When I met Anna Nalick, she was celebrating her 22th birthday. The funny thing about being famous on your birthday is that you get a lot of gifts from strangers. So far today she's gotten three birthday cakes, and it's only lunch time.
Reflecting on birthday's past, this time five years ago, Anna had just gotten kicked out of her all girls' private school, witnessed the end her first bad relationship, and was in the process of turning her dreams of becoming a musician into reality. It was also during this period of time when Anna says she first started to feel herself growing up.
"That time in my life really shaped who I am today."
Those 'life changing' events would soon be written about, recorded, and collected to create her debut album, Wreck of the Day. A beautiful and sophisticated portrait of life, love, and everything in between, Wreck has quickly become a popular purchase for music lovers. The first single, "Breathe (2am)", has been a constant favorite on Top 40 stations across North America, as well as appearing in numerous television shows and movies.
Not only a talented singer and musician, Anna can also take complete credit for all of the songwriting on the album. Drawing both from personal experiences and those of people close to her, Anna's lyrics are honest and relatable. Has her songwriting changed as much as her new lifestyle has?
"I don't think the themes in my songs have changed anymore than they would if I was doing anything," she says. "Your life, week by week, month by month, year by year, changes."
And for the past five years, life's really been changing for her. From humble beginnings of recording her songs on a Rainbow Brite recorder to soon stepping into the studio to work with legendary producer Steve Lillywhite (U2), Anna's practically been living her fantasy. Not only has she met many of her childhood idols such as Paula Cole, The Wallflowers, and Blind Melon, but she's also been able to tour with some of them as well. Currently she is on tour opening for one such idol, Rob Thomas.
"The first time I sang 'Push' on stage with Rob was really exciting," she says. "I used to listen to his songs and wish that I could be as good of a songwriter as him. I remember listening to that song [when I was twelve and thirteen] and thinking 'I'm never going to be cool like that, I'm never going to be able to write a song like that, teacher's don't like me, so-and-so doesn't want to be my boyfriend÷ and then here I was singing to all these people that were actually enjoying it."
Yes, birthdays have changed for Anna Nalick. From quiet celebrations at home in Pasadena, California, to jet setting around the country sharing the stage with her childhood hero's, life's a little different now. With a life as good as hers, what more can she ask for next year's birthday?
"I hope that next year I'm at home with my family on my birthday."
For more information please visit www.annanalick.com.
Writer: Sarah Shandl