Seventeen-year-old Anna Burden blew us away a few months ago when she uploaded her cover of Lulu and the Lampshades’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me” to YouTube. Not only did she have a stunning voice, she accompanied said chords with a very interesting instrument: A cup.
The Lampshades are a viral band in their own respect, gaining fame for employing drinking receptacles in lieu of percussion, so Burden’s cover going Web-wide is a kind of double whammy.
We caught up with Burden — who recently learned of her O Music Awards nomination for Best Fan Cover — to find out more about the girl behind the Solo solo.
How old are you? Are you in school?
I am 17 years old and I am a senior at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana.
When and how did you start singing?
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I did my first talent show, though, in elementary school!
When did you start your YouTube channel and why?
Actually the “tay9andahalf” channel isn’t even mine! It is my good friend, Taylor’s, and I just decided to start posting videos on her account instead of mine. I was really hesitant to even post a video in the first place, so Taylor took in upon herself to upload it and I am grateful that she did. My first video was posted December 7, 2008.
Why did you choose the song you did? Do you like the band?
I actually saw the video on Tumblr and thought that it was really cool! I had never heard of Lulu and the Lampshades before, but I thought that what they were doing was incredible. I recognized the cup routine because my neighbor had taught me when I was in elementary school, so it was really just trying to sing and play at the same time that was so tough. I genuinely love the song and the band, though.
Describe to me what happened when the song went viral? How did people react? How did you feel?
Well, I had the video up for a few weeks and it was at about 8,000 views and I couldn’t have been happier. One morning I was awoken with a phone call from Taylor, the actual tay9andahalf, and she started screaming, ‘Go check the cups video! People are actually watching you Anna! People are watching you sing!’
So I went and checked the computer and lost it. Every time I refreshed the page, there would be 50 more comments. 8,000 views, 29,000 views, 63,000 views, 100,000 views all within the day. I was and still am overwhelmed by all the support and positive feedback.
My friends and family have been really supportive of it all. Not a lot of people at school actually know or if they do, they don’t say anything! But I still get the occasional, ‘I know this is super creepy because we don’t know each other, but I love your videos.’
Any plans to become a singer?
I would love to continue with music. My education is most important to me, though, and I would really love to attend college. I have no doubts that music will always be in my life but deciding to pursue it is a huge step and I want to make sure I am 100% ready and confident to do so. I love music and I love singing so because of that, I don’t think I will ever stop.
By Brenna Ehrlich