Andreya Triana Reflects on Struggles That Led to 'Giants'

Andreya Triana Reflects on Struggles That Led to 'Giants'
It's been nearly a half-decade since Andreya Triana dropped her auspicious debut, Lost Where I Belong, but the South London soul songstress has been extremely busy leading up to her upcoming sophomore full-length, Giants, which will be released on Counter Records on May 5.
"It was crazy," Triana tells Exclaim! "The album came out in 2010 and I spent the next two years touring the world and supporting my album. After that, I just wanted to stay in one place and work on my songwriting so that the next album could be as strong as it could possibly be three-quarters hopefully deep storytelling and really deep hooks. I just wrote and wrote. I've got 70 songs on my laptop from everything that I did during that period, and the album is a culmination of that. We took the best 12, and having that time allowed me to re-grow and see what I had to offer and what I wanted to say."
Where Bonobo handled the production chores on the more downtempo-oriented Lost Where I Belong, Matt Hales (a.k.a. Aqualung) was behind the boards for the more stylistically adventurous and assured Giants, which was recorded in Los Angeles and represents nothing short of a substantial artistic evolution for Triana.
"I have to say that it was so nice to get out of London for a month of sunshine and not be at the beck and call of emails and phone," she says. "I had a lot of headspace to do the album and working with [Hales], it was really intense but really fun. We had a lot to do in a short period of time. It just came together so organically. I didn't want it to be of the moment, I didn't want to listen to anything else to get any other ideas, I just wanted it to be whatever happens with the track inside the room.
"With my first album, I think that lyrically and vocally, I was quite shy. And with this album I really wanted to push myself. I think it's important to do that as an artist. I'm never satisfied with what I've done."
Lyrically, the deeply personal Giants is rooted in both Triana's youth and her observations of everyday living in London, reflected on tracks like the poignant, autobiographical "Everything You Never Had, Pt. II" (previewed on an EP last November) and "Keep Running," which examines the blurred dichotomy between upper and lower class families.
"My mum, she had me when she was 18. We didn't have much but she was amazing and did an incredible job. I look back and I never felt that I was without. I felt that I had everything I needed. So I always wanted to write ['Everything You Never Had, Pt. II'] and say thank you.
"There are so many different types of people from so many different walks of life. There are people that are working so hard just to make ends meet, barely able to keep a roof over their heads but at the same time there are rich kids that have everything they want [materially] but they don't have love. It's something that I always see living in London."