Alannah McCready Releases Back To Me — Her Very Personal, Songwriter/Artist Showcase EP

Photo Credit: Alex Berger, Weird Candy Creative Group

Grew up near Minneapolis, MN, balancing two passions: hockey and music. Attended the University of Madison, WI on a full athletic scholarship for women’s hockey — and played in two NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championships.

Upon graduating, you took a job doing PR for a sports management company in New York and began writing music again. Your uncle, a recording artist in Los Angeles, gave you a connection to a music producer in Nashville, who urged you to come to visit and test out a few songs. How has your sports background helped you in your music career?

I don’t think I realized until recent years just how much my athletic career had helped my music career. As an independent artist, the mentality is very similar to that of an athlete. This industry requires self-motivation because you must work on your craft every single day, knowing that you are never done learning. Also, being an athlete requires a lot of mental toughness. It teaches you how to win and lose — this is very helpful in an industry that is quite a rollercoaster from day to day.

You shared that you used to mimic the singers your Oklahoma native mom listened to — Reba, Trisha, Martina, and Shania — teaching yourself how to sing their songs. Which songs of theirs have most influenced your sound?

It’s probably cliché to say all of them, but honestly, I have looked up to all of them as artists and used to mimic their songs to teach myself how to sing certain runs and notes. Some of my favorites are “She’s In Love With The Boy” and “You’re Still The One.”

EP, Back To Me, offers an honest, fresh take on the ups and downs of love for each and every listener. Wanting to take the EP in a new direction from your previous releases, you involved brothers Sterling “David” Gittens Jr. and Will Gittens to be your sole collaborators on the project. “They are two of the most talented people I have ever met and my close friends, so I knew the project would be authentic because they knew me so well.” You shared that the songs, your first new releases in almost four years, showcase who you are as an artist and songwriter at this point in your career. How did working with Sterling and Will help you fall back in love with your music?

When quarantine hit, all touring obviously stopped, and that is what I had been doing for most of the previous three years. So, when everything was canceled, I decided I wanted to switch my focus and energy to a new original project. Will and Sterling are not only two of my closest friends but also an unreal duo of ridiculously talented musicians/producers. Because of these reasons, I knew they would help me create something authentically me and reflective of where I am as an artist and songwriter now. Also, writing with someone who knows you so well allows them to push you as a songwriter in ways that might not happen otherwise. We are wildly proud of how this project has turned out and are so excited for everyone to hear it!

“…A broken heart don’t fill an empty home …” “On My Own,” reflects on how society equates success and/or happiness with being in a relationship. What advice would you give a friend who is in an unhealthy relationship?

The best advice I can give is to ask them to think about what they would tell someone they cared about that was in the same situation. I would say that while it might seem hard now, but in the long run, it is better to look back and be glad that you didn’t settle for anything less than true happiness.

“I think country music is ready for me at this point. I feel like I’ve been ready for it for a while, but I feel like now we’re moving to a space where it’s finally ready for me.” How do you see yourself, within the country music genre, evolving over the next five years?

I think country music has come a long way in the last few years as far as the extremely talented women in our genre getting more airplay and recognition! I also think our genre has so much camaraderie and acceptance of all forms of country music in recent years. I see myself continuing to create authentic music that, hopefully, continues to resonate with country music fans!

Where do you like to go in Nashville with your travel buddy dog, Zoe?

Zoe comes almost everywhere with me! We like to go to the park near downtown. I love how many places in Nashville allow dogs, so my friends and I bring our dogs to many activities when the weather is nice! But, our favorite thing to do is sit on my deck at home and read a good book!

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