Before she began her singing career, ANIKA was a political journalist who spent her time between Berlin and Bristol, England. She met producer Geoff Barrow (of Portishead), who was looking for a female vocalist to work with his band Beak>. ANIKA joined the band in the studio and recorded nine songs, including a cover of Yoko Onoʼs "Yang Yang" in 12 days with no overdubs.
The result, „Anika“, was released by Barrowʼs Invada imprint in Europe and by Stones Throw Records in the U.S. and Japan in November 2010. ANIKA received positive reviews from contemporary critics; according to the music review aggregation of Metacritic, it garnered an average score of 65/100. The album also included covers of "Terry" by Lynn Ripley, "End of the World" by Skeeter Davis, "Masters of War" by Bob Dylan, and "I Go to Sleep" by The Kinks.
John Minton, who had previously directed music videos for Portishead, Robert Plant, and Amusement Parks on Fire, directed the promotional music video for ANIKAʻs cover of "Yang Yang". The song was later offered as the "Free MP3 of the Day" on Spinner. On her choice to cover the song for her album, ANIKA explained:
"I loved the way the words sounded and as an ex-politics student and political journalist, I thought the song would make a great cover. Yoko Ono is renowned for her political views but I think there was a dark side to the lyrics that the original version had not fully explored. This is where we came in ..."