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Meet Trailblazer Annalisa G. Dunker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annalisa G. Dunker.

Annalisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a singer, bellydancer and actress of Italian origins. I was born in a little town close to Venice (Italy) and I lived my 20s in Barcelona (Spain), where I played as lead singer in various projects, started my solo-singer career, studied and taught belly dance and got some roles in film projects and theater.

I have always been very eclectic and versatile, I could have never abandoned singing for acting, or dancing for singing and vice-versa: they are all part of me and I express myself at my best when I can use all these skills.
That is one of the reasons why my latest music project, INANNA, was born: I have always loved alternative, electro-pop, and electro-rock music, and I have been belly dancing for 15 years. I thought to myself: how can I join these two passions and make them come together in the most theatrical way possible?

The result is Inanna, a mythological figure (the Sumerian Goddess of love, fertility, harvest, but also war and justice), full of symbolic charge, as the inspiration for this new and genre-bending music project, where warm ancient Middle Eastern sounds are melted together with the most contemporary, dark and hypnotic soundscapes. I would have never come up with this project some years ago, as it is the product of a journey through exploring who I am as an artist, what soundscapes define me and, above all, what is the message that I want to convey: what is special about Inanna is that all songs bring an environmental message, they explore and witness different aspects of the age of the Anthropocene, where our planet is too often neglected and mistreated. Inanna wants to be a witness, but also bring a hopeful vision for possible green futures on Earth.

When I thought of Inanna, and about anchoring a very contemporary music project to the mythological past, I figured that the only way it could work would be by bringing a solid message, and the concern which is closer to my heart in these times of change is the state of our planet, our home. I asked myself: if Mother Earth and all its creatures had voices, what would they say? What would they sing?

The main aim of the Inanna project is to bring environmental concerns to the center of culture, and not only at its margins. The time has come to unite, all together in spite of our differences, to take care of our home.
I hope that Inanna and her music will be inspiring people to do so.

I am releasing the first Inanna’s single on May 22: it is called Nefertiti XXI and it is about the importance of femininity in politics to promote more caring and nurturing ways of governance. Women’s sense of togetherness compassion can help to redefine our ways to relate to our planet.

We have just shot a music video for this single, which will be released in June. An EP will follow, called “Where We Belong” and the plan is to release the full album in Fall 2019.

Living and working on my music in Los Angeles has been an incredible experience, I love this place and its energy. I have never felt at home in Barcelona in ten years, while I immediately felt at home here, even if I moved to LA less than a year ago. This place is very stimulating and people are always there to encourage you and support you.

I am very ready to follow the Inanna’s path, wherever it is going to take me. And I hope that more and more people, especially artists, who are the “diagnosers” of their society, will care about the future of our planet and all its creatures.

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?
As an artist living in a foreign country, I guess it is never easy at the beginning. Back in Spain I never felt I really belonged, I didn’t have the possibility to move somewhere else at that time, but I also didn’t want to go back because I felt I was meant to go forward and not backward.

It was never easy to find more professional niches and ways to get professional work through music, or dancing or acting, even if I got some gigs from time to time. The biggest challenge was to keep believing that I had something different and unique to express, in spite of all the external obstacles, the lack of resources and being in the wrong place at an odd time (I lived all the worst years of the big financial crisis in Spain). But trying to maintain my focus on my need to express, through various means but always towards the same objective – becoming an independent working artist – has always saved me. If I have a piece of advice for other artists, especially women who are struggling to become who they want to become, I can say this, after many years of exploration and life experience: always connect to the “why”, why are you doing this? Is it really what you want to do? What is your real goal and what do you want to give as a gift to the world? I think that in life, too many times, we wander around and work too much or too little or we find ourselves in the wrong places or with the wrong people because we don’t have a clear objective in mind. Clarity is power, and whatever your journey is, it is important to know the destination, even if some paths or means of transport might change. So be aware of your “why” and nothing will stop you! 🙂

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a singer/songwriter, bellydancer (since 2007), actress and producer.
I have worked quite a lot in production (TV show development, casting, event management) in the latest years, after some years of teaching belly dance. Music has always been there, like the spine to a very eclectic body.
I have participated in several film projects, belly dance shows and I have been the lead singer of several bands since the year 2000.

Right now, I am fully concentrated and committed 100% to my new music project, Inanna, which is extremely meaningful to me for various different aspects: the type of music which fully represents me for the first time in my life, the Middle Eastern influence, the environmental concern, and the mythological imaging.

What makes Inanna different is that, for the first time, a music project is totally dedicated to the Earth, nature, and animals, it is not one environmental song only, as the whole project stands on this premise. Also, Middle Eastern touches have almost never be mixed, at least in the Western world, with electro-rock music, which makes Inanna’s music very different from what would you expect from this kind of project.

I believe in Inanna’s image, branding and message a lot. For the first time, I feel I found my story, my narrative, who I want to be and what I want to say.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
All vegan recipes blogs. 😉 (a plant-based diet is definitely the best and quickest way to take better care of our planet and the animals! And it is: 1. super healthy, 2. delicious!!)

Favorite books & movies:
Marchesa Casati, Portraits of a Muse (I love stories of independent women who tried to live for art and become art themselves).
TS Eliot, Four Quartets (always so inspiring!)
All Chaplin feature films (I LOVE Chaplin, his total dedication with body and soul to his art inspires me!).

Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation and all environmental or animalist organizations, I can’t wait to partner up with them to take the environmental message to the center of culture!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alessandro Bordoni, Anders Dunker

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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