While the final qualifier episode may be approaching on Monday night, we were still able to squeeze in an interview with Ada LeAnn representing Michigan! Ada is originally from Battle Creek Michigan and is one of the youngest singers and songwriters competing on the show this year. Learn more about how she’s balancing her school life and ASC, and how she fogot she submitted a song in our interview below!
Hello Ada – I’m so excited to speak with you today and help our readers get to know you better! Why don’t you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Hi!! Yes! I’m Ada, I’m 17 and I’m a singer songwriter from Michigan!!
Of course, you are representing your home state of Michigan this year in the American Song Contest. How has your life changed since the cast announcement was made?
Honestly, I have seen an immense amount of support. Everyone, especially in my home state, has been insanely supportive. Also seeing my name in huge articles like PEOPLE and BILLBOARD was like “holy moly” haha.
And you are also competing in the contest while you are still in high school. How difficult has it been to balance your coursework, personal life, and ASC prep all at once?
It has been WORK. I am telling ya’. To be honest with you, I already kind of struggle with time management and so this on top of it has been a hustle. With that being said, its like the coolest thing ever to have to manage, so… that makes it okay with me.
Now our readers are from all over the world, and they might not know much about Michigan. What are some facts or characteristics about your state that our readers need to know?
We have the longest running freshwater shoreline in the world, its approx. 3000 MILES and also we literally use our hands as maps here because Michigan is shaped like a mitten!!
Ah yes the “what part of the hand are you from” trick, all of my Michigan friends do that so I know exactly what you mean! Changing subjects, how did you first learn that you had a passion and talent for music? At what point did that passion transition into a career for you?
I always loved to sing but I didn’t start writing until late elementary school. I started writing a lot of poetry throughout middle school and began putting it to music. I would always write in class while I was supposed to be working and realized quickly that it was something I wanted to always be doing. I started recording and releasing music with my producer when I entered high school and just being in the studio the first few times was really magical. I love everything about how music makes me feel and that has driven me to want to be the creator of the music that makes others to feel something too.
And if you had to describe your music using only five words – which words, would you pick?
Vulnerable, honest, emotional, storytelling, and raw.
Here’s a hard question for you, but answer honestly. What is one thing that our readers would be surprised to learn about you, like any secret hobbies or passions you have outside of music?
I don’t know how surprising it is but I am obsessed with cats. Like, I love them. I have a cat named Bowser and he is my baby. I would go to the ends of the earth for him. Total cat mom.
Awe! I’m sure many of our readers can relate to that obsession. Now let’s chat more about the American Song Contest, as I’m interested to learn more about your participation. How did you first learn about the contest and what motivated you to submit an entry?
I actually submit to stuff like this all the time and so I don’t even remember submitting to it and when I got a call about it, I was like “what?!” and of course I was interested in doing the show! Its an incredible opportunity. I would’ve been dumb to pass it up.
I can only imagine how suprising it was to get the call when you forgot you even applied! ha And the song you submitted to the show is “Natalie” can you share a bit of the songwriting process for the song? How did you know this was the song you wanted to submit to the contest (or did you)?
I wrote Natalie after hearing songs like “Dear John” and “Heather” by Conan Gray and I just was so obsessed with the idea of writing a name song. The power behind it is so intimate and I wanted to have a song that provided that specificality and intimacy. So… I wrote “Natalie”. I didn’t know for sure if it was the song I wanted to do for the show but the producers were super keen and attached to it, so I decided they knew better than I did.
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with any of the American Song Contest artists on a new single, who would you want to work with and why?
That’s a tricky question. I love so many of these people. I would have to say I was obsessed with Yam Haus and their music before I even knew I was on the show and so collaborating with them would be sick. I would also love to collab with Justin Jesso, Ni/Co, and Stela Cole!! Obsessed with all of them.
Well I hope they read this interview and reach out to you, or if not you’ll see Justin on Monday night for a chat! 🙂 As we wrap up here, how can our readers connect with you ahead of or after the contest?
Alright, one last question for you – is there a final message you’d like to share with our readers?
Vote Michigan!!!! I’m so young and moving forward in this competition could really kickstart my movement in this industry. Thank you for your support and much love!!
Well Ada, I want to thank you again for your time and we wish you the best of luck in the American Song Contest!
Remember #YOU can catch Ada LeAnn on the next episode of the American Song Contest April 18th at 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central. #YOU can also jump into the ASC discussions happening on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!