Nashville-based alternative pop artist, Anna Mae, has spent the last year crafting and writing the album of her dreams. Following the first two releases off the project, “Bond Girl” and “Roaring 20s,” arrives her latest single, “Coming Of Age,” in all it’s bittersweet nostalgic glory. She already has over 150 sync placements under her belt, including multiple movie trailers (On The Basis Of Sex, etc.) commercials (The Bachelorette, Toyota Super Bowl, etc.) and in-show features (Orange Is The New Black, The Bold Type, etc.). She is now diving head first into the next phase of her musical journey, a 2-part album. “In many ways, I think this project is me coming back to my roots. It’s me making the thing I’ve always dreamt of, but just didn’t know how to create in the past.”
Follow Anna Mae @annamaemusic
Hi Anna Mae, please tell us a little about you?
Hi! I’m an alt-pop artist that currently lives in Nashville, but I originally grew up in Minnesota. My days are filled with singing, writing songs, hiking, learning french, listening to podcasts, and journaling while I listen to Kacey Musgraves, Bruce Springsteen, or ABBA.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Driven, passionate, introspective
How did you get started in the business?
I started performing at coffee shops back in high school and then decided to move to Nashville when I graduated to fully dive into pursuing music. Once I got to town, I studied music business at Belmont so that I’d have an understanding of the industry I was getting myself into, which was super helpful. And then for a few years, I honestly just worked as hard as I knew how to and wrote with everyone I could. Through different people I met and worked with, I got handed a few opportunities that resulted in my music being used on TV and that’s when I feel like my career in music officially “started.”
How has this changed your life?
Doing music full-time has been my dream ever since I was little. And so to truly be living out my dream is surreal and I’m forever grateful for it. I really do feel insanely lucky to get to write and sing songs each day.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I guess I sort of answered this earlier but I’ll dive into it a little more! I initially got a couple internships/jobs in the industry during college. They weren’t on the creative side of the industry – I was mainly sitting behind a desk sending a lot of emails for other artists. And while I was grateful for the opportunity, I just knew there was someone else better suited for that job. So I quit and started nannying and serving while I wrote songs on the side, until I was able to do music full time after I got my first song on TV.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
dreamy, alternative, nostalgic
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
My list of influences is probably endless to be honest. Making music has felt engrained in me since I was little and a lot of that probably has to do with my family. My mom was a piano teacher and would usually direct the church kids’ musicals and my dad was always really into just good music – Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys. And then my older siblings also dabbled in music some, and so I think that made it feel natural for me.
Do you play any instrument?
I play guitar! I’ll be very honest and say I’m not the most incredible guitar player in the world, but I do love playing it. It’s been a really important piece of my career because it gave me the opportunity to play acoustic shows back when I was first getting started and has given me an instrument to write with.
Do you ever get nervous?
Most definitely! I wish I didn’t, but I do. When I’m in the rhythm of playing shows more often, then the nerves aren’t near as strong but if it’s been a minute since I’ve played, they are very present. But in the last year I’ve been learning that I get much less nervous when I’m performing music that I feel truly reflects me.
Tell us about your new single “Coming of Age?”
It’s a song that’s really close to my heart and I’ve been so excited to get it out. It’s about nostalgia and the bittersweet moments of growing up.
What’s the story behind the song?
I had the title for awhile and then one day I had a session with my friend Emily Haber and my producer Cason Cooley, and we wrote it! His studio is next door to my house (so lovely and convenient) and so it was written and recorded there. I remembered being in middle school and being aware that I was in my awkward stage and wondering what I was going to be like when I “grew up.” So we started writing the song from that moment and pretty much brought it up to my life now.
Now tell us about your music featured on The Bachelorette? That’s amazing, Congrats! 🙂
Aw thank you! I still can’t believe they used my music. I grew up watching The Bachelor and Bachelorette and so I was in complete shock and heaven when I found out. Over the course of the last 2 Bachelorette seasons, they’ve used 3 of my songs in different commercials promoting the show. So thankful.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Honestly, a lot of days it can feel like as a writer you’re making a lot of songs that won’t be heard or that don’t matter. And then on some days, it feels like everything clicks and a song flows out so freely and it feels literally divine. And when you get to see those songs release and other people connect with them? There is nothing better 🙂
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
There is an undeniable confidence that comes from just being yourself. I’ve spent a lot of time in music trying to create what I thought other people wanted me to create, and it always left me feeling insecure and like I was relying on other people’s reactions for my worth. The last couple years I’ve stepped into making the music that feels natural to me, and it feels so different in the best way. Now in a writing room, on stage, or anywhere else, I feel like I can back myself without waiting for someone else to do it for me.
How would your best friend describe you?
I asked a couple of them to give me a few descriptive words and this is what I got – dedicated, spicy, and thriving! Haha, I’ll take it.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Don’t waste time trying to be someone else. Just embrace the way you were made, from your looks to your art to your vulnerabilities. They’ll actually end up being your strength.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Redemption & Dreams. I don’t know if that sounds cheesy but it feels accurate! I think the wounds I’ve experienced in my life continue to be redeemed later on. Whether it’s an insecurity or something hurtful that someone said to me, I’ve seen that very thing be turned around later. And dreams because SO much of my life has revolved around following my dreams and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s next for Anna Mae for 2022?
More releases and writing! And hopefully more shows and recording. I’ll be putting out a full project in the coming months that I am ecstatic about. And also have a few writing sessions coming up with people I’ve admired for awhile so it’ll be really fun to work with them and see what comes of it!
How would you explain your fashion style?
One of my recent releases was called “Bond Girl” and in my head, that sort of has a specific fashion style that I associate with it. It’s a mix of vintage, sexy, and classy and I feel like most of what I wear fits into those categories.
What is your own definition of happiness?
To me, it’s being able to enjoy and embrace your everyday life.
Do you support any charity?
I do! I support a few different ones but some of my favorites to support are IJM (International Justice Mission – They work to end slavery around the world) and Mercy Multiplied (They house and help girls coming out off sex trafficking, abuse, and other life-controlling situations.)
Favorite song? Why?
It changes over time but my favorite song this past year has been “Strange” by Celeste. I first heard it while watching Bridgerton and honestly, it’s just such a beautiful song. I never get sick of it.
What do you think of Social Media?
I have a love/hate relationship with it – I’m a visual person and so I do find it super inspiring when it comes to fashion or even writing music. So that part I love! And I do love that it lets me connect with people listening to my music that I otherwise wouldn’t get to. Getting a sweet fan note on Instagram is always so special to me. But I do feel like it can also be a toxic space in a lot of our lives for many reasons, and that part I’m not a fan of.
Where we can follow you?
I’m most active on Instagram! @annamaemusic
I’m also getting more into TikTok and I have the same handle there 🙂
Twitter – @AnnaMae_Music
Cover: Kenzie Maroney
Sofa: Bethany R Reed