Life is a strange mixture of occurrences that we can never predict. With such a statement, it almost makes you wonder: what will help? Music usually tends to be the answer, and with every year more acts come out with music that will end up being memorable touchstones as the year dwindles to an end. Pop music has the best chance of all genres of achieving this, along with digestible textures, there's also a simplicity in how messages are conveyed.

Simply put: pop music is made to be accessible, but what happens when you come across a pop musician who wants to skew that? Who wants to aim higher than the ceiling they're presented with? Enter Kubalove, a London based musician who is aiming to carve out her own path in her own way.

The 405's Ken Grand-Pierre got to sit with Anna Jackson to find out how she makes her music and how releasing music has affected her world.

I was surprised by how the song 'Trouble' was both sparse yet full of energy. How did that track come about?

Well I'm a bassist originally, so I love a good dirty bass line. I've always been into funk, and the best lines in funk are pretty sparse but have this very sexy aggression to them. I wanted to write a track which took it slow but which sizzled with a kind of risky and tasty energy... I hope that's what comes across...

It quite is, and to hear you articulate it in that way is very interesting. That type of progression and stimulation is definitely a difficult thing to put into words, let alone write a song about. Do you feel that after 'Trouble' was done you found yourself thinking 'wow this is different than other stuff I've done in the past!'?

Well I've written a range of stuff in the past - some of which is much darker and broodier like my track 'Dangerous', or more euphoric and romantic like my track 'All I Want', and some of which is more about expressing a kind of raw energy. Every track I do has something a bit different to it, I don't just write in one mood. I think what they all have in common are some pretty epic bass sounds and a kind of sensuality to them. Sometimes I do write tracks and think "where the hell did that come from?" though - as in, it seems like my subconscious took over in the process, and I'm surprised at the results. 'Trouble' was definitely one of those cases...

I have to say as well, what really took me aback was how the music is pop but it still hit that note of being immersive, as well as accessible. That's quite an aim to reach, not everyone can make a song that you can jump into and enjoy at any point. Do you feel that the concept of this project, Kubalove, has changed a bit throughout writing more songs under that moniker?

Yeah sure, I think that the more songs I write, the more I start to define my Kubalove sound really - and hitting that sweet spot between pop and something a little darker and more unexpected is something that I'm aiming for more and more. It will be a lot to do with my own music tastes - I'm a huge fan of all kinds of pop but what really gets me going is when a big filthy bass line hits when you least expect it... that kind of feeling you get when 'California Love' comes on, if you get what I mean?

That's a good visual to strike on. With a tune like 'California Love' as well, you start hearing the music in your head the second someone mentions the tune. You've mentioned basslines/being a bassist and I'm curious, does music usually start for you with the sound or the lyrics? What informs the other?

In most cases it's the sound which comes first, I play around with drum grooves, bass lines and top synth lines until I find that hook I'm looking for - something which feels like it moves me in someway - whether it makes me feel dark, or loved-up or makes me want to groove. I think that what comes out at the time is maybe representative of some emotion that I might not even be aware of on a surface level, but it comes out in the music. And then the lyrics tend to flow pretty easily after that, as they're more about defining the mood of the song in word form - you've got a basis to start from. I find that starting with lyrics - trying to write words on a blank page about a feeling that's buried deep inside much more tricky - it's much easier to let it flow out of you with music first, which isn't such a conscious thing I don't think... I hope that doesn't sound too pretentious [laughs].

That doesn't sound pretentious at all, in fact I'd say quite the opposite. If you can't feel an emotional response from the music you're making than how could you expect others to do the same? It's very intriguing to me that it's not a very conscious thing to let flow out of you, especially since the forming of the patterns and hooks would be thought/planned out in your head in some way, no? What was one of the most difficult tunes you've written so far and what made it difficult?

