Anastasia Rizing is a fierce forty-something momma musician on a mission to bring truth, both dark and light to the world and do it while making you bop your head or swing your hips (whichever you prefer). A music teacher and psychotherapist by day, this former professional musical theater performer, produces, writes, performs, records, arranges, mixes and masters all of her own work and she is on a mission to encourage young women in music to do the same.
With a BM from Berklee College of Music, Anastasia has honed her craft of writing and production while living in Nashville and raising a family for over 20 years an now she is launching once again, older, wiser, and with a sass that keeps her humor in place in this crazy world of indie music! Anastasia mixes multiple styles in her musicianship and yet her sound remains unique. Raised by MTV and Broadway, Anastasia plans to keep on writing, performing, and grooving until she can no longer see, hear, or climb the stairs to her second floor music studio.
I have spent over twenty years in Nashville, so I kind of feel as though Nashville is home for me.
Tell us about your track ‘Untouchable’!
Untouchable is a track that I wrote after being inspired by one of my psychotherapy client’s stories of her husband’s emotional abandonment and how she was dealing with it. I wanted to capture the fierce determination that this woman had to protect her heart from being hurt again by someone she loves. I write the melody for this one first, then the instrumental arrangement flowed from there. My favorite addition was the simple guitar riff that ties the tune together.
How could you describe your music?
My music has been described by listeners as ethereal, indie, electro, pop, rock. Listeners have called my songs, “moods, vibes, bangers, and bops.” People have compared my voice and my music to: Imogen Heap, Aurora, Madonna, Lights, Sarah MacLaughlin and Jonatha Brooke.
I create music that I like to listen to. If others like it, that makes me happy too!
When asked if she creates music for herself or for her fans, she exclaims “I create music that I like to listen to. If others like it, that makes me happy too!” Well, and when they like your music. What should they do? “Take the time to listen, really listen to the lyrics and listen to the whole album through because the stories weave into one another in a way that starts from the first song to the last one. The album represents a woman’s journey from hopelessness and frustration in her relationships to hope at the end.”
Describe your favorite venue for performing.
Solo gigs: Coffee shops and Jazz Bars.
Band gigs: Large bars with a big stage that I can dance around on.
If you would have to compare your music to an animal, which one would it be?
I would pick a chameleon. I am a producer, writer and performer and as a musician I love all kinds of music. I do not like to be pigeonholed into one style. I bring my voice to every song, so it is uniquely mine whether it is pop, rock, jazz, etc. So, I call myself a musical chameleon.
Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?
Female producers inspire me. Imogen Heap, LIGHTS, Linda Perry. I want to be like them when I grow up.
Which instrument is your favorite to play?
I love to sing- my voice is my first instrument and I have been training since I was a child.
Guitar is my second favorite instrument to play because it is easier for me to dance and sing and play while playing guitar.
Piano is another instrument I like to play, but mostly when I record.
What is your main inspiration?
People’s personal stories inspire me to write. Situations, environments, relationships. I write about these things- relationships with others, relationships with the self and with God. I am also very inspired by rhythm and sounds. I love bass guitar and electric guitar and all of the amazing sounds they can make. Sometimes the musical composition comes first and then I add my lyrics….it really depends.
What’s your process for dealing with performance anxiety?
I remind myself that I do this because I love it, God loves it, and the rest doesn’t really matter.
What would you do if you made a mistake during a performance?
Keep going. Most of the time people don’t even know. If it is a really big guffaw like starting in the wrong key, I just laugh at myself and start over. NBD.
Describe your favorite and least favorite part about being a musician.
Lack of value placed on the craft, especially financially.
What inspired you to start playing and making music?
My father was a music major in college and a folk singer/songwriter. He had a recording studio in the basement of our home and he was my inspiration. He would record me at a really young age and I would sing with him. It was amazing. He passed when I was thirteen and I ended up pursuing musical theater as a major in college until I picked up his old guitar my sophomore year of college and began writing music. I never knew I could until then, and then the music wouldn’t stop flowing from me. I feel as though I am following in my dad’s footsteps and he is watching me with joy from heaven.
What is the most interesting thing we don’t know about you yet?
I produced all of my music on my album and all of my eps and singles since 2017 when I began putting my music out to the online world. Prior to that, I had two bands in college and I played the writers rounds in Nashville for years until I had my first daughter. The first band I had was a GB band while I was a musical theater major at Florida State University. We were called Cool Hand Luke and we were a pretty big deal around the FSU campus and bar scene. We played the circuit until I transferred schools up to Berklee College of Music. My second band was called Sifted and we formed when I was at Berklee in Boston.
We were a band that played all of my original music Michael Sweet from the rock band, Stryper ended up producing our album, “Painting Halos.” This was pre-digital! We played around Boston, but we broke up when we all graduated from college, as a lot of bands tend to do!
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