Ana Golja

Ana Golja

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When the pandemic put the planet on pause last spring, Ana Golja was weeks from the theatrical launch of her award-winning movie The Cuban, which she produced, when forced to flee LA back to her family home in Toronto. With studios off-limits, Golja recorded the demos for Strive in her bedroom—and unlike Billie Eilish, whose music she absolutely adores, Golja has no music-genius sibling to help out, just advice via Zoom before emailing the results to her producers. “I'm not a tech-savvy person to begin with, so it was definitely an obstacle and a learning curve for me, but I did what I had to do to get these songs made.” On top of the lockdown, Golja was also recovering from a break-up, and emotionally dealing with that led her back to music. Her relationship’s end had already lured her into the studio—a depression-soaked demo for new single “Glass” was recorded in LA pre-pandemic—but now stuck at home, she didn’t want to wallow in that version’s sadness. Instead, the former competitive dancer revamped it as future disco dance-pop, and used it as a template for the EP, Strive. “I just had a completely different perspective on life because of what the world was going through. We have a finite amount of time on this earth, so we have to make the most of it,” she says. “That's why this release is very much a party release, and you hear it in the production. It's a celebration of life and every moment that we get, even the bad.”

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