Yeah you do have to apply some more conscious thought when it comes to making sure that the hooks are spot on - but even then it's more of a trial-and-error process - throw a whole lot of crap at it until something works, feels like it's meant to be there. Yeah 'Trouble' was a bit of a tricky one - mainly for that reason you mentioned before about wanting it to keep quite sparse and down-tempo - (because that gives it a sexy feeling of anticipation) - but at the same time give it a raw carnal energy, suggesting there's something bubbling under the surface, with some frantic percussion set back a little, with the suggestive way the lyrics are sung, wanting to give away a little but not too much. It's always better to suggest what's coming, eek it out a little, let the tension hang... like I heard on a documentary about Jaws - it's way more freaky when you just catch a glimpse of the shark, sense what's coming, as you do for the majority of the movie... that's so much better than when you actually see the whole damn thing at the end (turns out it's just a big rubber model after all!). Anticipation is usually so much better than the event, and in this song I tried to savour that.

I've been thinking about that lately as well, on a personal level, of what it is that makes people gravitate towards one another in a sensual way and I think you captured it perfectly with anticipation. That idea that there's something bubbling under the surface has this air of curiosity that can really take you aback when you're just going about your every day life. And that aspect of danger in what you said about Jaws is such a palpable contrast to that as well. It's incredible to think that these are songs that you're crafting now that can bring you around the world. When you think about that aspect to it, how does it make you feel?

What, you mean how I can feel something here in my home studio in London, and then pass on that feeling to someone on the other side of a world with a track? Yeah, it's pretty cool. What is it they say? That only 10% of communication is actually verbal? I think that people connect so much more strongly in other ways - and music's got to account for a good 20% right? Hell, maybe even 22%. That feeling you get in your gut when your favourite song comes on is something that no one can put in words, but I think it's got to be one of the very best things about being alive. Your gut understands that music, and what is amazing about it, even better than your head does I think...

I totally understand that. I live and work in New York, and similarly to London you always have people, nearly everyone listening to music during their commutes. You always hear the critiques about how sad it is people aren't connecting but when you think about it those headphones are almost like tethers to an output of passion. We enjoy music of course, but we also use it to live, especially during mundane moments in life. That must be mental for you a bit? To think that during someone's shitty commute they'll have your music in their ears and utilising it as a way of getting through their day.

It makes me very happy to think that my music might help someone get through their day, yes. I often listen to music when I walk, and I swear people look at me strangely sometimes when I do - I think it's because I walk a bit differently (I definitely have a "funk" walk, particularly when listening to something like Canned Heat), or smile like a child at beautiful, sad lyrics (Andrew Bird does that to me), or subtly play air guitar on my fingers (impossible not to when listening to 'R U Mine'), or do a blown-out cheeks bass face (compulsory on the drop on 'Hey Mama' by Sylvan Esso). So basically I end up spasming weirdly along the street, and it can't be pretty. But dammit, it makes my day twice as good when it has a soundtrack, and I'm just so much happier because of the music in my life. If I can help add in any way to the happiness and strange walks in this world, then I'd be delighted...

I do that as well to 'R U Mine' on the tube here... glad to know I'm not alone in that. I can certainly relate to that aspect of music truly captivating you. I feel that no matter what, there's always a way for mundaneness to creep into your life and music is like a shield keeping all that at bay. Going into the live show, what was it like performing as Kubalove for the first time?

Yeah it was frickin' awesome actually. In previous bands, songs were mainly written live before being recorded, whereas with my Kubalove, I write everything in my home studio on computers first, then have to work out how to play it live. It's amazing to see how a tune works out on stage - it's like Frankenstein's monster coming to life (then doing a shimmy...). The live set is a little different to the recorded sound, both more stripped back and in your face... It rocks - if I do say so myself. I like the bass to be massive, in a mildly face-melting way. I work with some very good musicians who play live guitar, live synths and a drum machine with me - they take the main lines whilst I concentrate on prancing about with the mic, occasionally doing a few solos on my microKORG. I think we all just have a great time on stage because it gives us a rush you can't get anywhere else. Playing live is just about my favourite thing.

That's such a brilliant thing to hear, especially the aspect of your live band. Over the years I've been more drawn towards solo acts, but the ones that stick out to me/are special are the ones that have a true bond with their live band. Is there something you'd love to add Is to the live set in the future? Whether it be visuals or some time of production?

