Readers may remember Wilmington’s Annie Tracy from her 2014 audition on NBC’s “The Voice.” The then 17-year-old sang Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” for the judges. Though she didn’t move on to the next round, she did score a hug from Adam Levine and continues to pursue her musical career.
The young artist is now entering her junior year at PACE School of Performing Arts in New York City, where she’s earning her BFA in musical theater. “This was my top choice of a school,” she tells. “So when I got in it was a dream come true. Studying musical theater and the arts in NYC is a very magical experience and I feel very blessed.”
Tracy is also celebrating the release of her first major EP. She’s making it a bit of a homecoming event as well, with release party on Friday, Aug. 25 at Dram + Morsel in downtown Wilmington at 10 p.m. The EP will also be available on iTunes and Spotify and other music platforms as well.
encore spoke with Tracy about her upcoming show and new music.
encore (e): What are you learning about yourself as an artist and music at Pace Performing Arts? What have been some significant influences thus far?
Annie Tracy (AT): By studying musical theater for the past two years in school, I have realized how important it is to find your own voice. I have loved learning how to dive into so many different characters and discover what makes them who they are. It is magical transforming into someone else and telling their story. While I love sharing special stories through theater, I have learned that I want to make sure I do that on my own as well.
e: How is that influence reflected in this EP?
AT: I usually tell other peoples stories though theater every summer, but I decided to dedicate this summer into creating my own story through music.
e: Tell us about the recording experience—this was your first, right?
AT: I have recorded a few small things through the years, but nothing this big and nothing I am this proud of. My NYC bass player, Owen Yost, connected me with this amazing talent, Rich Lamb, who I recorded the EP with. We recorded the whole EP in one day at his awesome little studio in Tribeca. Everyone was there and so excited to collaborate and make music! Including my mom and my 90 pound dog, Leo! He loved hitting the PAWS Button and working on the RUFF Mixes (we liked to joke).
e: All of these are lovely songs and writing, but are there a couple you could share more specifics about their origins and meaning?
AT: All of my songs have a very strong meaning behind them, but the main one is “Locked.” The EP is titled “Locked” because this song started it all. I was on The Voice season 6 and that experience transformed who I am as an artist. When I left the show, I wrote this song about my experience there and it helped me to move on and shape who I was as an artist. I will be explaining more about it all at the show, but “Locked” is a very special one. It has to do with following your dreams and not letting anything stop you. “Even miracles take a little time, so I got to stay strong and keep my heart in line. I know what really happened, but it’s kept up in a lock” are some of the lyrics.
e: “People Meet” is a particularly cute tune/duet: Who is singing with you? There’s fun chemistry in the song.
AT: Nygel Robinson, my amazing writing partner and close friend is singing with me on “People Meet” and “Ain’t Worth Livin.” Him and I wrote those songs together in NYC. We both love musical theater, soul music and are heavily inspired by Chance the Rapper, so we mixed all those together and came up with these fun upbeat story telling love songs!
e: Are you playing any of the instrumentals?
AT: I wrote all these songs on piano and guitar and then gave my writing partner / best friend, Nygel, the freedom to make them more special with his amazing piano skills. He plays the piano on the whole EP and I play the guitar.
e: Are we going to hear all of these songs at the release party? Tell us more about what people can expect this weekend.
AT: I will be playing all of the songs on the EP at the release party/show on Friday night and explaining what inspired me to write each one! I will also be singing three special covers, including a song that I sang as my blind audition song on “The Voice.”
e: Is there anything else you’d like to add about this EP, school or returning to Wilmington for the release?
AT: I grew up doing theater in Wilmington and I discovered my love for performing here. I am so grateful for the love and support the Wilmington community has showed me through the years and for the opportunity to share my new music with everyone on Friday night. The Wilmington arts community is filled with so much love and talent and I feel so grateful to be a small apart of it.
My music will be available on all music platforms including iTunes and Spotify on Friday, Aug. 25! Follow me on Instagram @annietracy for future updates and details.