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 full first name, Muazana, she will release her debut EP, Epilogue, on Jan. 12, through Zana Records/Orange Media. Fans have already been getting previews as songs from the album have been released to iTunes and Spotify at two-week intervals since Nov. 3.
Golja began envisioning a move into music four years ago, at age 17, and she started working with Toronto’s Kuya Productions (Alessia Cara, JRDN), as well as producers/co-writers Brett Ryan Kruger (Nicki Minaj) and Justin Tyler (Down With Webster). Together, they developed a sound that reflects her love of cool and sultry R&B-pop, as demonstrated on Epilogue tracks such as “Never Want To See You Again” and “People.”
The question arises as to why she chose to call her debut recording Epilogue, to which she has responded by saying it documents the changes she went through during her late teens. Golja has been involved in the performing arts since age five, landing her first live stage role at 11. She adopted the first name Ana for this facet of her career, but as a musician, she wanted to represent her genuine self by using the name given to her by her parents, who both immigrated to Canada from Albania before her birth.
Golja plans to continue acting and points to artists such as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and others who have proven how to be successful at both. With the support of over 130,000 Instagram followers, Muazana shouldn’t have any trouble. You can also follow her on Twitter at @TheAnaGolja.
How are you finding the transition from TV to music so far, and what has been the reaction from your fans?
It’s been smooth as butter for me, but it’s been a bit of a double-edged sword regarding the fan aspect. It’s been somewhat of a challenge getting all of my fans that know me as an actress to listen to the music…BUT the reaction from the fans that have listened has been amazing. I’m truly overwhelmed by how much people have enjoyed and related to the music. I have incredible fans, and I feel so blessed!
How would you describe your songwriting process for Epilogue?
The writing process was lengthy, but I consider it to be a period of significant growth for me as an emotionally intelligent human being. The whole process from inception to the studio was about four years. I wanted to take my time with it—to make sure that I was writing from a real and vulnerable place. The exact process of how the songs were written was always different. Sometimes I’d come into the session with a melody idea, sometimes a lyric and sometimes just a concept, then we’d build from there.
Do you have plans to perform live, and if so, what kind of show will you be doing?
I would LOVE to perform live. I come alive when I’m on a stage—it feels like home. I definitely want to tour with this EP and connect with fans on another level; it’s just a matter of timing. Due to my career as an actress and now film producer, it’s been a bit of a juggling act for my team, but I know we will figure it all out soon. In the meantime, fans can check out the songs I performed live at the Orange Lounge, which was a fantastic experience for me. All the videos are up on YouTube, so even though people can’t see me live on stage at this moment, they can watch these videos and get an idea of what my style is when performing live.
What song in your catalogue means the most to you and why?
It is so ridiculously difficult to choose one, they all serve their purpose, are incredibly personal and have a special place in my heart. If I had to pick one at this very moment, I would say “Sorry It’s Not You” means the most to me. I think it was the biggest risk for me to take as a writer, as it is about my best friend. I wasn’t sure if he would know the song was about him and how it would affect our friendship but so far, it’s been smooth sailing. Hopefully, it stays that way!
What's been the biggest change in your life in the past year?
The biggest change in my life in the past year would be the introduction of my music career. It’s been such a long time in the making, and now it’s finally happening! Although it’s super exciting; finding time to dedicate to each of my crafts adequately has proven to be a bit of a challenge. With singing, writing, acting and now film producing, I’m all over the place. There are so many things I want to do but there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, so I have to learn to pace myself and let things take their course.