Feb 17th, 2021, 11:36 AM

Meet Ana Galeli, AUP’s Very Own Synth Pop Princess

By Farrah Aridou
Ana Galeli outside her studio. Image Credit: Farrah Aridou.
Ana Galeli is a third year student from Brazil who came to Paris to pursue a music career, here's everything you need to know about this artist.

Ana Galeli is a 25 year old transfer student in her third year of university. She is majoring in global communications but her real passion lies in music. Ana has been pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter for what will be three years now. So far, she has collaborated with several artists such as Foxa, DJ Ghost and Abel Ramos. Her most recent song, "Cold," which was released back in October, already has close to 220,000 streams on Spotify.

However, due to Covid, there has been somewhat of a pause on her musical career. "It really sucks because we had plans to release one of my songs at Tomorrowland Festival but obviously everything got canceled because of the current situation. This would have been really great for my career. As for producing music, I have been working a lot at home. It is not too bad but it is always so much better to be in the studio, working with Martin and Simon in person," she explains. The two men she is referring to are Martin Chourrout, music producer, and Simon Beaudoux, songwriter, who form the musical duo Ravages. You may have heard of one of their songs, "Rouge Soleil," which appears on the soundtrack for the Netflix show, "Emily in Paris." Galeli has been working with Chourrout and Beaudoux since the start of her career having first met them at one of the songwriting camps she attended in Spain.

Despite the problems Covid has created, Galeli did not dwell on her misfortunes too much, maintaining an extremely positive and bright energy. Read on to hear what she had to say about what it is like working in the music industry, the process of crafting her own signature sound, and what being an artist means to her. 

Ana Galeli pictured with her collaborators, the musical duo Ravages. Image Credit: Farrah Aridou.

Farrah Aridou: Tell me about your childhood. 

Ana Galeli: I'm from São Paulo, Brazil but grew up in the United States. My parents are missionaries so I grew up in the church and it is there that I first started singing. Since I was about 8 or 9 years old, I was always fascinated by music. I would look up the lyrics of songs and was always so curious about the meaning and just in general how such a masterpiece could be constructed. 

FA: What were you doing before music?

AG: I have been working in film/television production since I was 18. I have worked on shows like "The Voice" and TV networks Iike the Food Network. However, the pandemic has deeply affected that industry. So with everything that has happened, I decided to return to my studies which is why I am here at AUP. 

FA: Can you talk about the transition from being a lover of music to pursuing it as a career. 

AG: I really began songwriting in 2016 when I was invited to a few songwriting camps around Europe in countries such as Spain and Greece. It was something inside me I didn't know I had. I mean obviously I was writing before that but something really special happened when I was in that room with other people that I really connected with. At that moment, my desire to be a singer was truly born. 

FA: How have your friends and family reacted to your career?

AG: They are all really supportive of me. This is great because I think it is so important to have people around you who support the work you do. 

FA: How did you get the opportunity to join a songwriting camp?

AG: I was collaborating with other DJs before that happened and someone reached out to me and from there I met other people who introduced me to this opportunity. It's just all about connections. 

FA: In regards to the music industry, is it hard to get access to these types of opportunities? 

AG: I would say that the music industry is big but at the same time small. A lot of people know each other and have several mutual friends in the industry. However with that being said, it is still never easy. There is no real formula to it. I think that if something is meant to happen in your life, it will. For me, it was just a door that came my way. I tried it out, it worked and then I just kept going from there. 

FA: What were the songwriting camps like? 

AG: Usually you are writing for other artists and you have a brief. The brief is basically outlining what they are specifically looking for in terms of lyrics and sound. If the song doesn't get picked up, you can sometimes keep it for yourself. Mainly though, everyone is there to work on their craft and grow in their artistry. Everyone has that one thing they are really good at. Some people can instantly come up with a chord for a song, or have these insane melodies, others can just hear a sound and immediately the lyrics for the song come to them straight away. Being in an environment like a songwriting camp, there are so many very talented people who can help you improve on whichever particular skill you have. Every time you walk into a studio with new people, it is an opportunity to learn and take something from it. 

Ana Galeli posing outside her studio after a writing session. Image Credit: Farrah Aridou.

FA: You talk about that one thing everyone has that they are just naturally good at when it comes to aspects of the musical process. What do you think is your "one thing?"

AG: For me personally, I am a very poetic person so lyrics come easier for me. The most important part of everything for me is getting out a message that I feel really needs to be heard. When I have a message weighing heavy on my heart that is when the lyrics really start to spill out. 

FA: With your song, "Stay," I can definitely see examples of where your personal experiences are weaved into your songwriting. In addition to your own personal experiences, are there other areas in which you draw inspiration from for your music?

AG: As far as music style, I am definitely influenced by other artists but lyrics is something that is very personal and only comes from yourself. Of course though, when you are writing for other artists or creating a song for a TV show they tell you what they are looking for so you are limited in that way. However, you are always going to write the best lyrics when it comes from true experience. It's very difficult to write about something you have never experienced before. You can but the most powerful songs are the ones where you really lived through that. 

Ana Galeli photographed during a studio session. Image Credit: Farrah Aridou.


FA: What are some things you do to help aid in the creative process? 

AG: Sometimes I pray for inspiration. I like to be very positive and just grateful for everything God has given me. There is so much sadness and anxiety in the world so for me as an artist I want to help cure that anxiety and bring more hope into the world. This is what I want to do when it comes to writing song lyrics. 

FA: What is one lyric from a song of yours that you really love and are the most proud of making as of recently? 

