ANAAMALY - Phil Strickland
Phil Strickland is a Phoenix-based recording artist who records under the pseudonym, Anaamaly. Having first started playing the trumpet in elementary school, he recalls the amazing feeling of performing the trumpet solo at his sixth grade concert. That experience has always stayed with Phil and continues to remind him that good things come with hard work and true love for what one does. As someone with a lifelong passion for creating music, composing was something that called to Phil early on. He experimented with samplers and drum machines in the early 90’s and purchased his first, an ASR-X), in 1998 upon learning that his cousin was writing hip-hop lyrics. Feeling motivated to compose music that his cousin could compose lyrics to, Phil began further exploring both sampling and beat production. It remained a hobby of his until around 2011 when he decided to pursue a career in music, so he enrolled in a program with Berklee Online to study Music Production and Technology.
From 1998 to 2007, Phil found often himself producing instrumental beats in his spare time, including time he spent in Kuwait and Iraq with the US Army in 2003. In 2008 he discovered trip hop and chill-out music, which he credits to Sirius Radio. The style of music he discovered there was new to him, and included the likes of Bonobo, Zero 7, Thievery Corporation and Massive Attack. He not only relished the smooth grooves and laidback vibes, but through a series of trial and error also realized that he loved creating chill-out music himself. By 2014 his style had evolved into more chilled hip-hop/electronic-influenced music, eventually leading to the release of his first single that year, titled Good Morning, which was later featured on an international compilation called Goa Chillout Zone, Vol. 6. Since then, his music has been used in marketing campaigns and commercial projects licensed through Getty and Audiosparx, and can be heard streaming in hotels and retail shopping centers throughout the world.
Losing his mother at a young age to cancer encouraged Phil to gravitate more towards music and writing as a means to cope with her loss. In 2015, to honor his mother, Phil released the single, Summer of ’87, named in remembrance of the last summer he would spend with her before she passed away that fall. The song was later used in a Wonder Girls photoshoot for InStyle Magazine in Korea. In early 2015 while working on a guided meditation/affirmation project with a yoga instructor in Phoenix, AZ, Phil began to experiment with more relaxing styles of ambient music. By the end of that same year he decided that he wanted to release a full album of soundscapes for yoga and meditation. The initial inspiration behind the project was to create an atmospheric backdrop for the yoga classes and workshops that his wife taught. With this in mind, Phil began laying the groundwork for his album Urban Metta, Vol. 1, which went on to be listed as one the best albums of 2016 by Ambient Music Guide.
Phil now considers himself more of a technician and programmer when it comes to writing and arranging music. Allowing his ears, emotions, and meditation guide him, his skillset and workflow more closely resemble that of a hip-hop or electronic music producer. Phil cites some of his earliest musical influences as Bob Marley, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Nas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slick Rick and Pete Rock. However, some of his newer favorite artists include Little Dragon, DJ Drez, Desert Dwellers, and MC Yogi. Nowadays, he’s particularly fond of anything that ranges from electronic-ambient and chill-out, to global fusion and world music. He finds that music created with the specific intention to heal and enlighten is especially inspiring and meaningful to him.
Having explored various genres throughout his musical career such as hip-hop, chill-out, electronica, ambient, dub, and new age, Phil strives to continue evolving and defining his style as a new age/ambient composer and sound designer, while making new age accessible to even more people. Plans for second and third installments in the Urban Metta series are currently in the works, as well as a new series of music called Urban Metta Rebirths, which will feature remixes of the original Urban Metta soundscapes spun into lounge and dub inspired genres. Phil also hopes to eventually partner with yoga and meditation centers to offer a live version of the Urban Metta experience. His long-term goal is to continue creating music with the intention of healing and enlightenment – incorporating positive intentions, higher vibrations and empowering affirmations that focus on enhancing love, compassion and self-knowledge. He strives to express a message via his music that there is much more to life than this physical experience, of which he hopes to further explore in future releases.