Annie wrote me the sweetest note about my own music (yes, if you don’t know who writes all these lil blogs, I’m Jen Miller! *waves). It totally made my day and her kind, considerate personality came through immediately, so I’m glad to share a bit of her story.
Annie didn’t always know she wanted to be a musician, but she always knew she’d be a performer. After growing up a steady diet of musical theater and an obsession for Broadway, she trained in musical theater for about a decade of her youth, until the concept of constantly auditioning led her to put her dream on the back burner. But in college, Annie found songwriting.
She shared a bit about the creative & production process of her album Livin’ Right:
“[I] was starting to feel disillusioned as to why I was a songwriter. Was it just to sing about my feelings? What was the end game? So I looked at something else I’m passionate about – activism and the environment – and I decided to make it a part of my career as an artist.”
To Annie, her identities as an activist and as an artist are superfluous. “Music has this unparalleled ability to reach people and meet them wherever they are,” she said. “I remember lying on my mom’s bed feeling very depressed and dejected about the current state of affairs in America, and my mom told me that Bob Dylan and the protest folk artists of the sixties and seventies were influenced by the horrors of the Vietnam War and that now it was our turn to speak up. So I’ve always looked at music as this vibrant and uncontainable way to spread ideas and hope”.
“I’ve always looked at music as this vibrant and uncontainable way to spread ideas and hope.”
Even 10% of the proceeds from Annie Stokes’ album Livin’ Right goes towards something she cares deeply about. She works with Conservation Music – an organization based in Washington, D.C. – whose mission is to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts, with an emphasis on rural developing communities. Conservation Music was started by Alex Paullin, who is a familiar name in the DC music scene.
She says, “This organization immediately spoke to me because it combines local musical traditions to create music media with a message of sustainability in rural areas in Africa. The premise is that people will connect more with conservation when it’s presented to them using their own culture, so I think it’s an innovative and respectful way of helping communities.”
Pick up a copy of Annie Stokes’ new album Livin’ Right for a few bucks to support a good cause HERE.
Annie’s Girl Gang Music Picks
“I drove my sister to a concert in DC to see them and ended up falling in love with their quirky yet very raw and powerful lyrics.”
“Aplin runs her own label. I love it when women run their own shows, because oftentimes women and femmes and GNB people are up against this ancient stereotype that a man has to be in charge, or a man has to sign off on the business side of things, and I’m definitely here for the destruction of that idea.”
And a closing note from Annie:
“It’s never been more important for us to speak up, act with love, and have each other’s backs. I’m grateful to be in an industry with so many other strong and outspoken humans!”