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Celeb Scoop: The PreZcotts

By It's My Life on December 27, 2011 2:15 PM | No TrackBacks

prezcotts_album.jpgIf you have siblings, then you know how fun it can be when you find something you can all do together (instead of, you know, wanting to kill each other). Maybe that's a sport or playing instruments, or putting on plays, or making videos. In the case of 17-year-old AnaLeyna and three of her sisters -- 15-year-old ChaLyn, 14-year-old RaNelle, and 12-year-old MaRiah --that's writing and singing songs about where they've been, what they believe in, and what message they want to share with others.

As The PreZcotts, these four young women have just released their first album, filled with catchy melodies, heartfelt lyrics, and gorgeous harmonies. When we heard it, we were struck by how real the sisters sound. No auto-tune or professionally-written-by-some-adult songs for these ladies! We talked to AnaLeyna about sisters, songwriting, and how music can help others connect through topics like grief and bullying.

IML: Tell us a little about the original songs that are on the album. It seems like each one has a story to it.

AnaLeyna: Oh, yeah...definitely! I think the ones with the biggest story would have to be "Strength" and "Free." "Strength" was one of the first songs I wrote after my father passed. It was for the funeral of a friend of mine, about three months after losing my dad. She was only nineteen, and her parents wanted us to sing a song that would help the people there to heal a little bit. And I didn't have a song like that yet, so I took all the emotions from when I lost my dad and I just poured them into this song. It brought people to tears, but it was like...people were feeling better after they heard it.

IML: Wow. It must have been very therapeutic for you to get all those feelings out into a song.

analeyna.jpgAnaLeyna: Oh, definitely. And it was even helpful for my sisters. We got together to celebrate his birthday a year after he passed, and we sang "Strength." And it was hard seeing his family there, and we all broke down. Because, when you listen to the words, it's exactly how you would feel if you got put in a situation of loss. We recently sang it at another funeral, and they just absolutely loved it and thanked us. And we said, "We see it as an honor to be able to support you guys, because we know what it feels like to lose somebody you love." So, it's been a really healing and emotionally supporting song.

IML: You mentioned another song called "Free." Tell us about that!

AnaLeyna: It's special to me that "Free" is on the album, because that's the only song that my dad actually heard. That was actually one of the first songs I wrote, when I was ten years old. It was his favorite song, and it was one of the last songs we sang to him before he passed, so it kinda has this little special tie-in. And then of course, you open up the CD and open up the poster, and you see the dedication to him. So even though he couldn't be involved here with us, he's involved. You see him there. I thought that was really special.

IML: You also have an anti-bullying anthem called "Stay True," which is a really awesome song.

AnaLeyna: I actually wrote that with RaNelle and MaRiah. They actually have experiences that are a lot more fresh. Just last year, RaNelle had to deal with a lot of girls bullying her, right before the summer. And our manager was like, "You guys need to write a song."  So they gave me all the words, like "He got a new hairdo, he got a new pair of shoes," stuff like that. I said, "This is great, let's try it." And it turns out to be this really cute song that speaks to kids about being yourself no matter what other people are saying. Because society really does have a huge influence on kids. "Everybody's wearing the new shoes. Oh, no! I have to go get them." It's like...no you don't. You are perfect just the way you are! Don't let people tell you that you have to look different to fit in. Because you don't. It's really cool to see kids singing along with that song, and they realize what they're saying...and they love it. They're like, "Oh, yeah! You're just like me and I'm just like you. I like this."

IML: What is your songwriting process like?

AnaLeyna: They all come differently for me, because it's really natural. I'll just be singing in the car, and I'll realize, "Hey, I like that!" I'll write it down, and then I'll go back to it later. But usually I start with music first. I'll play music on the piano, and if I like the tune I'll start to put words to it. Sometimes the words just come, because I hear them while I'm playing the music. I like writing the chorus first, like the hook, and then I go back to the verse and I think about what the verses should be about to fit the chorus. That's how every song has gone, except "Strength." With that I actually wrote the verses before the chorus.

IML: You wrote "Free" when you were 10, so you've been doing this a long time. Have your songs changed as you've gotten older?

AnaLeyna: Oh, definitely. I wrote "Free" when I was upset at my parents. Just really simple stuff, emotional stuff...I was very dramatic. Now I'm really good at taking any topic or emotion and writing a song about it. But when I was younger, I wasn't really good at that. It was only stuff that I actually had an emotion for that I could write about, and the writing would be very simple, and not very deep.

IML: So from there, how do you collaborate with your sisters?

prezcotts.jpgAnaLeyna: I usually write songs when everybody's gone, because that's when I'm most comfortable with changing things, and then I'll introduce my sisters to it. After I write a song, we all come together and we sing it, first the melody, and then we break off into harmony. If it doesn't work for them, like, "Oh, I can't hit that note," then I have to go back to the song and change stuff. So in every song, they play some part.

IML: One of the things we talk about a lot on It's My Life is sibling rivalry, and fighting with brothers and sisters. What kind of things do you guys fight about, and how do you resolve those fights?

AnaLeyna: The most common stuff that goes on is like, "That's my shirt! You didn't ask to wear my shirt!" Stuff like that. But I'm the oldest, and MaRiah's the youngest...she and I have completely different perspectives on life, so we're gonna react differently, we're gonna argue about stuff. But we know each other too well to not be able to put ourselves in the other person's shoes. And after you do that, you kinda get a better perspective. Even my younger sisters who are eight and six...I'll try to figure out what they're thinking, and then I realize they're feeling left out, so we've been able to fix that and make them feel like part of the crew!

IML: What would you like to see happen in the next year for the PreZcotts?    

AnaLeyna: Mostly for it to just get around! It would be so amazing to hear kids in Paris or London like, love our music, and knowing that people around the world are hearing what our messages are, that would just be a crazy big deal for us. I think the biggest deal is the fact that we have music in us and we want to share it with everybody. We're not trying to be selfish with it. I want to be able to have kids just begging for us to come sing for them...wanting to tell us all their stories so we can write songs about them. I like connecting with people and so do my sisters!

IML: Thanks for chatting with us, and good luck with everything!

AnaLeyna: Thank you!

You can learn more about the PreZcotts and check out their music on their website at www.prezcotts.com. We leave you with their very fun video of the song "Gossip"!







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