Anna Akana does it all and proves she is more than just a ‘Casualty’ Anna Akana has always had something to share. Now, she debuts her newest musical project and proves she isn't afraid to do it all.
LOS ANGELES, CA — Making any sort of name for yourself in the entertainment industry is tricky. Everyone’s creating their own content, producing their own music and recording their own videos. Everything begins to look and sound the same. So how do you make yourself stand out? How do you make a name for yourself in your chosen field? And how do you put in the tireless hours of practice and the discipline to stay focused to really make sure you succeed?
For Anna Akana, she seems to do it so effortlessly.
Anna is most well-known as a successful YouTube influencer and personality, with her videos reaching up to 2.5 million subscribers, with a focus on women, dating, and identity. Throughout, she has been open about her experiences with depression, mental illness, and even coming out as a 29-year-old bisexual Asian-American woman. She has found success as an actress (with credits in Ant-Man and Corporate), a comedian who has toured across the country, an author, and now, a musician.
During this summer, Akana released three singles, including “Intervention” and “Alone Together,” which come from her upcoming debut album Casualty, which is set to drop this October.
To prepare for the release, Akana held her debut live show at The Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles on July 24th. The intimate room, filled with friends and fans who had been in the know of Akana’s musical project, gave Akana a warm welcome as she took to the stage.
Opening with songs like “Intervention” and “Pretty Girls Don’t Cry” with a full live band, Akana played new and unreleased songs from Casualty, which had us all feeling like we were listening to the words of Anna’s diary come to life.
As upbeat, poppy and energetic as Anna’s music is, she has addressed how cathartic creating music has been for her, as she has struggled with depression and dealt with post-breakup heartache. She sang songs about her ex-lover, lyrics saying she thought he was going to be her person, but he found a new girl and “I miss you all the time.” Another was about meeting her demons — a song about mental illness — which, as I remember, had me grooving out to her band more as she sang in a lower, smokier undertone. She even took to the piano at one point, choking up and shedding a tear as she sang about the pain of her heartache (something that felt very therapeutic for her).
For longtime fans of Akana, her music encompasses just another feat of her incredible work ethic and dedication to express herself. As Akana is unapologetically herself and keenly open to sharing her experiences with her fans and viewers, her music does the same. It’s an extension of her personality and, although in no way is Akana a grandiose vocalist or singer, her music is fun, honest and raw as she wears her heart on her sleeve.
As we arrived at the end of her 45-minute set, Akana sang an incredibly upbeat pop song called “I Feel Nothing,” where she sings, “Every time I look at your face, I feel nothing at all,” almost like her anthem to moving on. As she grooved across the stage, her backup singer danced alongside her and her entire band got going in a full-out jam. This song celebrates her acknowledgment of not feeling heartbroken anymore.
In-between her songs, Akana expressed her gratitude to the audience for letting her feel comfortable enough to share her work.
As she closed her set, she said, “I saw Beyonce live with my friend Natalie, and I had to make a song about how Beyonce made me feel.” She went into a pseudo-rap, sing-a-long talking about being a queen, dressing up and doing things “like Beyonce” — a lighthearted, upbeat, empowering and a very Anna Akana anthem.
For Casualty, Akana says that she built the album around a heartbreak, but that its underlying message is t: “I’m not a casualty just because you don’t love me anymore.” Her music explores the progress and journey of going through that heartbreak and coming out of it “feeling nothing” again.
As someone who has had full reign over her career — from her stand-up comedy, YouTube creations, writing and even music — Akana has always had her own story to tell. Her drive, talent, and willingness to work are all admirable, and above all, she’s got plenty to say.