Some people are just born creative, and pop artist Anabel Englund is one of those people. Acting, singing, and good style run in her blood, as she comes from a family of award-winning talent, including her father, actor and singer Morgan Englund, and her Academy Award–winning grandmother, Cloris Leachman. Englund’s latest album, Messing With Magic, is a true reflection of her affinity for storytelling and her ability to connect to her audience in a deeper, more meaningful way, much of which was inspired by her closeness to and reverence for her family.
So far, this album has proven it is not here to mess around, including, but certainly not limited to, critical acclaim from Billboard, Forbes, and Flaunt. It is clear that this musician is one to watch. The album’s triumphant success led Englund to release a deluxe album for Messing With Magic, including four unreleased tracks. I was lucky enough to be able to chat with Englund herself to learn more about this album and, in true Who What Wear fashion, her incredible style. Her aesthetic is as eclectic and unique as her sound, and I can’t wait to share a little bit of both with you below.
Congratulations on the release of the deluxe version of Messing With Magic! Can you tell me a little bit about it?
Thank you! I finally know the lane that I’m going down for my artistry. I know my sound. I know what I like to wear. I know what I want my music videos to look like, and knowing that feels really good. I think, for a while in the beginning, I was just trying different things on to figure out what felt right, and I didn’t know what felt right until now. So it’s been really cool to see how my artistry has evolved. The deluxe edition of my album has been really great because I feel like it’s a great lead into the music that’s to come because it’s a really elevated sound from everything else. I love, love, love the songs in the deluxe album. It’s a really powerful movement for me, the album.
What’s the story behind the title?
I made the song “Messing With Magic” with my friend Jamie Jones, and to me, it was that title that encapsulated everything underneath—the title and then all the songs within it. It made sense because, to me, “messing with magic” is my songwriting and my creations and collaborations. It’s what I do. Messing With Magic is messing with all the possibilities that we can have with our life if we just put our next foot forward and do the right thing.
Any favorite memories you can share while working on this album?
Well, the first one was making “Underwater.” I was in my car, and I was chugging some of my coffee before I went into the studio, and I spilled coffee all over my shirt. I had also come from working out, so I was wearing a sports bra underneath. So I walk into the studio session in a sports bra like, “Oh my god, hi, everyone. I spilled coffee all over myself.” One of the songwriters from London literally just had a spare shirt in his backpack, so it was like, “Oh, okay. Perfect.” It sounds weird, but it was totally sweet and funny, and I had just met these guys, and they were really cool, and they were working on the basis for “Underwater,” and the song just came out so beautifully.
I loved it so much. I was like, “Holy crap, this is something so amazing.” And then when we put “Underwater” out, it got to be number one on US Dance Radio, number one on Billboard, and it surpassed 10 million streams. To create something in that one day where I spilled coffee all over myself and then to feel so good about it and know that it was going to do well and then seeing it actually do so well on the radio stations—I could just feel it. Now as I’ve been playing it out, literally right when the crowd hears the first notes of the song, they scream and know all the words. It’s just so cool.
Can you speak to the fashion direction/mood for the album?
I love collaborating with different people. The original Messing With Magic cover is a little more simple, but it’s still really sexy, and it’s a whole-ass mood. I wore a fun sequined bodysuit from Dolls Kill, but I was wearing my Gucci platform heels with it. I love being able to mix things up. I love name-brand stuff, but I also love the uniqueness of everything combined and not just being all one brand. I feel like the original cover really encapsulates that and what I like.
How would you describe your personal style?
Sometimes, I wear really tight stuff that’s sexy and a little more revealing, but not so much anymore. I also love to wear baggy clothes. Like I said before, I like to mix things up. I like to wear men’s shorts with a small tank top and then platform Buffalo sneakers. I like to be comfortable. I will not go out in something that I am not going to feel comfortable in at dinner or something like that… unless it’s an event and I only need to wear it for an hour and a half and then I can go back home and change into something comfortable.
Do you have any style icons you look to for inspiration?
I mean, I love Vivienne Westwood, and I’m just getting more and more into her stuff. I feel like everything she represents is something that I really identify with. My style icons are always changing, but as of right now, I’m really just into a lot of what Vivienne Westwood’s doing.
What will your style aesthetic be while you’re on tour?
I normally work with a stylist, so I’ll go to her place, and we’ll just go through all these looks. The mood is dependent on where I’m going. If it’s New York, it’s going to be different than a whole tour in Brazil, so I really just let the place define the vibe, and then we pick things from there.
Does your on-stage style vary a lot from your everyday style?
I like to say that my style is different on a daily basis than it is when I perform. When I perform, it’s almost like I have this permission to be something greater than when I’m just me. I’m able to hang out and do the simpler things. So yeah, I don’t walk around wearing the things I wear when I’m performing, for sure.
Any brands you’re specifically loving right now?
I mean, I love Gucci so much. I feel like it just encapsulates everything that I am, especially with the colors and all the newer stuff.
Any smaller brands?
There’s this brand called The Consistency Project, and it’s based in New York. They take all of these clothes and just make really trippy, cool things with them. There’s also a really good, cute jewelry brand that I want to put because their earrings are fucking insane. It’s called Badacious.