Sixteen-year-old Annalee Yager has long had her eyes on a music career, and at 6:30 p.m. tonight she is releasing her first original song titled Magnolia on all streaming platforms.
Yager has always found joy in singing, and she can’t remember when she wasn’t involved with music. She is part of her church and high school choirs, along with creating a solo platform for her music.
“I have always loved it from the start,” she said.
Yager began writing songs when she was about 13 years old and said that she most enjoys watching them come to life. Originally she was working alone, but a couple of years ago she began working with producer Matt Gray of Gray Sky Music.
“I write because I thought of a cool story or something that happened, and then I make it into a new story with more details … I drag it out,” she said of her technique. “I will write the song, create a melody and maybe sit on it for a few days. Then, I will take it back out and edit it or change the melody to make it better.”
Yager accompanies her lyrics with the piano or guitar, both of which she said she can use to create the basis of the song. She sings daily and is in the recording studio every couple of months to “lay it down.” She records demos with Gray, but said the time she spends recording depends on the project.
She also works with artistic developer Jeff Teague of Artist & Repertoire in Nashville, who has helped her develop her fashion and musical production and coordinates the booking of studio time, tech, and all of the musicians which make her music come to life.
Yager has dabbled in the country genre but prefers what she calls organic pop because it is more catchy and relatable in her choice of lyrics. She hopes to schedule some performance gigs this summer and get her name out.
“I enjoy seeing people’s faces,” she said. “When I get up on stage and everything blanks out and becomes blurry … it’s so hard to explain, but I just want to make people happy.”
With her musical release on Friday, Yager said she is excited and nervous simultaneously.
“It really is a huge thing to put it out there,” she said. “I am good at making sure I don’t care what people think [about my music], but it’s also really hard.”
She has co-written a song with a Nashville teen, and she said that song will be released soon as well.
As for her future, Yager said she really hopes music is in it somehow.
“It’s fun for me and I wouldn’t be mad if it was my job – something with creative music,” she said.
For now, Yager is most interested in developing her music, lyrics and melodies.
“I definitely think people should follow their dreams,” Yager said. “It’s what makes them happy in the long run.”