Anja Nissen has been working. Hard. Shortly after the 18-year-old Blue Mountains discovery took out the competition on the 2014 cycle of The Voice, Anja knuckled down with a star-studded posse of rappers and producers in a Los Angeles studio to create fresh sounds all of her own. At the invitation of pop-music wave-maker will.i.am, her mentor on The Voice, Anja flew to L.A. to write and record with a team that included chart-topping singer Cody Wise, and The Black Eyed Peas rapper apl.de.ap. Only months after becoming a household name in Australia for her awe-inspiring R&B performances, Anja is ready to give fans a taste of what she’s been cooking up. That taste comes in the form of I’m So Excited, a crisp track that sets it sights on summer dance floors. Featuring will.i.am and Cody Wise, the song finds Anja’s honeyed and powerful voice soaring over cool, elastic beats. It’s an instant party jam. “It’s a bit like a dance remix of an R&B song,” Anja says about I’m So Excited. “It’s really strong vocally but it’s also fun and has an edge to it. I want to be a diverse artist. I want to record music that makes people dance and music that has soul and meaning. I want to focus on making good music rather than getting stuck in one style.” Anja’s musical partnership with will.i.am was cemented when the producer heard Anja during her blind audition on The Voice. In Los Angeles, will.i.am welcomed Anja into his musical crew as they embarked on a song-writing and recording boot camp together. “Will.i.am has been a really good role model and a great support,” Anja says. “When we were recording he made sure I was in control every step of the way. He was very empowering and I’ve learned a lot from him and the team in the studio.” Recording in the world’s music capital meant sharing studio space with heavyweights Sean Kingston and Jay-Z (Anja made the latter a berry smoothie in the studio’s kitchen). It also meant a late-night shopping spree in Beverly Hills with will.i.am and Cody Wise to find outfits for the I’m So Excited video, filmed while Anja was in L.A. “We rode in Will’s car. It was really late and all the stores stayed open for us,” Anja tells. “We wandered around Versace by ourselves and I chose clothes for the video. It was absolutely crazy.” For a young woman who grew up listening to The Black Eyed Peas and riding motorbikes around the Blue Mountains, it was a surreal experience. However, Anja is in her element when it comes to writing and recording. Since taking up the piano at the age of nine, she’s been penning her own songs. Her Danish-born father spun records as a DJ and her mother sang in choirs. The youngest of three siblings, Anja consumed her family’s varied musical influences. “As soon I could put together a few chords on the piano I started writing songs. And I’ve been writing ever since. I think it’s incredibly important as an artist to be able to pick up an instrument and to have song-writing as an outlet. You can interpret other people’s songs, too, but it’s important to have your own messages and your own ideas.” With a swag of new ideas and tracks up Anja Nissen’s sleeve, I’m So Excited is a landmark opening statement from Australia’s new favourite young singer. Home-grown and international in production and scope, the single is full of Anja’s personality and as breezy as a cruise along the coast. Get in. Enjoy the ride.