AG: Well I just recently released a song called "Cold." I wrote that song in 2018. I had it in my pocket and I knew something was going to happen with it but I wanted to save it for the right moment. At one point, I brought the song to Martin and Simon and we started working on it together. Simon came up with the line "What are you running from, child? Do you want to be found?" This means so many things for me. For example, I think of running away from the truth or our problems. Sometimes we refuse to accept the truth but it is important to let ourselves accept this reality so we can properly go forward. 

FA: With this song, "Cold," you said you first came up with it in 2018 but it is just now being released. Could you talk about the process of releasing a song and why some take longer to be released than others. 

AG: You can write ten songs and only one is good enough. So you have to write a lot of songs and then you will have better chances of finding the right song. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes of releasing a song so you have to make sure it is something you are really proud of and deserves to be listened to. When you are making a song and you go, "woah that made me feel something," that is when you know it is the one and that it is is ready to be released. I also think a factor is whether it is the type of song that is really going to get stuck in someone's head. 

FA: How much creative control do you have over the sound of your music and how each song gets produced?

AG: I am really lucky to be able to collaborate on ideas and have my ideas be listened to. In addition, I really trust the people I am working with. Think of it this way, it's kind of like going to a hair salon. You really have to trust your hairstylist. If you don't then you might disrupt the process before it's complete and it doesn't come out good because you did not give it the time to be great. You have to trust that the person knows what they are doing and really believes in their art and just have faith in the creative process. I have had times where I had exactly in my head how I envisioned the song to be and then got someone to see that exact vision and create it but then they also put their own flair to it which actually makes for a better song in the end. 

FA: What is the status of your artistry? Are you a part of a label or working independently? 

AG: For the moment, me and my collaborators, Martin and Simon, just do what is best for the song in terms of how to get it out there in the world and get the most listeners. As of right now, I have the ability to take the music where I want to take it. 

FA: Do you remember one of your first live performances? Can you describe what that moment was like?

AG: There was a time where I performed at the Study in Hollywood, California. It was just really surreal to see people there, especially people that I didn't know personally but who found me and really loved my music. During the performance I really got lost in the music. That feeling of adrenaline you get for being up there on the stage, you just can't get it anywhere else. 

FA: How did you end up coming to the style of music you are doing today?

AG: Well the sound of my music definitely came from the signature sound of Martin and Simon. I really love the feeling of it such as its French influence and just everything about it. If you listen to a few of my other songs like "All Because of You" and some parts of "Cold," they have a melancholy tone to it which I really love but for now I am mainly interested in the synth pop style of music. 

FA: Do you think it is important for artists to stick to one genre of music when starting out or that genre crossing can be done successfully? 

AG: As a brand, you gotta have that one word that strongly defines you. You definitely have to focus on one genre when you are just starting out and building your music. Of course, you can reinvent yourself and your sound but focusing on one sound is important in garnering an audience. There needs to be something there that people immediately recognize. As a listener of music, I am so drawn to vocals and if I know an artist really well I can tell if it is their song on the radio playing before it even really begins. Take the artist Avicii, for example. When you hear an Avicii song, you know it is Avicii. That is the goal, having that signature sound. I think it is always there within you, it's just about molding and shaping it. 

Ana Galeli in the studio. Image Credit: Farrah Aridou.

FA: What are some artists that inspire you? 

AG: You know, it's very interesting, I listen to a lot of artists very different from the music I myself am trying to make. When I enter the studio what comes out from those sessions is nothing like what it was originally inspired by. Listening to artists outside of my genre helps with creativity and broadening my ideas. 

FA: Who's one artist you wish to collaborate with in the future?

AG: Kygo. It would have to be Kygo. 

FA: What are some lessons you have learned so far in your musical journey?

AG: The number one thing is always be yourself. You can copy someone else or something else but that person or thing already exists. Be as authentically yourself as you can be. You need to stand out. People want something different. People like to hear something unique. 

FA: Any advice for your fellow artists or people wanting to get into the music industry?

AG: Do what you are passionate about and just keep doing it. If a door opens, that's great! Take it and continue from there. Honestly, just go with the flow and don't force it. If you force something that is just not meant to be yet, you are going to hit a wall. Everything happens for a reason and will work out in its own way. One of my favorite quotes is, "Life is a journey not a destination."

FA: Could you ever see yourself returning to film or TV production, doing that in conjunction with music? 

AG: Anything that can help with my creativity but not even just that, if it involves actually connecting with people, this is very important for me and I would want to pursue it. I'm very open to anything but you know, life is unpredictable. This is pretty evident given everything that is going on right now. You know there is this one quote that goes "We make plans, and God laughs." Going forward, whatever God has for me is where I want to be. 

FA: What are your plans for the future? 

AG: I would definitely like to go on tour when Covid is over. Just being able to connect with people in person is a type of feeling you can't get from a video or Zoom call. There is just something very special and powerful about connecting with your audience in person.

Ana siting in her studio. Image Credit: Farrah Aridou.

Fortunately for you all, this will not be the last time you hear from Ana Galeli. She has more singles that are in the release stage of the musical process at the moment. Therefore, it will be only a matter of time before we hear a new single. Galeli hopes to debut her first EP in the near future and has plans to immediately hit the road once the EP is out. Her hope is that the tour will give her the opportunity to widen her audience on an international scale. I have no doubt that we will be seeing her face and name on several billboards in the future. If you can not wait that long, do not worry. Martin Chourrout and Simon Beaudoux of Ravages are planning on releasing an EP in which they will include Galeli on a few of their tracks.

In the meantime, you can keep up with Ana Galeli on Spotify and Instagram.