Quirky and unique are two words often associated with Anastasia Markov, the purple-haired singer-songwriter based in Boston. Other words that would also describe her: talented, thoughtful, intelligent, humorous. Her singing is upbeat and somewhat cheerful, regardless of the subject matter, and she accompanies herself on the acoustic guitar, building deceptively simple musical structures to hold up the weight of her lyrics, which range from sweetly charming to nuanced.
The music reflects Anastasia’s personality, open and smart, funny and real. She’s young, just starting out on what promises to be a long, fruitful career creating music. It will be interesting to watch her, and her music, grow and mature in the years to come.
Anastasia’s first EP, Suicide Seating, was released in late 2013 and is available from her website or from iTunes. She continues to play shows around the Boston-New York-Pennsylvania area when she can and if you have the opportunity to catch her live, don’t hesitate. It’s sure to be entertaining.
Fr.U.N.T. Music had the opportunity to ask Anastasia Markov a few questions and she was gracious enough to take the time to chat with us.
Cardiac_in_Overdrive: You start pretty much every bio with “My name is Anastasia. I’m a human being, I like to dress up, and my parents are dead.” Why is that?
Anastasia Markov: I started playing original music in front of people for the first time at a LARP under the character name Anastasia Markov (my real name is Samantha). If you’re not familiar with LARPing, it’s a role playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons where you develop a character and act like this person while you progress through a story written by a game master. I developed a small following under the name, so when I started performing in real life, I kept it. My original character history for Anastasia at my LARP was paraphrased: “My name is Anastasia, I’m a human being, and my parents are dead.” so it’s an homage to where I started performing and where my stage name comes from. My real parents are alive and they hate that I have that phrase everywhere.
CiO: I suspect, between the LARPing and stalking your Instagram account, that you’re a little bit nerdy, a little geeky. Does that influence your music?
AM: Wow insta-stalker. LARPing has definitely influenced my music. Like I said, I developed the confidence to perform live music in front of people while I was LARPing. I also developed this love for storytelling and the fantasy genre that definitely shines through in my song writing. For example, my next album is going to have songs that continue the story of Sarah from “Sarah Won’t Cry” and her adventures through time and space.
CiO: You’ve also mentioned that you have a wealth of ex-boyfriends. Do you think they may someday form a League of Evil Exes to prevent you from finding true happiness?
AM: That is also sort of an homage to my LARP character, who had a string of seriously villainous exes. In real life, I only have one serious ex-boyfriend. I’ve written songs about him while I was angry, but we’re actually on pretty good terms. If he wanted to form a league it would be more like the League of Pretty Decent Guys That Don’t Like Songs Written About Them, members: 1. The only similarity between the two leagues is that Neil Patrick Harris keeps trying to holla at me, but he knows I’ll only date him if he kills Felicia Day.
CiO: Do you find that it’s hard to set aside time to be creative when you’ve got a full time job? Do you hope to eventually be able to dedicate yourself to music full time?
AM: Yeah it’s a real struggle. I actually have two jobs as an office slave and a hostess at a restaurant, and I’m trying to finish school online. I don’t get to write songs or travel to play shows far away as often as I’d like, and I definitely don’t get to sleep pretty much ever. But I’m only 22, I can sleep when I’m dead. I love doing the music thing so I always find time to make it work. Even if I wasn’t performing in front of people I would make time for song writing because I just have such a good time doing it. I am starting to make money playing out and through CD sales so I could see in the next year or so being able to support myself on music if things keep going this well.
CiO: You released your debut EP, Suicide Seating, late last year. Do you have any musical goals for this year?
AM: Yes I want to be the first artist to perform on the moon. Gaga was the first singer in space, but I like to aim higher. I’m writing as often as I can I hope to release another EP in the fall, and play a bunch of shows up and down the east coast.
CiO: If you could play with any musician, living or dead, who would you choose, and why?
AM: This question is so hard, there are so many talented people I want to play music with. David Lamb from Brown Bird comes to mind because he passed away recently and he was so, so talented. I’ve been on a really serious Cake kick (say that out loud Cake kick, cake kick, cake kick) lately and I just feel like I would be friends with everyone in that band.
I’m hoping to someday see a song written about Anastasia versus the League of Pretty Decent Guys That Don’t Like Songs Written About Them. Until then, check out her music. It’s great stuff.