THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2012 Anna MacDonald (Annah Mac)

 |   |  2 min read

Annah Mac: Girl in Stilettos
THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2012 Anna MacDonald (Annah Mac)

The annual APRA Silver Scroll award acknowledges excellence in songwriting, so at Elsewhere we modified our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire and tailored it to be specifically about the craft of songwriting for this year's five finalists.

Here is Anna MacDonald who performs as Annah Mac and had made the shortlist for her song Girl in Stilettos from her album Little Stranger.

The first song which really affected you was . . .

Long Ride Home – Patty Griffin

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . .

Loved the Spice Girls, I used to watch the big kids at primary school (by big kids I mean I was 7 and they were 8) do their lunchtime reinditions of ‘Stop Right Now’ complete with dance routines on a makeshift stage in the classroom. One of my friends taught me how to colour my hair with crepe paper so I could try out for Ginger Spice because the role had the least competition. It was a lost cause.

The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?

Jose Gonzalez

As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Prince or Pink?

Early Katy Perry for the first four, Michael Jackson without a question - plus my boyfriend is a massive fan and I can’t say otherwise - and I think Prince is a legend really so I’ll go with him over Madonna.

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are . . .

Perth by Bon Iver, Horses by Patti Smith and Drunk On Love by Rihanna.

Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?

All of the beside.

10352159The best book on music or musicians you have read is . .

Shania Twain’s Autobiography

If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .

Whoever wrote the song ‘Broken Hearted Girl’ for Beyonce

The three songs you'd insist anybody listen to because they might understand your songwriting style better are . . .

I don't really know! I listen to so many songs it would be impossible to choose.

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

The Harrow & The Harvest – Gillian Welch

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . .

Payphone by Maroon 5, Epic production

One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is . .

"This is our last embrace

Must I dream and always see your face

Why can’t we overcome this wall

Well maybe it’s just because

I didn’t know you at all."

Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?

10/90 !! Or at least to what gets on the radio.

Annah_Mac_Little_Stranger_albumEver had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?

Yes, a new song I’ve started playing live with the band called ‘Crossfire’. It’s a rock/blues murder ballad * smiles *

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best song ever?”

Because I managed to fit the word ‘Pohutukawa’ in a song and it also has a swear word in it that plays on the radio uncensored.

For other Apra Silver Scroll nominees' answers go here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire articles index

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ross Mullins

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ross Mullins

It has been more than a wee while – he says 17 years in the liner notes to his current album – since we have heard new music from Ross Mullins, once the unofficial... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Matthew Hope of Artisan Guns

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Matthew Hope of Artisan Guns

The Auckland four-piece Artisan Guns certainly distinguished themselves early: their first EP Bird and Bone in 2009 got some glowing notices and their single Autumn in 2010 was a finalist in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ELLIOTT SMITH AND THE BIG NOTHING  by BENJAMIN NUGENT: A friend in need is a . . . pain?

ELLIOTT SMITH AND THE BIG NOTHING by BENJAMIN NUGENT: A friend in need is a . . . pain?

When American singer-songwriter Smith was found dead in October 2003 at age 34 it hardly came as a surprise to many of his small but loyal following. Smith’s lyrics had been suffused in... > Read more

I WAS A RABBIT: Photography of Zwines & the Auckland punk scene, AK 78/79

I WAS A RABBIT: Photography of Zwines & the Auckland punk scene, AK 78/79

Those of us who were there -- and Elsewhere freely admits to only having been there four times -- will attest that Zwines club in Auckland was where the NZ punk live scene first happened. By... > Read more