ALANA LEE OVERCOMES AND SOARS BEYOND HER ‘BUTTERFLIES’!
16-YEAR-OLD POP DYNAMO INSPIRES HER MILLIONS OF FANSWORLDWIDE TO ‘DREAM OUT LOUD’ ON HER INFECTIOUS NEW SINGLE, PENNED AND PRODUCED BY INTERNATIONAL RECORDING ARTIST THOMAS BARSOE, FOUNDER OF THE OC HIT FACTORY
The Multi-Talented Singer, Songwriter and Performer’s Debut Video “Butterflies” is Creating a Powerful Indie Sensation, Earning Famed Blogger Perez Hilton’s Praise and Scoring Over 12 Million YouTube Views
Three years after sharing the ups and downs of young love on her popular debut single “Butterflies”—which earned the praise of famed pop culture blogger Perez Hilton and scored over 12 million views on YouTube—16-year-old Alana Lee is soaring again.
This time, she’s taking off into young adulthood with two demonstrative ballads that reflect her soulful maturity as a vocalist and evolution as an emerging independent artist.
Her two upcoming single releases, the infectious “Dream Out Loud” (due to launch on iTunes in August 6) and “Perfect Storm,” are part of the multi-talented performer’s dynamic new musical relationship with international recording star Thomas Barsoe, founder of The OC Hit Factory—a music academy, record label and critically acclaimed songwriting camp. Barsoe, who has scored several #1 pop hits as an artist in Japan, co-wrote and produced both tracks, which will be released by Alana’s own Alana Lee Productions.
“Dream Out Loud” was written by Barsoe, Lars Halvor Jensen and Pam Sheyne, while “Perfect Storm” was penned by Barsoe, Jensen, Dixie Maxwell and Catrien Maxwell.
Alana first sparked Barsoe’s interest with her performance at Summerfest, a popular annual music event in Brea, California. She had previously recorded and released her singles “Synchronize” and “This Is Me” in 2011 and 2012.
Dedicated to discovering and developing young singers and songwriters, The OC Hit Factory family consists of finalists from “The X Factor,” international recording artists, nationally and internationally recognized songwriters and bands, as well as local acts. The young talent from around Southern California coming together under Barsoe’s direction is the ultimate driving force behind the academy’s success.
Although for her growing global fan base “Butterflies” has long been Alana’s flagship song, the singer was thrilled to hear from one of her admirers on Twitter that “This Is Me” was played along with other inspirational teen anthems during a special musical lunch hour at a middle school in England. She receives similar comments about being an inspiration on her YouTube video of “This Is Me” as well as her music video for “Synchronize”.
A key element in her creative growth is realizing her desire to continue to be a role model through songs that are age-appropriate and relatable to teenagers and adults alike. This desire to inspire extends to the dramatic, emotional video she will soon be releasing for “Dream Out Loud,” which chronicles a powerful lifelong friendship.
The clip begins with an image of two children building sand castles, followed by a montage of their friendship growing up. Her friend had always encouraged her music and convinces her to submit a videotape to a singing competition whose prize is performing in a live concert setting. He later passes away, and one of the final scenes is her on the beach, walking with his silhouette, throwing into the ocean a bottle with a photo of the two of them.
“Later while I am performing at the concert,” Alana says, “I look up at the sky as if to say, ‘I wish you could see me now, living my dream.’ It’s a metaphor for everything that is happening in my life right now. When Thomas decided he wanted to work with me, he played a few songs he had written that he thought I might like. When he got to ‘Dream Out Loud’, we looked at each other like, ‘This is the one.’ It’s so catchy, it gets stuck in your head but it’s also got a powerful lyric about a journey in which all your life you are picturing this moment and you finally get that break and succeed. It’s very uplifting and I think a lot of people can relate to it who are going through hard times or need a pick-me-up or motivation. ‘Perfect Storm’ is one of those ‘never-saw-it-coming breakup’ songs we can all relate to. We’ve all been in those rocky relationships.
