Anna Margaret Michelle Calvi grew up near Putney, southwest London, with her older sister, now a writer. Both her English mother and Italian father are therapists practising hypnotherapy.
In her infancy Anna was forced to undergo two-and-a-half-years of treatments and operations to correct her dislocated hips - a condition she was born with.
Anna grew up being exposed to a multitude of genres of music by her father. She cites the classical composers Ravel and Debussy among her influences and aims to condense the grand ebb and flow of classical compositions into dark, romantic, atmospheric pop songs. "Musically, I love the sense of tension and release that you get a lot in orchestral music," she told The Guardian. "You get it in bite-sized form in pop music but I like to extend it and make the most of it, because I find it really exciting; the dynamics you get from really building something up until it's almost unbearable, then letting it go."
She started playing the violin aged six. Anna picked up her father's guitar two years later and taught herself to play to Jimi Hendrix
Anna studied both the violin and guitar during her music degree at Southampton University, graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2003.
Anna was signed to the Domino label after being spotted on the London gig circuit by former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones.
She is just 5-feet-tall but she likes being petite. "If you think about it, Kylie
's small and she's pretty cool," Anna pointed out to Q
magazine. "Edith Piaf was tiny, so I think I'm in good company."
Anna likes to write in isolation, in the dark hours when no one was around. "I write best at night time," she explained to The Independent. "My sweet spot is around 1 a.m. when I'm not too tired and it's late enough that I feel like I'm in the right place."
Anna is a strict vegetarian, which means touring life presents difficulties for the singer. "It's a bit of a nightmare," she told The Glasgow Evening Times. "It's really difficult in certain countries, like Germany and France, so I end up eating bread and cheese a lot. It's very glamorous…"
Asked by Q magazine if she has any skills that may surprise people, Calvi replied that she's good at keeping up a football - kicking it around 25 times before it lands on the ground. "I don't work on it like my singing," she added. "Maybe if I did I would be a incredible football player. I used to try to get people to call me Maradona when I was a kid."