noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Anna Shoemaker is a singer/songwriter living in New York City.
YJ: What’s your current hustle?
AS: Singer/songwriter!! Side hustle for that extra $$$ is nannying two hilariously brilliant and freakishly self-aware little girls on the upper east side.
YJ: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?
AS: Yes, I used to sing and put on concerts for my parents and sister all the time, I was obsessed with the spice girls, Britney spears and Sheryl crow. I also started writing songs at a young age but it was more therapeutic for me than anything-- I don’t really think anyone even knew I was doing it. And then once I learned the guitar it all really clicked- I started recording myself with this shitty little mic which is how I feel like I really learned how to experiment with the sound of my own voice rather than imitating others. Music has been pretty much a life long obsession— there's never been another option.
YJ: What’s the most memorable career advice you’ve received?
AS: My dad gives reeeeeally good advice, he told me that if you're honest, upfront and true to yourself you will be able to smell bullshit from a mile away. I hate confrontation so its hard sometimes for me to be super upfront but I am getting better, I’m starting to think it might be the most important thing when you’re pursing something creative like music because preserving your identity and message is everything.
YJ: What’s been your biggest obstacle?
AS: I get in my head a lot. Usually it's anxiousness but I also am easily overwhelmed especially when I’m dealing with things I’ve really put my heart into. I’m really just starting out taking all of this seriously, up until a couple of months ago I was a poetry major in Colorado writing songs playing in shitty bars and tiny coffee shops where no one was listening to me and occasionally putting songs on Soundcloud. At first when more people got involved over the past couple of months I looked at it as loosing control over my music and image which has been so personal and special to me but I’m slowly learning that it’s not like that at all— if you work with people you can trust and who believe in the YOU (the real you) it will only take anxiety away.
YJ: If you could tell your younger self one thing about life, what would it be?
AS: DO NOT FEEL WEIRD ABOUT BEING DIFFERENT— YOU SHOULD PROBABLY FEEL FUCKING WEIRD IF YOU FIT IN.
YJ: Where do you find inspiration, when needing it?
AS: Really anywhere, I’m mostly really interested in relationships and love and how all of that shit works. I used to try and stir up trouble in my relationships just so I’d have something to write about (really twisted, I know) but I really really reeeeeally fell in love for realz a couple of months ago and writing has come so much more organically which has been inspiring in itself. (Also it’s a waaaaaay healthier process). I’m also inspired by the different places I go, I just moved to New York this past September and the songs I write here have such a different feel than the ones I write at home in Philly or even the ones I wrote in college in Colorado. I think different places have different energies— I really want to travel more!
YJ: What has been the most fulfilling moment in your career so far?
AS: Literally every step towards being able to share my music has felt fulfilling- there really isn't a moment I can pin point. I felt really incredibly trapped in college. I still wrote music but I was so constantly distracted by bullshit— after I graduated (this past may) I spent two months in my childhood bedroom this summer writing and recording demos everyday all day and it was the most liberating feeling in the world. It was like I had previously just been going through the motions not really understanding or taking charge of my life and I just had this crazy moment of clarity like “OH this is how my life needs to be, this is what I need to be doing, this makes sense”.
YJ: What are you still looking to achieve?
AS: I still haven’t officially put any music out so that’s what I’m looking to achieve right now.
YJ: What would you say to someone who may think that their talent is not an ideal or possible career path?
AS: I would say that I don’t think anyone knows what they’re doing really— not even people who are on “ideal” career paths, so if you’re going to have to learn how to walk any path it should be the one you’re passionate about. :)
YJ: What do you see the future holding?
AS: Ramen!!!! Hopefully lots of ramen.
For more of Anna follow her here.