BY TRACY ZOLLINGER TURNER
Anna Wrasse is pretty sure she penned her first song on the notes app of her smartphone when she was 10. “Then I probably deleted it,” she says, laughing. “I probably thought it was horrible.”
A little uncertainty and self-consciousness didn’t keep her from pushing forward, albeit quietly. At 11, she wrote several more songs, but preserved them in her phone-bound secret stash, out of sight of friends and family.
After about a year of privately scripting and scrapping, she finally felt she had written one or two compositions that were good enough to share with her mother. New opportunities have been opening up for Wrasse ever since. And in September, she won the Ferdinand Folk Festival Singer Songwriter Showcase for 2016 in the under-18 category, which earned her a performance slot at the festival in Dubois County, Indiana.
Wrasse’s interest in music began when she started playing piano at the age of 6. As she shifted her attention to composing, she began to focus on playing guitar, the instrument of choice for most singer-songwriters. She says working on stories and poems at a local Young Women Writing for (a) Change writing camp also helped transform her into a burgeoning songsmith.
The 13-year-old is an eighth-grade student at Jackson Creek Middle School, where she has joined the school rock band. Earlier this year, she released a seven-song debut CD titled At Night, and she’s scheduled to play at various area festivals, markets, and events well into 2017.
Wrasse says she hopes to take her music to a higher production level on a more official CD soon. Until now, her work has been recorded solely with guitar and vocals, but she eventually wants to fill out the songs with piano, bass, drums, and perhaps even ukulele tracks — and she wants to perform them all herself.
Wrasse keeps her personal diary private but says she tries to “take out the things I think other people will relate to and put those in the songs.”
Her song “Burn,” with lyrics about overcoming shyness, has been one she finds resonates with audiences. “Several people have come up to me and said ‘Oh, I’m really shy, so that song helps,’” she says.
To hear Anna Wrasse’s music and find out more about her upcoming performances, visit annawrasse.com.