Upon inquiry, Ana Miranda reminisces about spiritual experiences that triggered the creation of her latest album, Intentions, and dials back to five years ago. During that time, the Brazilian DJ and producer, also known as ANNA, resided in Barcelona, immersing herself in the thriving European dance music scene. ANNA boasts a 20-year musical career that began on the dance floors of “Six”, her father’s nightclub, situated on the outskirts of São Paolo, where she first explored the mechanics of mixing on the decks. ANNA’s brand of hypnotic and hard-hitting techno music made her a sought-after artist and earned her rave reviews on different platforms, including DJ Mag North America and Mixmag. Her performances have taken her to prestigious clubs and festivals, where she has left an undeniable mark on her audience, notably at the Movement Detroit, Tomorrowland, DC10, and Coachella events. Most significantly, ANNA’s music has captured the hearts of thousands of music enthusiasts worldwide.
ANNA reflects on her musical journey and reveals, “I’ve been a DJ since I was 14,” muses ANNA, who relocated to Lisbon this summer. “I experimented with all styles in the beginning. After some years, I found my identity and was mainly laying techno. I became focused on my career 100 percent of the time. I would practice for 10 hours a day, and I was always researching and planning.”
ANNA’s unrelenting desire to produce superior music and exercise her creativity led her to a neurofeedback center in Germany. It was there, in October 2017, that she took significant steps in her journey of self-realization, opening her mind and transforming her creative process and worldview radically. This experience eventually culminated in the album Intentions, where ANNA trades in her usual club-inspired production for more contemplative soundscapes and healing tones. ANNA reflects on the profound transformation that occurred during her time at the center, where she finally submitted to her spirit and soul. She began to probe deeper into life’s purpose, asking fundamental questions like, “What is my soul’s calling? What does life have in store for me?”
Although spirituality and meditation were not ANNA’s main focus before, she had been interested in them and had been using meditation as a tool for recentring for some time. Following her experiences at the neurofeedback center and the release of her Intentions album, spirituality and meditative practices have become a central part of her life journey. She has since taken part in transcendental meditation, Vipassana training (which involves ten hours of daily meditation in silence), and shamanic energy healing training.
ANNA describes her spiritual awakening as a turning point, one that allowed her to access more energy and light while freeing her from the baggage she had been holding since her childhood. This newfound freedom helped her unleash her creativity, enabling her to create music that truly expressed her essence. Ultimately, it was her connection with spirit and meditation that paved the way for her musical evolution and helped her tap into her true creative potential.
A Shift in Sound
Her spiritual journey has shifted ANNA’s perception and experiences significantly. She developed a newfound passion for classical music after opening herself up to a more contemplative and love-filled way of life. Ambient music also gained her attention and become an essential aspect of her musical journey. The creation of her album Intentions started with ANNA’s experimentation with different sounds and frequencies to use as a tool for her meditation and contemplative moments. She incorporated pianos, flutes, and sound-healing techniques to develop soundscapes that facilitate self-realization. ANNA listens to these works while exploring the world both externally, such as touring and exploring nature, as well as internally.
ANNA quickly found herself in a state of flow after her spiritual awakening, during which creativity and expression were calling out to her like never before. ANNA explains that creation was simply for the sake of creation, and her music reflected that. Achieving this flow state was not a new experience for ANNA, as she had previously entered into a similar state while writing music for EPs such as Suzi in Transe (2018) and hit releases like Hidden Beauties. Her triumphant techno and ambient remixes of Orbital’s Belfast were also notable creations that came from this same state. ANNA’s later EP Journey to the Underworld for Afterlife, which consisted of three tracks diving into melodic dance motifs with a distinctive ambient touch, acted as a precursor to her Intentions album.
Over six months in 2021, ANNA recorded her album Intentions at her Anaweh Studio, which she co-owns with DJ and producer Wehbba. Initially, ANNA found herself rejecting her more energetic side to maintain the peace and stillness she had brought into her life after her spiritual awakening. But after realizing that both sides of her work could support each other, she reconciled her seemingly disparate passions and processes, combining the worlds of stillness and energy and bringing her more spiritual side to her techno side. ANNA channels her emotional empathy and crowd-reading talents into her current output, which includes a collaboration with Jon Hopkins on the track “Deep in the Glowing Heart” released in June 2022. ANNA’s experimentation also led to a collaboration with wellness app Endel, where she created an AI-powered soundscape called “The Spring of Dreams” to assist in calming the mind and aiding sleep. This track was an early indication of what was to come with Intentions.
The tracklist on ANNA’s album Intentions was intentionally organized to serve a specific purpose. In addition, ANNA augmented the listening experience by providing a written guide to empower listeners on their personal inward journeys. At its core, Intentions embodies ANNA’s connection through sound, support, and the sharing of knowledge and experiences. ANNA didn’t accomplish this alone, as the track Receiving, a gentle and ethereal offering about surrendering and welcoming, features a collaboration with pioneering US multi-instrumentalist and ambient artist Laraaji. Similarly, the poignant Let You In track is a collaboration with American contemporary classical artist East Forest.
ANNA considers Intentions to be a heartfelt transmission for her listeners. The album’s seven tracks offer a timely squeeze of the hand, inviting listeners to explore each intention in turn, from the meditative opener Invitation to the cathartic Washing Away. By doing so, ANNA aims to help her listeners unlock something already within themselves. Intentions also serves as a calming and soothing soundtrack, providing a much-needed sense of peace for the hectic nature of daily life.