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article imageBig things ahead for 14-year-old singer who released new original Special

By Alex Allen     Mar 25, 2014 in Music
At the young age of 14, Portland's Anna Jane Bishop is already singing, acting, dancing and recording her own original music.
From singers to dancers to actors and comedians, the world is filled with amazing people who have the ability to do amazing things. Unfortunately, however, some of the greatest talent in the world often goes unrecognized. That’s why I make it my goal to showcase some of the most interesting, talented and perhaps under-appreciated people I come across.
My constant quest for overlooked talent most recently led me to 14-year-old Anna Jane Bishop. In many ways, Anna is just an average girl. She just started at a new high school where she takes weighted classes and runs cross country. She manages her school work, homework, extracurricular activities and social life like any other 14-year-old. What sets her apart, however, is her passion for performing arts.
Anna has released several covers of popular songs on ReverbNation and her YouTube channel but most recently, she has been working on music of her own. Her newly released original, "I’ll Remember You," showcases her style of clear, simple, vocally driven music. I was lucky enough to have a brief chat with the young performer just a few weeks after the release of I’ll Remember You and I soon discovered that this song barely scratches the surface of everything she is capable of.
In addition to having starred in several plays and musicals and working on her music career, Anna has also done an original web series for The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network and has been contributing to GirlZone and Miss Heard Mag. Knowing that school life itself can be a pain sometimes, one of the first things I questioned was how she manages to do all that she does while still in school. I was surprised to find that she doesn’t seem too worried about everything she has on her plate. “It can get a bit overwhelming,” she admitted. “But as long as I take it one day at a time, I manage to keep it in perspective. Mostly!”
Because Anna is involved with so much, I was also interested to know whether or not there's one aspect of her work she enjoys the most. So I asked her if she prefers acting or music or if she enjoys them both equally.
"It's funny that you ask that, because I have spent a lot of time trying to figure that out for myself," she said. "I enjoy doing musical theater, which includes singing AND acting (and sometimes dancing which I love). But I also enjoy doing straight theater, which is JUST acting. And I also enjoy singing in choir and recording in the studio."
She also mentioned that she loves doing music videos because they give her the opportunity to sing and act. Of course, it's worth pointing out, as she did, that she still has plenty of time to find her niche. "All in all, I think that I enjoy it all equally right now," she said. "I am still sorting it all out. I'm only 14!" Point taken.
Still, music seems to be one of the most prominent parts of her life. She has grown up around music, with her father playing guitar and banjo and her entire family apparently having a love for 70s Classic Rock. She even cited Lynyrd Sknyrd, Elton John, and Norah Jones as some of her musical inspirations, in addition to the vocalists in musical theater who she appreciates for the raw talent they showcase without any studio manipulations.
Anna Jane Bishop recording in the studio  photo from Reverb Nation.
Anna Jane Bishop recording in the studio, photo from Reverb Nation.
Reverb Nation Photos
Since Anna is both young and involved in music, I was curious as to what her opinion was on the way the youth is targeted with certain music. I asked if she though modern music and popular culture were speaking to young people in a positive way and here's what she had to say:
"There are definitely some negative influences out there. Take celebrities, for example. Kids and teens idolize them, so when we see overdose after overdose, and blatant bad behavior with no repercussions we aren't getting the best message. The entertainment industry is telling fans it's OK to be rude, do drugs, get in trouble, and go to rehab. Really??!! My main goal is to be real. I want to embrace the true life of a teen, and be easy to relate to. With me you get what you see. A normal teenage girl who does lots of activities, cares (a lot) about school and grades, needs her 'chill time,' plays with her little sister, and hangs out with friends on the weekends (NOT at the mall) to go running, do schoolwork, or practice lacrosse."
In the interest of not undermining her acting and filmmaking abilities by talking too much about her music, I decided to chat a little about some of her work in those fields. One of the most recent film projects she worked on was a short web series for The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, a "YouTube channel turned online network." I spoke with the head of the Sunshine Girl network, Paige McKenzie, for a previous article last year. She, her mother Mercedes Rose, and Producer Nick Hagen make up Coat Tale Productions and have recently been looking for other content creators to add to the content on their main YouTube channel. Anna decided to take advantage of this casting call and started developing a "haunting series."
"I had so much fun doing the series!" she said. "Ever since I was little, my sister and I would make little movies on my Flip Video Camera, so when I actually got to make videos that would be posted somewhere, I couldn't believe it! I had such a blast, and I'm sad that it's over. However, it made me realize how much I enjoy film making, so I plan to look into that some more." She went on to explain that she loved working with Paige, Mercedes, and Nick and that she loves the Haunting of Sunshine Network.
Anna currently works with Producer Kevin DeClue of DeClue Music Proudtions. DeClue started out as a performer himself before transitioning to production and songwriting. He has produced and written for several big name artists, including Hilary and Haylie Duff. Many of his clients have been signed by major record labels.
As for Anna, she's certainly on the road to success already. Despite having already done so much at her young age, you can rest assured that we will be seeing big things from this rising young star very soon!
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