From the moment pop singer-songwriter Anna Clendening appeared on the scene, her music hit home with thousands—and very quickly, millions—of people.
Granted, that moment came when she least expected it: One night about five years ago, at home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Clendening recorded a video of herself singing an acoustic version of “Gas Pedal,” the monster hit from Bay Area rapper Sage the Gemini, and casually posted it online. It quickly went viral, so she began making more videos and eventually garnered over 2.5 million followers online. Less than a year later, she snagged her first major television appearance: competing on America’s Got Talent.
In 2017, Clendening’s breakout acoustic version of her single, “Boys Like You,” proved she has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with pop’s power players. The song—which Clendening says she conceptualized as a tongue-in-cheek, script-flipping version of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”—has amassed over 12+ million streams on Spotify (without any official Spotify playlist support), plus an additional 25+ million views on YouTube. Just in time for summer, Asylum Records released a sleek new version of the song June 1, 2018.
Stylistically, Clendening’s songs range from acoustic to alternative pop with an edge, but each is hook-heavy and relatable. Vocally, she can deliver incredibly personal material with a honeyed grace (as she does in the not-yet-released “Drowning” which she wrote about her own struggles with mental health), but can also carry a power-pop chorus with confidence. In terms of career inspiration, she cites artist-songwriters Sia and Julia Michaels.
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