Interview: Annika Bennett Reclaims Her Power with ‘madwoman’ EP

Annika Bennett © Ashley Crichton
Annika Bennett © Ashley Crichton
A conversation with New York singer/songwriter Annika Bennett on her EP ‘madwoman’, self-discovery, and reclaiming her power.
Stream: ‘madwoman’ EP – Annika Bennett




In a sea of artists searching for their way to pierce through, in our minds Annika Bennett has officially done it with her March 31 EP release, madwoman. Starting off with its namesake and the earworm that is “Madwoman,” this EP naturally navigates its way through strength, extreme vulnerability, complexity, brevity, and most importantly – honesty.

Atwood Magazine was lucky enough to speak with Annika about the making of madwomen, the meaning behind some of its deepest songs and what is next for the young artist.

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:: stream/purchase Annika Bennett here ::
Annika Bennett © Ashley Crichton
Annika Bennett © Jessica DiMento



A CONVERSATION WITH ANNIKA BENNETT

madwoman EP - Annika Bennett

Atwood Magazine: I want to ask about “Madwoman” first. This is one of those songs that immediately hooks you. It’s been out for a bit, but I’d love to know why you made this the title track + track one. I’d also love to ask about how the bridge came about. The melody there is so catchy - I just love it.

Annika Bennett: I wrote all the songs on the EP separately, without the intention of them all being on one project. So, when I was putting it together, it took me a while to figure out a name. I decided on “madwoman” as the title and opener because I love the way the song builds and the story unfolds, and how it sets the tone of the EP to be about self-discovery and reclaiming power. Also, the bridge is one of my favorite parts too – I loooove bridges, ’cause at that point in a song there’s no pressure or expectation, you can just follow your instincts and say whatever.



“Annabelle” is so vulnerable. I love how you let the lyrics really sink in by making the production softer. Your voice and the harmonies are so beautiful also - tell me a bit about this one.

Annika Bennett:  Aw thank you! I added Annabelle to the EP at the last second because I wanted a softer sensitive moment to balance the upbeat ones like “Red Hot.” The song is about realizing I had a crush on my friend, and I wanted the production and performance to reflect how delicate that kind of situation is. The whole song exists in the space of wondering if you’re more than friends, so I wanted it to feel dreamy and heart-achey.

Songs are always interpreted in different ways. I misinterpreted the next one which deserves to be heard for what it really is; it’s too important not to be. Hear her explanation and listen to “Lose a Friend” again, for all it’s worth.



Annika Bennett © Ashley Crichton
Annika Bennett © Jessica DiMento

I love the lyrics in “Lose a Friend.” You so perfectly capture trying so hard not to fall for someone. I feel like so many times we try to control how we feel only to find it’s the hardest thing to actually control. I’d love to hear about how you wrote this one.

Annika Bennett:  That’s so interesting that you picked up on that meaning in the song! The chorus is pretty vague so I can definitely see how it comes across that way. I actually wrote it about something much heavier – it’s about coercion / sexual assault. It’s a collection of experiences where I gave in to pressure because I “didn’t want to lose a friend.” It was really cathartic and empowering to write because I started by listing experiences, but the process led me to the realization that someone who’s pressuring me isn’t actually my friend at all.



I absolutely love “Red Hot.” Again, the lyrics capture falling for someone so well, but not in the scary way, more in the “maybe this could be good” way. It has such a happy and hopeful feeling to it. I’d love to hear about what went into making this one.

Annika Bennett: Thanks! I wrote it because I tend to overthink and resist relationships, so this song was my way of challenging that and trying to get out of my head. It was super stream of consciousness to write and it’s so fun to perform, all in all a feel-good song which is rare for me.



Finally, “Scared of Getting What I Want” feels like a perfect closer to the EP. While it wraps it up it also leaves a lot open for what’s next for you. Was this the intent? Tell me a bit about this one?

Annika Bennett:  Definitely! This next project I’m working on is intentionally not relationship focused, it’s much more self-reflective and explorative of bigger life themes and existentialism. Scared really sets the tone for that, because it’s a me looking at my life and desires and dissatisfaction and wondering why I felt how I felt. The next project is me diving into those questions way deeper.

Annika Bennett © Ashley Crichton
Annika Bennett © Jessica DiMento

You’re about to open for Sabrina Carpenter! Congratulations. How did that come about? What are you looking forward to most?

Annika Bennett:  Thank youuuuu! Yes, I can’t wait. We’re touring Europe which is a bucket list thing for me, I’m most excited to meet fans over there and explore the cities. I’m not sure exactly how Sabrina found my music but one day she just followed/dm’d me and then I was asked to tour and I was like hell ya.

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:: stream/purchase Annika Bennett here ::



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madwoman EP - Annika Bennett

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? © Jessica DiMento
art © Ashley Crichton

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