Yeah I would like to work with a VJ - and have been talking to a few people about this for upcoming gigs. I think that a gig is so much more immersive when there's something striking and spontaneous going on with the visual side of the show too. One of the most incredible visual performances I've seen used I've seen was when Flying Lotus used 3D projection mapping - and at different points it made it look like his decks were crumbling away to nothing, or like he was being beamed up into space, or was floating in a huge rotating cube. That stuff blows my mind, and I would love to do something like that for a big gig in future when the tech is more accessible. I am also quite obsessed with certain bizarre, inhuman-looking dance forms (see the kind of freaky moves in my 'Dangerous' video). I would love to incorporate some dancers into my show at some point - but I would want their performance to be a bit unsettling, other-worldly, not necessarily sexy....

Speaking of Flying Lotus, I saw him recently at a festival here in New York called Governors Ball. He was playing in the tent and I was awestruck by how I still felt fully immersed in his live show despite being right on the edge of the tent. Also, there goes a bit of contrast again, I couldn't help but notice but it's very intriguing to want/to have dancers like that, but it's like you said before about the music, about how it all comes together with the feeling of something bubbling under the surface. I do have one last question, but before I get into that it just hit me to ask you, have you ever seen a live performance where you yourself felt totally invested and immersed within it? I know you mentioned Lotus but I'm curious to know who else has left you quite awestruck as well.

Good question... there are a few very memorable, totally immersive gigs I remember, all for different reasons. I've seen a number of amazing Radiohead performances (probably my favourite band ever if I had to pick one). The best was probably at a festival in Belgium called Rock Werchter - the electronic visuals were just entrancing, the sound incredible, Thom Yorke was like a god - and the crowd was amazing too. Often it's the crowds as much as the bands that make the gig. One of my first big bands I ever saw were the Foo Fighters when I was 16 at a festival. I was really there to see the Chili Peppers, but the Foo Fighters were on just as it started to rain hard, but the crowd when so insane that there were cloud of steam rising up, we were one big heaving, festering mass of rock - it was incredible. But sometimes it's just incredible musicianship that I worship. I saw Andrew Bird at the Barbican in London a couple of years back, and he is just a ridiculously talented man. I described his music to someone as "the most in-tune you will ever hear instruments and voices, it's like perfection".

Rock Werchter is a festival I'm dying to do someday. One of my favourite bands, Editors, headlined it a while back and watching video from that performance is still an amazing thing to this day. I can totally see Radiohead going down super well at a festival like that. Also that's a very perfect way to sum up Andrew Bird. I saw him play a festival in Boston and it was raining pretty hard by the time he went on stage. Despite that though he still sounded incredibly on point and unfazed by it all (the weather).

What about you? Any shows have that effect on you as well?

My main thing is photographing musicians, and I've been doing it for a couple of years. On a big show scale I'd have to say Phoenix are right at the top for me. They found a way to sound exactly like they do on record, while also sounding massive/different live. Their light shows are always great but at times understated, but also in a way that makes sense, each color/lighting treatment for a song feels specific to a way you couldn't imagine it being different. Foals are very similar in that regard, especially within their primal nature. On a small show scale, I lived in Sweden for a bit a couple years up after a break up and I was bouncing about going to shows and working with bands here and there. One of the shows was Glen Hansard in Gothenburg and to this day that's still a massive jewel to me of what a live show should be.

It was in a room that held maybe 400 or 500 people, yet the room felt much smaller due to how many people were there and Hansard and his band, the way they bounce about one another and play off each other...I've never seen musicianship like that before. You could see and feel nothing but the love that they had for what it was they were doing and to convey that all in a country that's foreign to you...I just couldn't believe it.

Great answer! I freakin' love Phoenix... It's like they take you to such a strange sentimental place somewhere inside you that you didn't know existed. I haven't seen Foals live but would like to, and will check Glen Hansard out as he sounds very special.

Ok one last question, but before wrapping but I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to do this, it was brilliant talking to you. Have they're been any surprising reactions from mates when they've finally heard your music or after they've seen you live?

I think my friends are quite surprised when they see the music I come up with and see me perform. I'm a bit of a geek in real life, I've either got my head in a book or am joking around. But my music comes from somewhere a bit more secretive that people don't usually see, they're surprised maybe to see that's it's maybe a darker, wilder side to me that the one they know. They all say that I am almost transformed into a different person when I'm on stage (luckily stage Anna is hotter apparently). I feel that I'm always being true to who I am, but just show different sides of myself at different times... I'm a sum of all these parts.

Kubalove plays London's Finsbury on Friday July 3rd.