It's an early Sunday evening inside a coffee shop near Euston station and Victoria Port, one half of Anushka, is feeling a little worse for wear. "I haven't stopped all weekend" she laughs, with a look in her eyes that suggests she has no regrets. Fresh, or rather, not-so-fresh from a gig in Cardiff the previous night, followed by an early morning train back to London for a daytime show, we meet without Anushka's other half Max Wheeler, who is somewhere on his way back to their adopted home town of Brighton. As we sit down to chat about the making of their debut album Broken Circuits, the temporal split for the interview provides an interesting glimpse into the journey so far for these two complementing, but very different, artists.

The story begins in 2011 when Port was performing regularly with a neo-soul group in a bar called Riki Tiks in Brighton. Imagine black sticky floors, stained red booth seats and a soundtrack spanning house, hip-hop and soul and you get the general picture. It was here that Wheeler, impressed with Port's vocals, asked her to sing on a couple of his tracks. Coming from a jazz and soul background, more used to sitting in her bedroom writing jazz numbers at her keyboard than performing in clubs, unsurprisingly, she hasn't considered forming a soul-house hybrid group any time soon. "To be honest, when I first met Max, I didn't know much about electronic-dance music" she confesses. "I grew up on hip-hop, like Mos Def and Wu Tang, and soul like Jill Scott. But I did love grime and I did love garage. That was as dancey as I got."

This, in Wheeler's eyes, was a good thing. When we eventually catch up a week later, he says that having a voice that wasn't already plundered to the point of death by other house artists, Port instinctively stood out. "I heard a lot of stuff which was coming out that was really like diva vocals, I suppose. It's obviously a tradition in dance music to have that, and the thing is I love all of that stuff, but I didn't want to retread that same territory, doing the same thing as everybody else. I thought if I wanna work with someone I want it to be at least a little bit pushing in a direction maybe people haven't gone."

"As much as I love Brighton, I didn't want to be one of those Brighton musicians who is still chasing the dream at 40."

And that has been the modus operandi for the project ever since. Take two seemingly opposing things and put them together and see what happens. It's like a recipe for a cake. Take one-part jazz/soul singer from the outskirts of London and one-part producer from up north with a penchant for house and grime, add a good dash of passion for clubs and raving and then you end up with something like an Anushka pie. The results were impressive from the start. "The first one we wrote was 'Yes Guess'" says Port, which went on to be the title track of the debut EP last year. "I wrote that in like two days and went back [to the studio] and we did it. I felt like we had something." She wasn't the only one. It wasn't long afterwards that the record made its way into the hands of Giles Petersen who promptly signed them to his Brownswood label which, to continue the cake making analogy, is a little like Mary Berry writhing around the floor of the Bake Off studio covered in Banoffee pie, squealing through her syrup-stained lips "I LOVE THIS CAKE SO FUCKING HARD" during the first 5 minutes of the show. That is to say, it was a pretty big endorsement so early in the life of the band.

This break came at just the right time for Port. After finishing uni and having been in a few different projects which hadn't really taken her as far as she would have liked, her spirits were a little low.

"I think I got to a point where [I thought] I'm either going to take this really seriously or I am going to draw a line under it. I didn't want to be one of those...." She hesitates, sensing she's about to say something she shouldn't. "...As much as I love Brighton, I didn't want to be one of those Brighton musicians who is still chasing the dream at 40. I'm quite realistic like that. And I think we were both on the same page and that's why we got on so well because we were focused, we were in the studio every day, we were writing all the time and going to shows. We were on the same wave length I think."

For Wheeler, it wasn't just the early success that provided the inspiration to carry on with the project. Having been previously signed to Brighton label Tru Thoughts as part of hip-hop outfit Dirty Diggers, it was the chance to finally take solo production duties that really gave him a kick of excitement. "I'd never really done that before. I had produced stuff but I'd either split production duties or I'd worked with instrumentalists when we were writing. [With Anushka] I was able to work on my own on the drums or the bass sounds, the mix downs - that's my favourite part of producing the music. It meant I got to do more of what I enjoyed. Plus I think straight away we could both see it was going somewhere."

Whilst the project started with Port top-lining a vocal melody over Wheeler's tracks, the song writing for their debut album Broken Circuits was split equally between the two. Creative tension can often be the making or breaking of a band. As Port became more prominent in the song writing process, I asked them both whether the evolution in their roles caused any friction between them. Perhaps predictably, they both say no, but I'm inclined to believe them. "I've always written in the same way but for me it was finding the confidence to say to Max 'these songs are good songs'," she says. "He knew that already, I'm not saying he wasn't supportive, but in the beginning I was top-lining but I have always written. I have always sat at the piano and written songs. It was finding a way of Max producing the songs, connecting to them and producing them in a way that worked.I think that took a little bit of time. Not massive amounts but it took a little while to get there."

