fiery spirit that pervaded " I Go Off" and struck a chord with a whole generation of pissed-off girls is still as strong on the new record. The opening track "Make Me Change My Name" rails at both her father for being absent during her growing up days and to the music industry for trying to manipulate her. "The drugs and the sex that you fed to me. Made me old too soon/ So I buried myself in music," goes the song.

    Explains Diana, "I am saying that you can change my name but you can never change my attitude."

    Current single "Cynical On Waking" recalls her first brush with fame, when she had to smile on cue, felt the need to perform without making any mistakes, and had to keep hours that were ungodly for this freewheeler.

    And just to prove you can live in laid-back picturesque Byron Bay and still hold a lasting grudge, she tells of the guy who ten years ago saw her play at the Bluesfest in Byron Bay and told her she'd never make it as a performer "because you just don't go off." She recalls, "I drove home crying — and when I got home, I nailed that song! It was the ultimate payback, he had to walk around his town having that song blare out everywhere." Since then, Diana has written a song about him in each of her albums — with "Riot" and "Nothing Special" body-slamming the unfortunate dude yet again on the latest record.

    The sedate yang to the angry ying in the life of Diana Anaid are melodic tracks like the melancholic "Black Rainbow" about agony and ecstasy of love, "Peace" about the legendary Woodstock festival ("I was definitely born in the wrong time!") while "Wear Yourself Out" is about the joy of being onstage.

    If there is a theme to the songs, she suggests, it asks if love is real or an illusion. Her strength as a communicator comes from the way she writes anthems for her audience. The bond between the two is very strong, and one which Diana protects fiercely. On "Get Your Freak On" and "Nothing Special" she emphasises to them: don't let anyone put you down, be who you want to be.

    "I don't necessarily try to write anthems," Diana declares. "But I write captive songs. My more popular ones are repetitive and easy to remember. When I sing those songs to the audience, I envision they are feeling powerful. I am so proud when people tell me that I say something that they couldn't articulate, or they look at me and think, She's getting through it and being strong, so I'm going to be strong too."

    These are reactions that the girl born in Newcastle as Diana Gosper can relate to. Music was always in the house. By six she had decided she was going to become a singer, by nine she had written her first song. Her early childhood was nomadic and poverty-stricken. Her father would disappear dealing with the inner demons of losing his wife. As a result, she and her two older brothers would be put in foster homes and he'd end up in jail when authorities caught up with him.

    But that unconventional life gave her a drive, which proved irresistible to those around her. The intensity of her early gigs drew an immediate following. When it was time to make her first record, a worker at Greenpeace gave her a grant. That in turn attracted record label A&R execs, and she got signed up. Since then, her career has been on the up and up (give or take a throat operation here and there).

    The three week recording sessions for "Diana Anaid" at Sydney's Albert Studios were both exhilarating yet traumatic for her. Diana produced the album herself, and initially wondered if she could do it justice.

    "Ultimately the album captures me in a comfortable place. I had many songs stockpiled to choose from, and it really reflected the energy I am feeling. I am hoping that the fans of both 'I Go Off' and 'Beautiful Obscene' which was highly produced, will join the dots and appreciate it."

    She looks back at her career: "I've made a lot of mistakes but I learned from them and have grown from them. They were necessary mistakes, they were stepping stones to where I am. To me, it's about the journey, not the destination. You have to enjoy every minute. Because the destination has to change as you grow."


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