Anna Thorsen Put the quarantine to good use by recording her single “I Think This Is Love” in its entirety during the lockdown. “It was such a release and real fun and obviously because of the pandemic I wasn’t going anywhere so I really took my time with it. I never actually planned to release it, so there wasn’t really any pressure to finish it and it took me about a year to complete the song and decide to release it. The song sounded completely different at first and went through many different stages before reaching the final draft. I had never made a beat or written an actual song before so it was super exciting to experiment with all aspects of production and songwriting. It was like a crash course for me too as I was completely new to all this,” she admits.
Focusing on music helped him cope with the drastic changes of starting college on top of COVID. “I graduated from high school and entered my freshman year of college in 2020, and I really wanted to look forward to something because I couldn’t make a lot of those original high school/college memories the ‘normal’ way, and making this song was a must. There was something like that. That’s what really made me realize that I wanted to make my own music. I put off making music for so long because I didn’t know how and I think a part of me was too scared to try, but when I finally let myself try, I definitely fell in love and I’m much more comfortable now writing and production.” Her sound discovery is still a work in progress. “Honestly I think I’m still developing my sound every day, but I really love to experiment with production and just sing/write how I feel, my I think that’s the only way to do it. I would never write something I didn’t know, because I don’t want to be anything but authentic when it comes to my music. I think the more you apply yourself, the better you get. I also think because I had certain influences growing up that translate into my music now. As a kid I listened to artists like JoJo, Kelly Clarkson, Natasha Bedingfield, Rihanna and many others that I think definitely helped shape my voice.”
Anna’s latest single, “Party Girl’s Lament,” explores the mirage of escapism that substances supposedly provide. “It’s about a girl who can’t escape her problems, even though she tries to use drugs/alcohol. The song follows him through a bad party and takes you through all his thoughts and feelings. This song is inspired not only by my experiences with drug and alcohol addiction at a young age, but by the people around me, who are not yet 21, who are going through the same thing. It took me about a week to complete. After my friend Matt sent me a guitar loop I really liked, I just started messing around with vocals on it and I liked the way it was going. I had bits and pieces of songs written but they were all parts of other songs, so I took out all the parts that blended well together and made a new song out of my old songs, which often happens when I’m writing.”
Addiction took hold of Anna as a teenager, due to mental illness. “I think the root of it was depression and anxiety. I didn’t have the emotional maturity to fully understand what I was going through at the time and how to cope without a substance. High school was pretty hard on me, especially towards the end, so I would use substances to escape my feelings without realizing I was doing something wrong. I’ve been caught in a nearly four-year cycle of prioritizing substance over everything else in my life. Only in the past few months have I finally started to overcome my addiction issues and I have never felt happier and more excited in my life! He thinks it’s time we more critically re-examine permissive attitudes around youth and drinking. “I think heavy drinking has become normalized at such a young age in the United States, especially with college kids. I think it gets pushed under the rug and is generally seen as kids being wild and crazy, but I think it can easily get to a point where you can do too much and it can be dangerous. It’s very easy to develop an addiction problem when you don’t have to worry about your parents being around and you suddenly have all the freedom to do whatever you want in your own space. Addiction almost always goes hand-in-hand with mental illness, so if you don’t take care of your mental health, it’s very easy to get caught up in substance abuse.” It’s crucial that we draw a clear line between party culture and addiction. “I think it’s about Talking helps a lot, because many people may not even realize that their own habits are unhealthy until someone else talks about their experience. At least in my experience, I know that it took me a while to realize that I had a problem, and actually talk about it. It just took longer to do something. I also know that there are a lot of other artists who have talked about their own issues in the past, and I think the more people are in a place where they can be honest and want to share their experiences, the more awareness there will be. may be raised.”
Anna wants to share her story in an effort to inspire more conversation about youth substance abuse. “I’m just going to talk about my personal experience in the hope that someone will listen and it will help them heal. Hopefully in the future I can do something with charity and help on a bigger scale, but for now having conversations with friends and family and making music about it is how I’m going to try to break that stigma. He continues to balance music and education. “I plan to have a self-produced EP out by the end of the year, and I’m trying to play some shows locally here in NYC. I’m currently in school for music production and should be graduating next August, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about producing and composing. I’ll just keep writing and hopefully I’ll be out with more music soon.” We can’t wait to see Anna fully regain her composure and grow as an artist!