Her album 'Speak Your Mind' is out now
Anne-Marie is an expert at multi-tasking. When she hops into a passenger van in New York's Union Square on the last day of April, she's clutching a black jacket and an iPhone in one hand and an aluminum-wrapped peanut butter sandwich in the other. She flew into New York the night before to perform on LIVE with Ryan and Kelly early this morning, and she's already well into a whirlwind day of interviews and promotional appearances. It was barely past noon.
“I’m literally flying to L.A. at 6 p.m.," she tells Billboard while taking a bite of her sandwich, dressed in pink fitted pants and a white crop top. She's headed right back across the country to perform on The Late Late Show with James Corden. But you don't become one of pop's most exciting new stars if you're allergic to hard work. After dropping her debut track, "Summer Girl," in 2013, the 27-year-old worked as a replacement vocalist for the English electro-pop group Rudimental before storming the charts stateside as the voice of Clean Bandit's "Rockabye" (which peaked at No. 9 on the Hot 100 last year) and the throbbing Marshmello collaboration "FRIENDS" (currently sitting just outside the top 20).
Now, with her just-released debut album, Speak Your Mind (Major Tom's/Asylum Records), fans are getting to know Anne-Marie on her own terms, with 17 tracks that spread messages of women's empowerment and finding self-worth. On "Perfect," she candidly lays out her you-do-you philosophy: "Maybe I bite my nails and don’t think before I speak/ Don’t fit in any crowd, don’t ever get much sleep/ I wish my legs were bigger, bigger than New York City/ And I love who I want to love ‘cause this love is gender-free." On the dancehall-tinged "Can I Get Your Number," she encourages women to make the first move, while "FRIENDS" is an unapologetic instruction manual for putting someone in the friend zone.