Sound & Vision: Anjimile On Their Album Giver Taker

Sound and Vision
Emily Fox

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Anjimile Chithambo, who performs under their first name, Anjimile, says the circumstances leading up to writing their latest album, Giver Taker, was a “cluster fudge.”

“Right before I wrote this record, I was not healthy in any sense of the word emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually,” says Anjimile. Throughout the writing of the album, Anjimile was discovering their own identity as a trans and non-binary person. They were also in rehab for almost a year, trying to get sober.

Anjimile spoke with Sound & Vision host Emily Fox about Giver Taker and some of the songs on the album.  

On the song “To Meet You There"

It was written at a time when I was feeling super hopeful. I was like, wow, I've been sober for this many months and I feel like I'm learning so much about myself and this has been such a painful experience, but also so illuminating and healthy and wonderful. And I was just feeling like a lot of hope and a lot of just pure joy for the first time in a long time.

On the song “Maker”

“Maker” was written before I got sober. It was written maybe three to six months before I got sober and around that time I had been learning more about my queer identity and learning about different trans identities and the concept of non-binary, the concept of gender queer. And I was exploring these things for myself and figuring out what I identified as in terms of gender and sexuality. And that song became an inadvertent rallying cry. And the wildest thing to me is that when I wrote it, I didn't identify as trans or as trans masculine or as a trans guy. All of the things that I identify as today. And yet, I said I was a “boy,” “man,” “God,” “maker.” I feel like that song revealed to me things that I was not yet aware of about myself, which is often the case when I write.  

On the song “Your Tree”

The first song on the record is called “Your Tree.” And I feel like my family tree is something that means a lot to me, or to think that I could be a part of my family tree is not something that was always guaranteed for me, especially as a queer and trans person in a conservative traditional Malawian household. And so, it's something that I think about a lot. And I think the song also touched on that.  

On what it looks like for them to be living as a trans, non-binary person:

It looks like recognizing and feeling comfortable using the term trans to describe myself and using the term non binary to describe myself and using pronouns that I feel representative to describe myself, such as they/them and he/him. Both two sets of pronouns that I'm totally cool with and feel very comfortable to me. And then a lot of it just had to do with, like, coming out to close friends and family. But yeah, I just came out to my friends as non-binary, trans and then I started coming out to my family as non-binary trans. And I recently came out to my parents about a month ago. It was so much better than I ever could have thought it would be.


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