Anjuli Stars sings like an angel, raps like a gangsta, and writes songs by the thousands. She plays the keys and strings. She owns her own record label. She has collaborated with Pitbull.
This Latin mami even holds a degree in music business and songwriting from Berklee College. And this Tuesday, she'll drop her pay-what-you-want Starvation, Vol. 2 mixtape via anjulistars.com, featuring full production from Salaam Remi cohort Stay Bent Krunkadelic.
Anjuli recently spoke with New Times about Mr. Worldwide, South Dade Records, the job she quit to chase her dreams, and starvation songs.
Anjuli Stars: 9 p.m. Friday, January 26, at Eve, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-995-5050; miamieve.com. Admission is $5. Ages 21 and up.
New Times: Where are you from?
Anjuli Stars: I was born in South Miami and raised in West Kendall, out by the Hammocks.
What are you up to?
Workin' on my project, The Starvation, Vol. 2, that's coming out this week. I released Vol. 1 over a year ago and released it directly to the streets. I got offered four different independent record deals. But I decided to retain all creative control, stay completely independent, and launch my own South Dade Records label.
How did you link up with Pitbull to get "Raindrops" on El Mariel?
I was in college in 2005, just making music for my homies on campus. I've been singing since I was 5. I made a rap mixtape that had this one song, "Raindrops," an acoustic ballad. It had gotten into the hands of one of Pit's homegirls, and he was like, "Wow, this girl's incredible." He took the track, remixed it with the Diaz Brothers, and it came out on the album like a year later. I wasn't pushing for it. The opportunity just kind of fell in my lap.
What's on Starvation, Vol. 2?
The first single I released, "Buss Shots," is hip-hop with singing elements. I did my aggressive push into the game; then my second single is gonna be completely R&B, all singing. I'm not a female rapper. It's cool for now. But I play keys, I play guitar, and I compose all my music. I'm a musician.
What were you doing leading up to this?
I got a degree in music business and songwriting. After I got out of college, I'd been a bartender and server till six months ago. Then I let it go. That's why I progressed so far in six months. I quit my job and have been focusing completely on the music.
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Did any of that 9-to-5 struggle inspire your songwriting?
Working a regular job, I was able to take that energy and put it toward the music. I wasn't happy with what I was doing for a living. I wrote all of Starvation, Vol. 1 being unhappy with my job, wondering, Why am I doing this?
What are your ambitions?
South Dade Records is about reppin' me and where I'm from — being a young Latina female from Miami. There's a literal divide between South Beach and the underground. I want South Dade Records to bridge these two sides. Everything that I am is Miami. I plan to take it around the world. But ultimately, this is always home.