A force-of-nature talent with the passion to match, 20-year-old singer/songwriter Alana Springsteen is already an expert at crafting the kind of songs that imprint on your heart forever. After learning to play guitar at the young age of seven, the Virginia Beach native began penning her own songs at nine, and soon started trekking to Nashville to co-write with industry heavyweights. In the tradition of powerhouse female country stars she grew up on, the Nashville-based artist instills her music with an irresistible mix of charisma, confidence, and warm yet fearless honesty.
On recent hits like “California” (a 2021 single praised by American Songwriter for layering “transcendent vocals over an intertwining storyline”), Springsteen reveals her rare ability to express complex emotions with impossible ease. With her latest output also including “Trying Not To”—a duet with Roman Alexander that landed on coveted playlists like New Boots and Wild Country—she endlessly spotlights the genuine presence that comes from being hands-on in every aspect of her music, right down to the styling of her videos and the most meticulous of production choices.
An incredibly detail-oriented musician who unfailingly holds her own with studio veterans, Springsteen first cultivated her laid-back self-assurance as a little girl. “Both my granddads are pastors, so on Sunday mornings they’d have me get up in church and sing a solo,” she recalls. When her maternal grandfather unearthed a dusty old classical guitar from the garage, she felt overcome with the urge to play. “The guitar was twice my size and I ended up with so many blisters on my fingers, but I never even thought of giving up,” she says. “It’s like I had an instant emotional connection with the guitar, where every time I picked it up I felt better.”
As she refined her guitar skills, Springsteen also began singing the national anthem at local sporting events and at age nine sang at a Cubs game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, an experience that offered her first taste of the pure exhilaration of performing for a massive crowd. “Ever since I was little, I envisioned myself playing in stadiums—the big dream has always been to get my music out to as many people as possible,” she notes. Around that time she also started writing songs of her own, tapping into her lifelong long of language. “I was always that kid who loved English class and was always hanging around with the grown-ups, trying to have adult conversations,” Springsteen says. “As soon as I discovered what it felt like to put music and words together, I knew it was going to be something I did for the rest of my life. I started telling my parents I wanted to be a country music artist, because I just loved how country songs are so rooted in the storytelling.” With her family’s full support of that dream, Springsteen next ventured into co-writing in Nashville. Although just 10-years-old at the time, she felt immediately at home in the company of hitmaking songwriters. “I never really felt intimidated,” she says. “I just felt like these were my people, like I’d found a community that understood me and the way my brain works.”
After four years of making quarterly trips to Nashville, Springsteen and her family moved to Music City, where she promptly inked her first publishing deal. Naming Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood among her formative influences, she spent the next few years carefully honing her songwriting voice, infusing her lyrics with a breezy intimacy that now inspires countless fans to send her messages about their breakups and crushes. Released in June 2019, her self-titled debut EP saw her featured on playlists like Wild Country and Breakout Country and also drew abundant acclaim, with Rolling Stone declaring that “she writes with beyond-her-years poise, mixing the lovestruck giddiness of a teenager with the hooks of a pro” and Taste of Country stating that “[t]here’s a big hole in country radio for a female who can sing about young love with loads of sincerity and little drama or provocation. Springsteen’s authenticity makes her a strong candidate to fill it.” Soon after the EP’s arrival, Springsteen toured with artists like Josh Turner and Filmore, proving her remarkable gift for erasing the divide between artist and audience. “I remember playing at the Bluebird Cafe once and a girl coming up to me afterward and saying how she felt like I was reading a page out of her diary,” Springsteen points out. “It made me realize how much being honest really connects with people, and inspired me to get even more raw and straightforward in my lyrics.”
Newly signed to a management deal with Eighteen Company/Scooter Braun’s SB Projects, Springsteen continues to push her artistry to bold new heights. To that end, she’s recently begun working with A-listers like Jerry Flowers (Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood), Ryan Beaver (Blake Shelton, Ashley Monroe), and Andrew DeRoberts (Florida Georgia Line, Lady A), all while greatly expanding her role in the production process. Indeed, Springsteen wound up earning a co-producer credit on “California” and its follow-up single “Zero Trucks” after Flowers observed the clarity of her musical vision and vital role she plays in bringing that vision to life in the studio.
Now finishing up a body of work examining the many dimensions of breakups—an effort that involves simultaneously exploring what she refers to as “the moody, dreamier side of myself, and the side of me that just loves to write those anthemic stadium bangers that get the crowd jumping”—Springsteen ultimately aspires to empower others in pursuing their own wildest ambitions. “I used to dream about getting to where I am today, and now I want to do what I can to help everyone to have that moment,” she says. “If I can be part of the reason that someone believes in themselves and goes after the thing that brings them the most joy in life, that’s really all I could ever ask for.”