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MP3 Anna Gutmanis - I Am Who I Am

Anna''s new 2-song CD single combines pop and rock influences with deep, bluesy vocals to make a powerful statement against homophobia.

2 MP3 Songs
POP: Pop/Rock, ROCK: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Anna Gutmanis was born in London, Canada. At age 7, she was inspired by her older sisters’ Laura Nyro albums and began taking piano lessons through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Anna began to write her own songs as a young teenager, moving to Toronto at the age of 19 to pursue her passion for music and social justice. She began performing as a solo artist at cafes and clubs, and joining activist groups such as Lesbians Against the Right.

In 1984, Anna cut a 2-song demo with L’Étranger, a prominent Toronto-based band. The songs received airplay on Ontario college radio stations, with “Empire”, a song decrying racism and sexism, charting at several stations. Still performing solo, Anna began to play at political venues such as The Trojan Horse and The Fallout Shelter, and at feminist benefits alongside luminaries such as Lorraine Segato and Faith Nolan. She played a set at Pride Day 1984, and was featured as an “Xtra Special Person” in Xtra Magazine.

She cut a 6-song self-titled EP in 1989 on her own Ban-Anna Records label. The album and its single “Then Came You” (also released on RDR Promopak CD) received airplay in every Canadian province and territory. “The Record”, Canada’s premier music trade publication at the time, praised the album’s “promising debut”. Anna was interviewed for features on several stations, including CFNY, and she spent much of the next 2 years performing with a back-up band. In 1992, she received a Factor Grant, with new music appearing on the 7th Factor Compilation of New Canadian Talent. An expanded and re-mixed version of “Then Came You” was released to radio on Marigold Sampler 3 in 1993.

Anna took an extended hiatus in 1993 to raise her two children with partner Georgia Wilder. She completed a counselling program at George Brown College, and a degree in Equity Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, and pursued a career in social work. “Then Came You”, however, continued to receive airplay well into the new millennium.

With her children now adults, Anna decided it was time to record again. Deeply moved by the plight of LGBT people around the world, she sought out legendary music producer Karen Kane to record “I Am Who I Am”. This song is a powerful statement against homophobia and continues Anna’s tradition of social activism through her music. Together with “Let It Slide”, her new CD single showcases a maturing artist who still has something to say after more than a quarter-century of making music.

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