Today, popstar Anne-Marie shares How To Be Anne-Marie, a documentary that provides an honest snapshot of her life as she emerges from lockdown and contemplates what 2020 should have been. The YouTube production follows her as she catches up with friends and fellow music superstars, Little Mix (!), to discuss how they manage the pressures of their careers. She also ventures back into her past, visiting her school and old friends to face the secret turmoil she faced during her teens.
To celebrate, we caught up with the star to hear her philosophy on life, hangovers and social media.
For all procrastinators out there, what’s your advice on how to stay focussed?
I tend to just be able to focus on stuff that I really love doing. Luckily that’s writing a song and doing a jigsaw puzzle, those two things are what I can stay focussed on. Everything else in life, I’m not so good at…
When you’re feeling your worst, how do you pull through?
I lean a lot on my friends and I lean a lot on the artwork in my house, which is filled with really amazing quotes. I’m a really visual person so seeing that art every day is really important. Writing a diary really helps, I’ve been doing that recently.
What’s your go-to for dealing with stress?
Seeing my therapist, working out, doing stuff that I really love doing and that I can really engross myself in really helps with stress. And cooking, it takes such a long time but it takes your mind off of stuff.
Best advice to people in a creative slump?
Don’t stress too much. I’ve been in a lot of creative slumps and I’ve tried to force myself to be creative and it’s never a good outcome. Be okay with not being so creative some days because other days you’ll be the most creative person on the planet.
Thoughts on how to keep social media from controlling your life?
At some points, I’ve been completely zoned in on social media and found it hard to remove myself but I think the more you treat it as a little moment of your day, rather than it being your day, that’s the best approach. I go on it every now and again but I try not to look too much at the comments and I try to put out a positive message in photos, captions and tweets so the vibe is all good.
What gives you the ick?
Bad breath, people not saying thank you, bad manners. Weirdly when people show me too much attention, then I’m gone.
How do you move on from the past?
My biggest thing is to realise your past is still a part of you and you grow from accepting that. You don’t necessarily have to stay in the past, you can change. That’s what I’ve been learning. Through all the things I went through growing up, that doesn’t mean I have to be that person.
One lesson you’d like to pass on to the next generation of creatives?
Always be sociable, speak to a lot of people, make friends with people. Always upload loads of content showing your personality and music, or whatever else you’re making, and always be different. Sometimes you feel like you have to fit in to make it but that’s totally not the case, it’s the opposite.
What are your tips on being a supportive friend?
Always be there to listen, obviously, you can give your opinions but the way you feel and how you react isn’t the best thing to do in someone else’s shoes. The thing I’ve learnt is to keep my mouth shut and keep my ears open more.
What are your tips for getting through hangovers?
Have a fry up, have some orange juice, don’t get drunk in the first place!
How do you deal with worry and anxiety?
There’s no point worrying about stuff you can’t change, that’s something my grandad’s always said to me and my sister. But also anxiety is such a wide spectrum and I feel like I’ve experienced quite a lot of it and just really understanding it and getting to the bottom of it really will help. Searching online, speaking to people, looking for a therapist, doing things you love, all of these things can help how you feel. It might not take the anxiety away but it definitely helps you get through it. That’s the aim of the game really.
Do you have difficulty dealing with negative criticism?
I’m so passionate and feel so strongly about stuff, whenever anybody says stuff like that it really hurts me. Also because my artist is me, it’s not like I’ve created someone else to be the artist and Anne-Marie is the girl at home, it’s really personal. It’s really hard to take but you have to realise that everyone has their own opinions and to some people, it might be the best song in the world and to some, it might be the worst. As long as you’re putting out what you love, that’s what matters.
How do you stay true to yourself?
Trying to be as authentic as possible, trying to be down to earth, not changing to be whatever other people want you to be. Wearing your own makeup, doing your style however you want to do it. It’s all about not conforming.
Lastly, what’s your advice for dealing with fuckboys?
Punch them in the nose! It’s been a long time since I’ve dealt with that but at the time I just cried and ate a lot of chocolate which felt really good to do. I spent a lot of time with my friends, learnt from it, grew from it and became a strong human in the aftermaths of it all. You need to know that the situation is happening to make you stronger.
‘How To Be Anne-Marie’ is available on YouTube now. Check it out here.