On This Island Alone: An Interview with Annie O'Malley


There isn’t a specific moment that Annie O’Malley chose to pursue music professionally, but it might be found on one of the many videos sitting in her family home.

In every video, she’s performing in some capacity and belting out every genre possible; her dad showed her alternative, rock and indie while her mom shared her love for EDM, disco, funk and pop.

She spent her spare time (and times she should have been doing her homework - sorry mom!) watching music videos on repeat until she had the dance moves memorized. Once she perfected that, she made her own versions. She stayed up until morning writing her own songs, as well as practicing guitar and piano. She begged her dad to take her to a recording studio, and when he said yes, she immediately shared the good news with all her friends. Her family clearly agreed; she was born to sing.

“I used to sing when I was in public in case someone in the industry was listening and every time we went out to dinner and there was a live band I would ask to sing,” O’Malley said.

Her teachers also recognized her passion, and gave her that extra push to go after her dreams. Her first live performance was when she was only 9 years old, singing an original song written for her choir’s Christmas show.

“I sat on a stool with my little guitar that I stuck pink heart stickers to and wrapped a best friend bracelet I had with my friend around my wrist for good luck,” she said. “I loved it and I never stopped.”

Her manager introduced her to Chicago-based producer Johnny K, who has worked with artists such as Disturbed, 3 Doors Down and Plain White T’s. As a Chicago native herself, O’Malley was able to work alongside a knowledgeable and passionate creator.

Her debut EP is set to release in the near future and is a great blend of all the music she grew up listening to.

“Some songs are about love; I have some that are just very poetic and calming, and some that have little questions about understanding life and feelings,” she said. “These songs have been a part of me in so many different moments in my life.”

As she gears up for the release of her debut EP, Annie O’Malley brings that passion to life through each lyric and melody. Whether she’s singing on a home video or singing in front of a sold-out crowd, she knows that her true passion lies within her music.