Anna Straker has gone from strength-to-strength in recent months. The process started when she unveiled a brave new sound with the vulnerable ‘London Knows’, which she followed with the experimental alt-pop of ‘Good Days, Bad Days’ and a chilled twist on the song alongside Gabrielle Aplin. She subsequently featured on production duo four teen billion’s debut track ‘All Falls Down’, which was aired by Phil Taggart at Radio 1, before performing at BBC Music Introducing… Live last weekend.
When things are clearly on the up, what else is there to do but power onto what comes next? Anna’s new track ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ looks poised to make the biggest impact of the lot. It’s an uncompromising statement, stirring electro-pop power, boisterous hip-hop rhythms and an industrial intensity into her most singular track to date. She matches that genre-blurring invention with a vital lyrical statement.
Opening with Donald Trump’s notorious “grab them by the pussy” quote, the track attacks gender stereotypes and the attitude that “boys will be boys.” It’s a flippant comment that normalises misogyny and sexual assault, and in the process provides a lazy excuse and a get-out clause for inexcusable behaviour. It also reinforces the most toxic form of masculinity.
“‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is my feminist anthem to tear down the patriarchy,” explains Anna. “After recovering from a sexual assault last year, I realised what men are really capable of and this sarcastic anthem is my angry response to the double standards we face as women. I want to squash these stereotypes with my big platform boots and remind the world that women are more than sexual objects.”
That statement informs the track’s provocative accompanying film, which was directed by Kassandra Powell (Brooke Candy, Yxng Bane). It shows Anna and her squad turning the tables on Trump, first kidnapping him and then subjecting him to aggravated humiliation. It’s a bold reversal of power, carried out while looking cool as can be in platform boots.
Anna co-wrote and co-produced ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ with Tom Stafford and Andrea Rocha.
‘Boys Will Be Boys’, ‘Good Days, Bad Days’ and ‘London Knows’ will all feature on Anna’s upcoming EP ‘Growing Pains’, which will be released next month via Never Fade Records.
Clearly on the ascendancy, things are currently falling into place for Anna Straker. Yet she hasn’t emerged from nowhere. Her first opportunity arrived in her teens, when producer Mike Spencer (Years & Years, Emeli Sandé) discovered her and invited her to contribute to projects including Rudimental. Her debut EP ‘Serious’ followed, picking up praise from Annie Mac at Radio 1 and taking Anna to stages at Glastonbury and The Great Escape.
Despite those early breaks, Anna stepped away from the limelight to mastermind a fresh approach. Now it’s paying off, as her creativity, attitude and honesty is winning a new following, assisted by countless playlist adds at Spotify.