Caitlin Murphy aka ‘Annábla’ is a Socal based dark earth songwriter and producer inspired by folk and R&B. Send Caitlin a message.
I released my debut EP under my artist project Annábla entitled “Soft” this past February. It illustrates my vulnerable and soft sides, parts of myself I felt necessary to share with the world in order to introduce myself, not only as an artist, but as a human being. It’s okay to be soft sometimes…I think we all need to be a little more welcoming of our emotional self. I also co-wrote LA based artist Cat Haggett’s debut single “Come Through.” Both the EP and the single are available on all platforms now! More music will be coming this summer…very different stuff, so follow me and be on the lookout.
Hi Caitlin, welcome to VQS! Take us back in time to how you first fell in love with music.
Although I don’t have memories of it, my parents used to play cassette tapes for me while I was in my crib as a baby. Selena’s “Dreaming of You” album, classical music, you name it. I think that’s probably where it started. I also have vivid memories of sitting in the back seat of my dad’s car, blasting Led Zeppelin and 70’s soul music. I would sing every word and memorize every Robert Plant wail. My parents raise me around lots of music, not necessarily with the intention of grooming me, but because they loved it. Concerts were a regular family pastime for us. Once my parents realized I had talent and that I needed an outlet to express it, they enrolled me in our church choir, around age 6. I was singing with a group of 30-40 other choir members so I could sing as loud as I wanted and I think that’s where I knew I had something special; where I fell in love with music.
What 3 core values do you believe are necessary for success?
Authenticity is still something I am working on myself but it’s what I strive for most in life. I have struggled with identity issues, plagued by the messages of social media clogging my self-esteem during my most developmental years. I think a lot of people my age are in the same boat. I am figuring out who I am and actively making choices to better myself and the world around me, while also building a brand. It’s challenging to step out in the spotlight and say, “This is me,” but I am jumping off of a new cliff every day and staying true to myself while I’m at it. I love to see others doing the same thing.
I am a firm believer in trusting my gut, intuition, and the ear worm when it comes to creating. If it isn’t stuck in your head, it probably ain’t the song. I am also a perfectionist when it comes to communicating a message in a song uniquely. People say everything has been said before, but I think walking into a session with that belief is taking the easy way out. Someone might have said it, but that doesn’t mean it’s been woven masterfully into a song yet. I have been writing songs since I was 11 or 12 and it takes a lot of time to develop that sense of unbiased judgement. I’m still working on molding my ear but I think I’ll always rely on my gut.
Loyalty is the golden rule that has been forcing me to grow so much in my 20’s. I have seen, time and time again, a bridge burned because of lack of loyalty and I never want to look back at my life, or my career for that matter, and realize that I was disloyal to someone who mattered most to me. I think that’s my biggest fear in life, because I am such a closeted people pleaser. I think loyalty in the music industry is so important, especially now as I am growing my team. I recognize the importance of being reliable, trustworthy, and supportive of others. I also think you get back what you send out into the world.
Who have been some of your favorite people/projects to work with?
Working on my debut project was such a blast. My good friend and producer Nick Harper really took the reins and helped me to craft an intimate soul EP. I approached him with the songs and he really was the mastermind behind the arrangement, along with Alex Rushka (bass) and Ryan Mangalindan (drums). I was blessed to also work with Andrew Perez (engineer) and Alec Berkely (guitar). Luke Shrestha’s (mixing/mastering engineer) magical ears molded the masters and helped the project sound as good as it does.
Rocky Kuner, Intrn, and Austin Harms are some of my favorite people to write with. They’re passionate and crawling with fresh ideas; truly inspiring collaborators.
What future opportunities would you like to be involved with?
I have always been just as mesmerized as I have been terrified by horror scores. Sometimes I’ll open up Logic to start a song, mess around with my favorite plugins for an hour, and come out of the session with an extremely eerie track. I’d love to score horrors/thrillers and write songs for film/television.
As I grow into adult-hood, I am also learning my strengths in advocacy, so I would like to play into them more and be a better advocate for creator, human, and non-human animal rights.
Article by Caitlin:
How to Support Creators of Color in the Music Industry
How To Stay Productive In Quarantine
Artistry & Vision in Quarantine
Going the (Social) Distance: Unmasking Creativity
Singing With Intent: Telling Powerful Stories
A Deeper Connection With Your Audience
How To Thrive, Right Where You Are
10 Steps To Get Through Quarantine
How to write licensable music for Film/TV.
Become a Better Background Vocalist
5 Ways To Rethink Social Media