anna grace beatty
Anna Grace Beatty, a singer-songwriter based in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, has always had a lot to say to the world. She’s finally saying it with her debut EP, “Burns You Up,” releasing October 12th, 2018.
This record has been a few years in the making for Beatty. “I basically wrote and almost recorded an entire EP over a year ago and then trashed the whole thing,” Beatty says. “With help from my producer and others, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t ready to make a record yet. As cliché as it sounds, I had not yet ‘found my voice’ as a vocalist, songwriter, or as an artist overall. I went back into the writing process and some very different songs emerged. I got back in the studio and made work tapes with just my voice and a piano or acoustic guitar. No AutoTune, no reverb, nothing to cover up the rough spots. It was a really humbling experience, and, frankly, one that I needed – it made me realize that I wasn’t nearly as good as I thought I was.”
This process proved to be productive for Beatty and, in time, one song in particular flipped everything upside down and spurred the beginning of a project. “When I wrote “Ain’t No Man,” I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. It marked a significant change in my sound that was a little bit jarring for me at first,” she says. Despite her initial uncertainty, the new songs became more and more compelling as they came together. She says, “As I kept writing, I realized that the songs fit in a way that allowed me to honestly talk about what I’ve been through over the past year and a half and, really, my whole life.”
While making the record, Beatty found inspiration in some unfamiliar places. “I went through a lot that helped me write from a different perspective and ultimately changed me, both lyrically and musically. Rocky relationships, the emotional rollercoaster of my career, and the struggles of growing up resulted in a lot of emotions that were new to me.” Beatty adds, “These experiences changed the way I saw the world, and, in turn, the way I wrote lyrics.” Beatty says she was also exposed to many different types of music during this time. “I started listening to everything from rock to singer/songwriter to soul to alternative. This, combined with spending a lot more time in the studio, helped me to create a new sound, which I call Southern pop-rock.”
What she ended up with were the five songs that comprise “Burns You Up.” The record begins with “Miss Me,” a fiery call for vindication and redemption that also happens to be Beatty’s favorite song of her whole catalog. Next are the expansive keyboards of “Two Weeks,” the anthemic choruses of “Ain’t No Man,” the layered instrumentation of “Myself,” and the raw emotion of “Livin’ the Dream.” She says, “I love the fact that each song is very different from the one that came before it. Sonically, they all cover distinct ground, but I think my lyrical voice ties them together and gives them cohesion. Hopefully, it sounds like the same person at various points on the emotional spectrum.”
“Burns You Up” is now available on all online music services. Click here to stream the record on Spotify.