Anna Calvi

Profile

Anna Calvi (1980) is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist known for her intense and romantic style which combines influences from alternative rock, sixties pop and the twentieth century classical music of composers such as Steve Reich and Olivier Messiaen. After a long period of uncertainty about her voice, during which she trained herself by singing along for hours to records of Édith Piaf and Nina Simone, she released her debut album Anna Calvi in 2011 at the age of thirty. The album was a Europe-wide success and gained Calvi a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. The following year she was invited to be on the jury for the same prize, and in 2013 her second album One Breath received a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Calvi’s fans include fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, and ambient musician and producer Brian Eno. Eno has described her as ‘the biggest thing since Patti Smith’ and also performed on her debut album. David Byrne made two guest contributions to Calvi’s recent release, the EP Strange Weather, on which Calvi covers five of her favourite songs. Calvi herself has made guest appearances on albums by Noah And The Whale and Marianne Faithfull. In 2015 she was on stage with Eva-Maria Westbroek and the Dutch Metropole Orkest for the first ever Holland Festival Proms. In 2017 she announced that she had written the music for the 2017 opera The Sandman, based on a short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann and directed by Robert Wilson.