She’s an accomplished singer and songwriter with a songbook of more than fifty published tracks. She’s equally comfortable singing in front of friends and family as she is navigating the national anthem in front of tens of thousands of baseball fans at a major league ballpark. And she’s already blown millions of people away on “Ellen” and “America’s Got Talent” with her powerful and deeply soulful voice.
Oh, and by the way, Anna Graceman is just 12 years old. On Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 the young Ms. Graceman will release her debut single, “Showtime,” an upbeat track about facing the pressure of being a kid and trying to fit in while staying true to one’s character. Written by Anna herself, the track was produced by highly sought-after musical director Will Hollis and is set for release on her own Another Girl label through INgrooves Fontana’s imprint for up-and-coming artists, Unknown Breakthrough.
The music video for “Showtime” debuts today on YouTube and can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ9_87swh3U. The clip was directed by David Palmer who has helmed music videos for such superstar artists as Toni Braxton, Lil Wayne and Mary J. Blige. The “Showtime” video features Anna whiling a few hours away in her bedroom doing what kids her age do – reading teen magazines, singing into the mirror and talking on the telephone. But there’s a deeper message behind the song.
“It’s about a young girl trying to figure out who she is, what her place is in the world and how she’ll find her way,” says Anna. “My favorite part of the songs is the bridge! ‘Mirror, mirror with disgrace, make me wanna hide my face…’ Don’t we all have those days when we just want to hide?!”
Since she was a toddler, Anna had the gift of music – “I’ve always been a music geek,” she laughs. She wrote and recorded lots of songs, many of which her proud dad recorded at home so they would be preserved. Then he decided to post them to YouTube where Anna and the extended family could enjoy them. When Anna was just nine years old, Ellen Degeneres discovered one of the tracks, “Paradise,” on YouTube and invited Anna to come to Los Angeles to perform on the show. She astounded both audience and host with her vocal talent and her endearing personality.
“It was the first time I ever performed in front of a large crowd,” recalls Anna. “And I’d never been on TV before. You know, I’m from Juneau which is a really small town, so all of my friends were really surprised and excited for me. I was nervous, of course, but Ellen is an amazing person and she is very easy to talk to, so that was really cool.”
A couple of weeks later Ellen invited the young singer back to the show to meet one of her idols, Taylor Swift. “She was so sweet and fun,” says Anna.
Anna’s wild ride in the music business was just beginning. In 2010 Anna had an opportunity to audition for “America’s Got Talent,” but she and her folks demurred. By 2011 Anna felt ready, and she flew to AGT’s Atlanta auditions where she performed Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” and promptly brought down the house.
“You’re just this little girl with this old soul in your voice, which is something that can’t be learned. You either have it or you don’t,” said judge Sharon Osbourne. Anna would make it all the way to the Top 10. “I’d never played anybody else’s songs before,” she says. “With my originals it’s easy to change it up if I make a mistake, but it’s definitely harder with covers because everybody knows the songs and so you have to make them the absolute best you can.”
Since then Anna has been balancing her studies and time with her family with sessions in the recording studio. She is hard at work on a collection of tracks which will comprise her debut album expected to be released later this year.
Until then it’s all about her debut single and video, “Showtime,” an inspiring track about facing the pressure of being a kid and trying to fit in while staying true to one’s character. One thing’s for sure, the young Ms. Graceman possesses both talent and character well beyond her years.