Anna Mae (AM) is ready to take over the music scene. The Minnesota-to-Nashville artist already has some great things out there, with two singles already gaining a ton of attention. Anna Mae isn͛t stopping there, though— she will be releasing her third single, “Modern Art” in the spring. When she isn’t making awesome sounds, this cool girl can be found at coffee shops or hanging out with friends. We caught up with her to chat about the industry, her new music, and dreams for the future.
How did you get into making music?
AM — I’ve been singing and creating songs ever since I can remember so it’s always been a part of me. One of the first songs I wrote is called “Birdies, Birdies, Tweet, Tweet,” which also has choreographed dance moves (Co-writing cred shout out to my cousin Lydia Goris). Thankfully my songs have come quite a ways since then. I definitely went through a phase in middle school where I was super embarrassed of my voice but then in high school I started to get back into it. I took up guitar because both of my brothers were doing it. From there I started playing covers and writing my own songs. My first real performance was playing at my high school talent show as a freshman and winning the People’s Choice Award. While that sounds like a lame start, it was a super pivotal moment for me. It gave me the confidence to start really pursuing and playing music. I feel like things have been a constant build since just taking that first step.
How has the transition from Minnesota to Nashville influenced your music?
AM — Wow, its influenced my music so much. Nashville has challenged me to be better in every way imaginable. Its inspired me to learn more about music and how to make it well. It͛s also taught me that I’ll never be the best at all things music, but that’s okay. I just need to know who I am as an artist and be the best at that. That realization has freed me up to think more creatively and go after the ideas that are already inside of me instead of trying to copy how anyone else does things.
You’re gearing up for the release of a new single— how are you preparing for that?
AM — Right now that looks like finishing up the recording process. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to different music that I like and picking specific aspects or sounds that I want to use for this song. My producer, Paige Blue, is really amazing and so I’ve been spending lots of time with her and my manager, Kelsey Ferguson, just figuring out exactly what I want this song to be. Also daydreaming about the video and promo for it.
Anything you can tell us about it?
AM — I can tell you that I’m super pumped to hear what people think about this one. It’s called “Modern Art”. Musically, it’s super catchy but my favorite thing about this one is definitely the lyrics. I’d like to think it hits on a personal and important topic in a way that Twenty One Pilots does really well. They often call out things that our society does (and we do) without even realizing it. And they do it in a cool way that brings light to a cultural habit. I feel like this song does that a little bit.
What is your writing process like?
AM — My writing process usually looks like me sitting on my bed with my guitar and an open journal. I’ll just start playing random chords and then sing whatever comes to my head and pray that it turns out to be something good! I also started doing a lot of co-writing over the past year, which is a cool change of pace for writing, especially when it͛s with writers that I really mesh well with.
Who or what would you say your biggest influence is?
AM — There are a million different things (people, artists, situations) that have influenced me in really deep ways. Musically and personally, Lissie has been a major influence. She’s a super cool artist with a voice I adore. It’s probably my favorite that exists in the world. And I love how she just always does her own thing. She makes the music she wants to make. Sings the way she wants to sing. She doesn’t try to do anything but be herself which I love.
When you are not creating or performing, what do you like to do with your free time?
AM — I love just sitting in coffee shops and journaling so I spend tons of time doing that. I love my people so most of my days include just hanging out with friends (which is also usually at a coffee shop). And when the weather is nice, I’m all about hiking and running and Netflix, I’m really into Friends right now.
Where do you hope to be with your music in 5 years?
AM — I hope that in 5 years I’ll feel like I’ve ‘made it’. I hope to have already been on a big tour and that I thrive on an arena stage. And why not throw a Grammy in there for kicks?! Yeah, I’ll definitely put winning a Grammy on that list. Maybe, ‘Best New Artist’?
Who is your dream collaboration?
AM — Hmm… wonderful question. Part of me would say Paul McCartney just because I’m a crazy Beatles fan so to collab with him would be insanely cool. But also I grew up listening to Coldplay so Chris Martin would also be up there on that list too.
What advice do you have for other young female artists looking to get into the industry?
AM — Just start. Just start taking the very first steps. The baby steps often feel insignificant but I promise they’re not. They are so important. This industry is all about working hard and constantly building on the foundation you already have. I don’t think there is really a golden ticket in music to true success. You just have to start and keep going even when it feels like people don’t care. Because the longer and harder you work, the more people will start to take notice. And when you’re in the middle of it, there are a lot of tough days. But keep taking those steps because the beauty on the other side is so worth fighting through the discouragement for.