“I feel like I laid the groundwork for my career with ‘Butterflies,’” Alana adds, “but when you have a popular song at 13, it’s hard to be taken seriously as an artist who can have an enduring career. People liked my music, but nobody really believed in me or gave me the kind of chance that I have with Thomas and The OC Hit Factory. I really do feel sometimes that I am dreaming out loud for real.”
“Dream Out Loud” and “Perfect Storm” will also be included in Alana’s currently in progress five-track EP, which will feature several songs co-written by Alana and Barsoe. The OC Hit Factory’s intensive weekend songwriting camps, attended by developing writers from 15-26, have played a major role in Alana’s growth as a songwriter.
“I love the process of writing with other people, because when I get writer’s block or can’t think of the perfect rhyme, my collaborators can help open up that creativity,” she says. “Sometimes the best song concepts come out of casual conversations, too. I used to just have concepts and ideas but I’m growing as a lyricist and am able to put together full songs based on those ideas I come up with. I love the fact that Thomas is so invested in helping fresh faces and emerging talents that he thinks have a shot at success. The writing camps are an incredible way to nurture that process.”
Alana’s budding association with The OC Hit Factory is an extension of her extensive resume as a singer and actress. At El Rancho Charter School’s Musical Theatre, the 5’6” dynamo appeared in classic musicals like “Oklahoma” and “Guys and Dolls,” as well as musical revues and various skits; two yearly comedy skits Alana directed, cast and starred in took 1st place in a theatre competition for both 2010 and 2011.
Alana has also appeared in a number of short films at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in Orange, Calif. She was first cast in the lead role of Shira in Oren Peleg’s “Barely Bar Mitzvah’d,” which won a first place prize at the Jewish Film Festival in Long Beach.
The next year, Dan Brumer cast Alana in a supporting role in his film “The Yoke.” More recently, she played “Anna” in Patrick Dawn’s “Allegiance” and Dan Brumer cast Alana again in his thesis film called “Chester Briggins Magic Blood”. Several years ago, she appeared in her first feature length film, “The Measure of a Man,” produced by Higher Definition Media. The film is based on a true story about a dying man reminiscing about his family of nine children, ranging in age from 5-17. Alana is cast as one of the kids, “Mary.”
Alana has trained with Sterling Studios Young Actors Group, attended Camp Bravo Acting, and has taken vocal lessons from Kelly Rice in Hollywood and Andy Boettner, in Newport Beach. When she’s not in her “singing sensation” mode, she’s a regular kid with a hot streak of achievement. She’s an A student taking all honors and IB classes who has been in leadership for two years and won the Presidential Scholar award and Top of the Tribe awards for GPA. She is now entering her junior year of high school.
Alana kicked off 2012 with a coveted artist profile in the New! Discover & Uncover section of Clear Channel’s iheartradio.com, visited by millions of music-seeking fans each month. Among the media appearances centered around her earlier releases was an interview with A Teen View and spotlights in OC Weekly, OC Music Scene, Finding-Cupid with David Cruz, American Perspective, PopYOUlarity.com, Suite101.com and on PBS (KOCE-TV).
Alana has also participated in events for several charitable organizations, including Rockin’ For A Cure, an annual fundraising event for cystic fibrosis, and ASPCA, the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Alana also supports Miracles for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to families of children with cancer and life threatening illnesses.
The songstress also earned two 2011 Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA) nominations including Best Pop Song for “Synchronize” and Best Music Video for “Butterflies.”
“My dream has always been that people would listen to my songs online and on the radio, and I am so grateful for the continued opportunity to share them with the world,” says Alana. “At heart, I’m just a girl who loves my friends and loves singing and it’s so much fun to be able to pursue what I feel so passionate about. Recently, I got a Facebook message from an actor I worked with on ‘The Measure of a Man.’ He said he was thankful that I was making music that he felt very comfortable letting his young daughters listen to and that was so positive. This is the kind of impact I want to have on people–that they see me as an artist who is bringing something meaningful to the world and making a difference.”