By Victoria Barker
GROWING up with a mixed parentage has helped singer Anjulie to pursue a career in the music industry.
The 25-year-old R&B singer was born in Toronto, Canada, but her parents are from Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America. Her grandparents had immigrated there from India.
Speaking to my paper in an interview from Los Angeles, where she is based, Anjulie said: "When I was really little, my parents used to play a lot of calypso and reggae in the house and that sort of got me hooked on music.
"I started to get inspired by the sounds and the colours (of the countries of my heritage) and I draw from that now."
But dealing with looking different from the other kids in school - she grew up in an all-white suburb in Toronto - wasn't always easy.
"It was hard that I didn't fit in but I decided to embrace the fact that I wasn't the same as them," she said.
Thankfully, though, her heritage has obviously worked wonders on the girl's chosen profession.
Anjulie (full name Anjulie Persaud) started out as a songwriter penning tracks for other artists.
She released her debut album last year. That record saw first single Boom - a slinky Nancy Sinatra-esque number - hit No. 1 on the Billboard Dance Chart.
Other tracks like Crazy That Way were also featured on hit MTV reality programmes The Hills and The City - which have also featured female artists such as Natasha Bedingfield and Beyonce.
But don't think the softspoken Anjulie is your typical pop princess.
"A lot of female pop artists today are into dance or club songs, and I do love the beats, but I write my songs from a much more personal and raw side of things," she said.
"The songs on the album have many different styles to them. Some are mellow, some are happy and funny, but they all showcase a facet of me in some way."
That tack has worked well so far - Anjulie has a busy couple of months ahead of her, with a slot on music festival Lilith Fair's tour schedule starting in July.
But busy looks good on her.
"I'm always working," she said with a laugh. "I can't imagine what I'd be doing if I weren't doing this."
Anjulie's self-titled debut is out in stores.
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