Singer by day, princess by night — meet Anabel Englund. With her biggest single, "Reverse Skydiving" (with Hot Natured), roping in more than 10 million streams online, she demonstrates why she’s a mainstay in the dance music scene.
Now, she brings her talents to both familiar and new faces at the Do LaB at Coachella 2018. Englund’s personality and charm shines through not only in her music but her fashion sense as well. Her outlandish yet edgy outfit choices demand the crowd’s attention the second she sets foot onstage. Hailing from Los Angeles, where she grew up in a musically inclined family, it was no surprise to find her on the bill of SoCal’s biggest festival.
L.A. Weekly: For those who don’t know, who is Anabel Englund?
Anabel Englund: Anabel Englund is an underground princess. I’d say I’m known in the house music scene. If I was someone else talking about me, I’d say she’s very colorful and bright. And she just wants to love everybody, and glitter everyone up and sing songs that everyone can dance to and have fun to.
How are you feeling going into Coachella weekend two?
I’m really excited about it. I just had my single, “So Hot,” come out yesterday, so I was so excited to perform it live. Even when I was doing sound check, people were kind of filtering in and they were all dancing to it. Then I performed again today and everyone was vibing to it. It’s cool because for people to start dancing around to a song that they’ve never heard before is kind of promising to me. It shows that I did something right. So I’m really stoked to be out here to perform and just see all my friends on the stage.
Congrats on your new release! Can you talk about the inspiration behind the single and album?
I basically just wanted to write a song about the beginning of falling in love and just the feeling that you get. It’s like you’re almost on a drug or something like that. It’s partially from a true story and then a lot of it is just what I envision that story to be.
What’s it like being an L.A. local and becoming a hometown hero playing at Coachella?
It’s super fun. It’s just cool to be able to talk about. I mean, I throw parties in L.A. a lot too, so it’s just kind of fun. I hope I can be an inspiration to anyone who wants to do what I do.
Is there anything you’d like to say about your recent departure from house into a pop-leaning world?
I wouldn’t call it departure because I don’t think that I’ll ever stop making house music, because I love it so much. But I would say that it’s a new chapter. Everyone is bound to change and grow. And if you don’t, then you’re lying to yourself. I think it’s just part of the process and it’s just the next step. I’ll never just leave my roots. I’ll never just shut the door on that because it’ll always be a part of me. But it’s definitely time for some newness.
What was it like collaborating with Lee Foss and Jamie Jones, and how have they inspired you in writing your own music?
It was really cool to see people who have kind of built their empire in their own world with whatever they want to do. They inspired me to figure out how to do it myself and not really need to rely on other people for me to have music come out. To find other people to make stuff to put out and to kind of go out there and do it on my own.
Aside from your performance, what was the biggest highlight from Coachella thus far?
The free coconut water behind the stage. [laughs] The art is so cool this year. The art installations are amazing, from what I’ve seen so far. I’m excited to go through at night and frolic around.
What are three essential things you need on tour?
My llama pajamas, for sure. I need a good book. This is going to make me sound like a granny. I love having my journal with me to write down everything. And I would say most of all is to have an open-mindedness and not be afraid to go out and explore the city I’m in. Because a lot of the times, I’m really comfortable in the hotel that I’m in and I don’t really want to go out. Just for me, open-mindedness is something I need.
Do you look forward to going to your hotel room afterward? Or do you like to go party?
I actually really like taking baths in the hotel room. It’s so nice — getting a robe and ordering room service and turning on whatever they have on TV. And just like hanging out. I feel like that’s something I can do at home, but you’re in a hotel. So I’m gonna make the most of it.
Favorite song to drop during a set?
I love new songs that I know are just going to go off. Obviously, “Reverse Skydiving” is one that everyone’s face is just … for instance, when I performed it today, everyone knew the words. So that was really amazing.
Most played artist on your phone?
Right now, it’s probably SZA.
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Are you going to catch her tonight?
Yes! I’m so happy because I didn’t know if I really wanted to stay the whole weekend. I kind of wanted to chill and get everything organized again, but I definitely am so happy she’s playing tonight. I fucking love her.
Who’s your dream collab?
I think it would be cool to work with Max Martin. Yeah, I want to work with Max Martin.
Is there anything else you want to let L.A. Weekly know?
Go listen to my single, “So Hot.” It’s really amazing. Keep an eye out for me because my next single is gonna be coming out soon. I’m really excited for the EP.
**Correction: "Reverse Skydiving" is Englund's biggest single, not her latest single, as was originally noted in this article.