By: Kat Harlton
Actress Ana Golja – best known for her role on Degrassi: The Next Generation and Degrassi: Next Class is now adding recording artist to her impressive resumé. Under her first name, Muazana, she released her debut album Epilogue a few weeks back. Fans had already received a sneak preview of select songs from the album when they were released digitally throughout the months of October, November and December.
Muazana began envisioning a move into music four years ago at age 17, “Epilogue was written over the course of 4 years and it was a period of my life where there was a lot of growing in terms of emotional intelligence, which was a big learning curve for me. I decided to write these songs as these things were happening in my life. It’s also why I chose to release the songs two at a time, to kind of mimic the way I went through these experiences. It was a labor of love and I put my heart and soul into it because I’m really big on first impressions. I wanted to make sure that whatever my first release was, was accurate in terms of sound and who I am and relevant to everything that was happening in my life. I think coming from a TV and film background, that’s how we tell our stories and I wanted to have my own little arc.”
The collection of songs on her debut effort were co-written and produced by two teams. Brett Ryan Kruger (Eminem, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj) and Justin Tyler (Down with Webster) with additional collaborations with Boi-1da, DZL, Tyler Williams, and the award winning Kuya Brothers (Alessia Cara, JRDN). Together, they developed a sound that reflects Muazana’s love of cool and sultry R&B-pop, as demonstrated on Epilogue tracks Never Want To See You Again and People. “Going for the soulful, R&B kind of vibe was always the end goal. I didn’t want to do something that was predictable, especially for someone coming from a TV background. I’ve always been inspired by artists like Amy Winehouse and Etta James. I got a little lost along the way trying to create something that would be good for the market, but it just wasn’t working for me, it wasn’t clicking, so I went back to the drawing board and said ‘I’m going to do this whether it’s the right move or not, and if it doesn’t work then at least I tried’. I did want I wanted to do.”
Muazana has been involved in the performing arts since age 5, landing her first live stage role at 11. “I think acting has definitely given me a greater sense of perspective. Being an actor and playing all these different roles and seeing how fans and the public are affected by the story-lines and characters, I learned a lot about the world. It’s kind of what I tried to apply to my music, and a lot of people are wondering how I’m going to be able to do both. Even if music was my sole career, I would still need time off to be inspired and live life to have experiences to write about. So acting is kind of a mechanism for me to find inspiration and meet people and go through stuff. I’m going to live life and then write about it.”
She plans to continue acting with new projects coming up in the Spring of 2018, and points to artists such as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and others who have proven how to be successful at both. “I think the greatest piece of advice that I’ve received that I would also like to bestow upon emerging artists is to stay true to who you are and what your vision is. If you’re trying to be something that you’re not, audiences will feel that and it won’t resonate.”
Muazana takes this same approach when it comes to connecting with her fans via social media. “Social media is a very tricky thing, I have a love/hate relationship with it. What I’m most conscious of when I post is that again, just making sure it’s me. A comment I get a lot is ‘Oh you only post photos of yourself looking like a beauty queen, always hair and makeup done…’ but in reality, I do always have my hair and makeup done and it’s something I’m passionate about. I love fashion and I love beauty. With every post I’m just being myself. I definitely do feel a sense of responsibility being in the position I’m in, so I try to make my posts something that can inspire change and positivity. It’s a really rough and tough time in the world and I try to bring some light into it. I want to use my platform for the betterment of the world. You can never please everyone, all you can do is be yourself.”