Anesha and Antea Birchett
Seeing these songwriters-turned-singers in head-to-toe ELOQUII at their album release party in February was a sight to behold. We knew then that they were Spotlight material. Anesha’s leather tights fit her everyday cool vibe and Antea’s A-line dress matched her vibrant personality. Get a feel for their look and their sound in our story below.
Anesha + Antea Birchett Take the Mic
Two 30-something sisters build on their acclaimed songwriting career and emerge as independent artists in their own right. We talk to them about the transition from backstage to onstage, life in the afterglow of their first album and their feel-good concert fashions.
When you’re with your sister, you can be entirely yourself. You can be vulnerable, which - it turns out - is ideal for artistic collaborations.
This sense of trust and camaraderie comes across on set with Antea and Anesha Birchett, the pop duo known as APLUS. They are their realest selves when they’re together. And they’re together more often now that Antea has returned to Detroit from Nashville. “We’re who we are all the time. Even when we’re on stage, it’s like we’re in our living room and that’s what draws people in,” says Anesha. The two have been working together for the last 12 years as songwriters for the likes of Justin Bieber, JLo and Beyoncé and television/movies including songs premiering this month for the FOX hit show “Star.” Today, they’re taking their sisterly synergy to center stage as emerging independent artists.
Their first album - “Pride. Liberty. Detroit” - launched in February through their label Original 1265 Recordings.
It includes raw, open-hearted lyrics about love, pain, divorce, racism and their journeys. “We’ve lived a lot of life. You feel that no matter what age you are,” explains Antea. Her sister expands, “Storytelling is No. 1 for us. It really resonates with people. Every time we play, we see people crying in the audience.” One particular woman shed a tear at a recent country-club performance when the duo sang “Liberty.” In certain ways, this onlooker’s life was more privileged but when she reached her satin glove up to wipe her eyes, it was clear that the lyrics have power and meaning for everyone.
[Liberty: Track 7]
“I wanna be free. I wanna breathe. Why be in love if love’s hurting me? What I want is all my liberty out the arms that keep on holding me.”
“The opportunity to perform together came and we took it. It’s opened a lot of doors and expanded us as performers and writers. Though we’ve been in this industry for years, we’re babies in this,” says one of the vocal powerhouses who never saw herself on stage.
Realizing that she loves singing for an audience has taken Antea by surprise. “To be (almost) 38 and be discovering something new about yourself is mindblowing,” she says. While it may be unexpected to her, it was obvious to Anesha who had seen her stage presence back when they were teenagers singing gospel as “The Birchett Sisters.” Now, they’re performing with GRAMMY award-winning artists like PJ Morton.
If she’s being honest, even she didn’t imagine things would go this way.
In the last few years, Anesha and Antea have been investing in their passions for music as a production studio owner and a professor of songwriting & vocals at The Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME), respectively. Working at a home office or on a college campus have allowed for a relaxed approach to fashion in their everyday lives.
“Fashion is a feeling,” says Anesha, who generally can be found in a hoodie, skinny jeans and a cap; while her sister is often spotted in an A-line dress, hoop earrings and a messy bun.
That’s why they were as surprised as we were when they loved the look of them in swapped silhouettes. In the red suit, Antea felt a businesswoman and artist in equal parts. “I embodied both. I could do a show or write a song in it. It’s all-business but not really,” she shared. Next to her, Anesha stunned in a red sequin dress that she admits she would’ve never picked herself. In addition to being compelled by the red fashions, they both picked all-black looks as favorites. For Antea, it was the off-the-shoulder dress that she could see herself wearing for her upcoming birthday. Anesha’s choice was a black jumpsuit paired with a silver blazer. “That was so me. It’s totally for a New Years Eve. Maybe one in the future,” she says.
This year she’s planning on staying in while pregnant with her first baby, due Summer 2019. “I won’t be doing anything this year but if I can have that outfit and some ginger ale, I’ll be happy,” she says, smiling.
Needless to say, 2019 is primed to be a big year. APLUS plans to navigate it with a sense of calm and peacefulness. They remind themselves to trust in the law of attraction and in the fact that they were built for this. Antea reinforces, “Everything is in its proper place. The things I’m running after are running towards me - so I just need to be still.”
What’s your personal mantra?
Anesha: Anesha, you got this.
Antea: Be still. It’s coming to you.
How do you describe your personal style?
What was your first Eloquii purchase?
Anesha: Embroidered shorts.
Antea: Dress with a patterned top and striped skirt
Who are your style icons?
Anesha: Aaliyah. he’s the queen of being feminine but still exuding tomboy ways.
Antea: Tracee Ellis Ross. She’s quirky. I’m slightly obsessed. She’s my hair goals, my body goals. The way she dresses reminds me of me. Also, Jill Scott and how she cinches at the waist. I love love love that look.
What trends are you rocking this season?
Anesha: New sneakers that remind of LA Gear when I was a kid.
Antea: HIgh-waisted jeans and cropped sweaters.
Love what you see? Shop Antea and Anesha’s favorites and all of our newest arrivals on your next shopping spree!