For Max, it was never the case of reluctantly relinquishing creative control over the project. "I've never really seen myself as that kind of producer who barks orders at people. I don't like that kind of atmosphere and I think if that's how you work, that's what you get, you get those type of songs." Anyone who has had the displeasure of listening to St.Anger by Metallica will certainly understand what he means. "I think what I found when I started working with Victoria, it was just really easy because there wasn't tons of ego floating around. It was like 'this is the song, how do we make it work?' It was quite effortless really."

"I guess there are elements of sexism in the workplace everywhere you go, isn't there? It is surprising though."

Whilst there is creative harmony between them both, it is still a recurring habit within electronic genres where producers (usually male) enlist a revolving door of guest vocalists (usually female) to top-line and rarely do the female singers get the credit for their efforts. Has Port ever experience anything like this with people outside of Anushka?

"When we started I was a lot younger and less confidence. A bit of a babe in the woods and at the time house music was just exploding again and it was very male orientated, and people were rude to me. I'm not gonna dish any dirt but I would go to shows and I would get totally ignored. People would only talk to Max. People would be asking questions about something which I felt I had done, it could be writing songs, and they would only be addressing Max. That used to infuriate me." Though she is more reflective than angry about the issue now. "I guess there are elements of sexism in the workplace everywhere you go, isn't there? It is surprising though. I would have thought people would have, not respect, but an appreciation that Max and I were a 50/50 partnership. Not just me being there to sing his songs."

That partnership shines through on Broken Circuits. The record is the resulting melee of two individuals taste colliding with many surprising twists and turns along the way. Fans from the early days who fell for the garage/house vibes of 'Yes Guess' may be confused (or delighted, as Anushka hope) by the array in sounds, pace and tone. It opens with the snappy, jazz-pop of 'Impatient', a not-so-subtle hint about their frustrations with waiting to complete the record ("there were a little few hiccups along the way, personal things for me and Max, which slowed things down" Port delicately explains without giving too much away). From this point the thrust of the record ricochets between the bleepy, cut-up-pop kicks of 'Never Can Decide', shuffling hi-hat euphoria on 'Atom Bombs' and 'Kisses', a summer-romance hip-hop jam. It sounds like something Azealia Banks might put out if only she could get her shit together. Latest single 'Mansions' provides the album with a blistering, grimey edge with a political subtext, which is pleading to played on a big festival rig. Contrary to some interpretations, Port is keen to stress that she's not calling for a revolution just yet in the lyrics of the song. "That song is not saying 'let's recreate the Brixton riots'. It's not a call to physical arms, it's a metaphorical 'let's deconstruct our political system'. People might think I'm saying that we should burn down Boris Johnson's house, but I'm not. As much as I would love to water cannon him, that's not at all what I was suggesting."

Circuits is also one of those records that is equally at home on headphones as it is going off in a dark, cavernous club. The ease at which they breeze through all manner of genres; house, soul, garage, hip-hop, breakbeat, pop and keep a solid identity throughout is a credit to Wheeler's masterful production. He explains that his job working in a studio for young offenders has unexpectedly pushed him to learn an array of different production techniques. "If I didn't do that kind of work then I wouldn't have made this record. I wouldn't have had the technical skills because I wouldn't have had the amount of time I've had or have been exposed to all the stuff that I have been exposed to. I basically spent 5 years being a semi-professional grime teacher. That's pretty weird. But I got paid to make grime everyday. I spent loads of time up north studying weird hard house music in Lancashire. All of those things have filtered in to what I do."

"I feel like I've had enough real life experiences recently to know during that whole period of time, making that record was a great part of my life that made me happy."

Whilst it's no surprise to hear a musician might have a job on the side, it's rare for them to be so forthcoming in an interview, through fear of shattering the illusions of grandeur around themselves. Wheeler, however, is amusing sage on the matter. "I'm kinda over being embarrassed about that having a day job thing. It's fucking ridiculous. Everyone is trying to act like they're this colossal success before they are and well, no actually, this is part of how I got here. I feel like, fuck it, celebrate it."

Of equal importance to the cohesiveness of the record are the recurring lyrical themes. In essence, Port has written a shorthand narrative about the modern condition, the feeling that most people have at one point (or longer) in their lives of 'I don't know what the fuck I am doing'. The songs are wrecked with feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and confusion about life, love and society. I ask her if she is as indecisive as she appears on record and, as if to prove the point, she can't quite make up her mind. "I think I am a worrier. No, am I? I am definitely indecisive and I definitely over-think and over-analyse. But that's the creative process. You look at all the difference scenarios and think about how they could turn out, and that's what makes you creative, I guess. But I think I've got better. I'm trying!"

And after all the waiting, the uncertainty, the stress and, of course, the raving, has it all been worth it? The life of a musician can be precarious for those that are starting to reach a bigger audience outside of their loyal home town following. What if it all goes tits up, so to speak? Well, it's Wheeler who leaves me with some food for thought on the matter.

"I think, for me, some people talking about this stuff get really 'it's so hard as a musician, it's really difficult to make money' and it is true. But I feel like I've had enough real life experiences recently to know during that whole period of time, making that record was a great part of my life that made me happy. So I'm not going to complain about any of it. Any day in which I'm in the studio making music is a good day, really."

Broken Circuits is out now on Brownswood.