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Meet Annika Grace of Saturdays at Seven in Venice Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annika Grace.

Annika, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a singer/songwriter and poet born and bred in Los Angeles. I moved to New York for college and realized how much I loved having people over and connecting people. When I came back to LA, I moved down to Venice Beach because I loved all the art and creativity in the area. I remember I would go to an event almost every night to network and meet people and build my career, but every event was in Hollywood and at a bar. Don’t get me wrong, I loved those events and still do, but I felt there was a gap in creative spaces on the west side. That is when Saturdays at Seven began to form. I was meeting all of these artists who just wanted to play, including me. I thought, why not make my own community if there isn’t one already in Venice? And that’s exactly what I did.

Since starting Saturdays, I have found that a lot of the co-writes and connections and even good friends I have made all came from this house show in my backyard. Besides creating Saturdays, I have my own artist project where I have four singles out right now including my latest single “Crazy Stupid Bitch’. I am in the process of creating a lot of new music that I am planning on releasing this year. I am also in the works while in this quarantine trying to finish my first poetry book. I started music through poetry, as I was writing poetry since I was about seven years old. It has always been my way of expression.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think everything worth it is not a smooth road. I definitely have dealt with a lot of ‘sorry no’s and ‘what are you doing’ and ‘is that a good idea’ but I just try to focus on what my gut is telling me. I quit college junior year and that came with some doubt but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be doing nearly all that I am doing now with Saturdays and my music career so I don’t regret it. Think a big struggle is just trying to be an artist in Los Angeles, it’s like being an actor in Hollywood. In the same way though, it’s also exciting and comforting to see such a big community and network of people who all love what you love as well. Starting Saturdays, there wasn’t many struggles besides expense struggles such as finding equipment, renting equipment, supplying beverages and all the rest that comes with putting on a free show twice a month. I think after a few shows though, I figured out the best and most efficient way to host each event and it has all become a lot easier now. Other than that, its all pretty fun and go with the flow!

Please tell us about Saturdays at Seven.
Saturdays at Seven started as a small house concert where I would invite friends over to perform their new music for each other once a month. After a few shows, we started having seven artists every two weeks with the overflow of people wanting to perform. I started to get emails and dm’s asking to play and how to get involved. It began as only artists from the community and our friends, but I was soon getting emails from touring acts and managers wanting their artists to play.

By December of last year, we had almost 200 people coming each show. I feel everyone has a piece of Saturdays at Seven now because they all helped to grow it to where it is today. Everyone contributes in some way, whether it’s spreading the word and inviting their friends, bringing beverages, or helping with the PA and set up. Everyone comes together to put on the event. I get to perform and spread my music as well which is always a plus and meet other artists in the area. I began to use the event as a way to not only bring together musicians but other creatives as well to be able to do the same and network in a comfortable space. The tagline has become ‘Welcome to our home, a place for creatives to come together’. I now host ‘lyric nights’ through Saturdays as well where songwriters get to come together and write and share music. My roommate, Kyra, who helped me start this event from day one, incorporated the idea of a paint wall where during the show people can make their mark on a big canvas in our living room.

I think what sets Saturdays apart is that we are not just a showcase, or a house concert, or one certain thing, but we are a multitude of different creative platforms coming together. We are a house to connect others to the music scene in LA as well as to make friends and be able to call a little corner of LA ‘your corner’. I think it’s important to have that in a city like Los Angeles where you can lost in the crowd pretty easily. All in all, we are both so happy at where this event has gone and can’t wait for the future.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t know if I necessarily believe in luck, but more the law of attraction. I believe that whatever energy and attitude you put out, you will receive in return. If you have a positive outlook things will work out, I truly believe something will come of that. It’s all in how you perceive things and measure success. I think luck is by chance and if you believe you have bad luck, it may just not be meant to be, whatever this bad luck is bringing.

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Image Credit:
Bridget Lee, Ron Geren, Emily Perry, Patrick Holiday

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