Student Spotlight: Annalyse Hasty Shines Center Stage
By Abby Paterson, Lily Lovette, and Evan Heins--Eagle Staff Writers
When words fail, music speaks; that much is true for junior Annalyse Hasty. Ever since she was thirteen she has sung karaoke with her father. These memorable nights have led to her passion for music, particularly country music.
“I feel like I will always stick to country but am very open to trying something new if opportunity arises. But my true love is country music,” Hasty enthuses.
She found that music was a medium that she could use not only to express her own emotions but also to relate to others.
“I’m a person [who uses] music as a way to express my feelings, so being able to relate to other artists’ music made me want to make something people could relate to as well,” Hasty says.
Even with her newfound inspiration for music, Hasty still has to navigate the same challenges of the high school experience. “I am very organized with scheduling and try to use my free time at school wisely. It can be really hard when having late-night shows during the week with heavy homework but I love my job and wouldn’t have it any other way,” Hasty explains.
With her demanding schedule, she has even made time for advanced classes.
“I try to keep a few [advanced classes] on my schedule every year but I have to balance my life outside of school,” Hasty adds.
Although she encountered difficulties, she found that her hard work led her to begin to re-envision her passion as a career, which is exactly what she hopes to do.
“ I plan to continue to study music in college and can hopefully still play shows while in college,” Hasty explains. “As of now, I think I may want to major in music production or collaborative audio arts but may change my mind. I will jump for any opportunity that comes to me.”
Hasty also credits her family as a great factor in her musical success, as their support has allowed her to pursue her aspirations in music.
“I am very lucky to have such a supportive family behind me,” she says. “They never miss a show, they help me make decisions in my music, and they are there for me if I fail or succeed. I would not be where I am without them.”
Hasty has numerous performances under her belt, but her most significant will be her upcoming show at FloydFest, a music and arts festival held in Floyd, Virginia. She played at the festival last year for the first time, and, despite her apprehensions and nervousness, she found that it was a great experience.
“ Last year I didn’t know what to expect going in but had an amazing time," Hasty reflected. "FloydFest was an amazing experience and I’m honored to play again this year."
Since she began playing, Hasty has personally seen improvement, and reportedly hopes to continue to improve before FloydFest rolls around this summer.
“When I first started playing I really had to work on my stage presence and felt very awkward at some points but that kind of all went away when I just started having fun and not stressing it. I’ve messed up lyrics many times and would get embarrassed but in reality, many people don’t notice and you just have to laugh it off,” Hasty explains.
Hasty has released a plethora of songs with many more to come, but the one that stands out most to her is “Sober Eyes” from her debut album, Older Now, due to its personal subject matter.
“I think my favorite would have to be 'Sober Eyes', which I wrote about my mother who fights addiction, because it is so personal to me and it helped me get through a lot of pain,” she reveals. “So many people tell me their stories about their family or friends who fought addiction and have overcome it or are still fighting it and can relate to my song. When I noticed how many people could relate to that song I felt less alone.”
With a steadily rising musical career Hasty has some words of advice for any young beginning musicians looking to make their voice known.
“If you work your hardest, someone will see that and it will take you a long way. Be personal with your music; people want to know how you feel and can usually relate to you."