It only takes a moment spent with Alanna Thompson to understand what is most precious in life to her...faith, family and music. With a smile that lights up the darkest of rooms and a beautiful spirit that softens the hardest of souls, Alanna quickly captures the heart of everyone she meets. When she shares her faith and lifts her voice to sing, those in her presence recognize this is not just a sweet girl with a pretty voice but a young woman with a mission, determined to change the world...one song at a time.
Alanna will tell you, there's no dramatic story here. She's one of the fortunate few who has been blessed enough to grow up with both her parents who adore her. She's happy, well rounded, has great friends and happens to be an exceptional student...straight A's all the way! Still, while others may have seen her life as the definition of perfect...something was missing.
Alanna was raised in church surrounded by family and friends devoted to their faith but it was her own personal decision to commit her life to Christianity that made her truly feel complete. Suddenly, she was overwhelmed with peace she'd never experienced before. Life took on new meaning and she grew to understand her purpose in life is to share the love of Jesus Christ with others through her music.
Born Alanna Jean Thompson or "Laney" to those who know her best, she is the only child of Lane and Angela Thompson. There's a line in a country song that says, "she's her daddy's girl, her momma's world" and that just about sums it up for this family of three. In her home she's been taught the value of working hard to reach her goals, the importance of truly living a life pleasing to God, to be devoted to her country and to exhibit a deep love for family and friends.
Some say "it takes a village" and that's just what Alanna has grown up in...literally. Home is Pioneer, Louisiana, an area so small it isn't even considered a town but a village instead. There are no traffic lights, only fields and back roads connecting the families of this tight-knit community. Everybody knows everybody; in fact, in many cases they're likely to be related.
"It's what I love and sometimes hate about living in a small town. There's the security that everyone knows you, cares about you and looks out for you. On the other hand, sometimes you just wish they wouldn't "look out" for you quite so much," Alanna says, with a smile. In a community this tight it isn't hard to imagine the reaction when a tiny little girl of their own began to reveal a God-given gift to sing.
Alanna's first memory of singing is being curled up in her Grandpa's arms on his swing singing "You Are My Sunshine" together. In those moments she enlisted her #1 fan and he remained faithfully devoted to encouraging her to use her voice until his recent passing. "I know he's cheering me on from heaven and one day we'll get to sing together again," says Alanna. It would seem that "Grandpa" had an inside track on things to come. It wasn't long before others began taking notice too. At an old fish house in Concord, Louisiana she made her public singing debut for a local crowd gathered to enjoy good food and good music. At three years old, Alanna sat on her uncle's lap and sang for her very first audience. Soon after, still three years old, in a nearby, local church this tiny little girl with a big voice sang for the congregation. She captured the attention of the leader of a traveling Southern Gospel group who happened to be visiting at the time. Even at such a tender age he saw great potential in Alanna and asked her parents if he could work with her and they agreed. Her love for performing deepened and her talent grew stronger as she traveled with the group performing for large crowds that marveled at the big voice coming from such a tiny body. As the years went by, Alanna gained experience few her age ever attain. At home, she continued singing for churches, local charity events and school functions. She also traveled for competitions all over her region many of which she won including her local Farm Bureau Talent Competition. At four years old Alanna, accepted the great honor to represent her area at the state competition where she placed third.
Years of success continued but eventually she wasn't a little girl any longer and wasn't quite sure what the next steps would be for her. Knowing she'd been entrusted with a precious gift she began searching for the direction she should go with her music. She has always had aspirations of a career in medical research and the intelligence to pursue it but the music continued to pull at her heart and she knew she wasn't ready to give it up. She began meeting with a vocalist and mentor in a neighboring town, Molly Porter.
Understanding her desire to take things to another level and firmly believing in her talent, she encouraged Alanna to come with her to Nashville and explore her options with the development company she and her husband operate there. Alanna was introduced to PCG Nashville-The Science of Artist Development, founder and president, Bernard Porter. She entered an intense 3-day boot camp at PCG and a world of possibility she never knew existed opened to her. Training with the same instructors the "pros" use, Alanna began to quickly understand that this dream she'd kept deep inside for so long could truly become a reality. Over the next year, with the guidance of Porter and the team of providers at PCG, Alanna's growth was astounding. In addition to perfecting her vocals and performance skills, developing her own personal style and really getting to know who she is as a person and an artist, she also discovered an unknown talent...writing. This newfound talent has developed so much she earned the privilege to record her very first album. Four of the songs are her original work, which makes her debut album extra special.
"Alanna was a diamond just waiting to be buffed when we met. There was no question that she was a special person and talented artist. Though I am extremely confident in the program we have at PCG, I continue to be amazed by the progress this young lady has made during her time with us. She is performing like a pro, writing songs that are commercially competitive and doing it all with grace and humility. It's a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of," states Porter.
Alanna still has some growing up to do and the shelter of a few more years at home to do it. There's all that high school entails...proms, football games, a 4.0 to maintain and of course, boys to date. However, it's likely her weekends won't look quite the same as her peers. She'll be spending a lot of those days sharing her message of hope and inspiration to all who will listen. Through her life and her music, she especially hopes to encourage other young people to devote their lives to Christ and experience the peace she has found in her relationship with him. She'd like to go on a mission trip someday and see what life is like outside the abundance of the United States. She wants to learn to play piano, go deep-sea fishing, ride in a hot air balloon and tour as a Christian artist. With the driven determination Alanna Thompson possesses that's a short list of wishes that will quickly be checked off.
"I don't know what the future holds for me but I'm really enjoying the way things are going right now. I could go on to study and become a doctor or I could end up in full time ministry. I'm just trusting God to direct my steps and take me where he wants me to go. In whatever way he chooses to use me I am committed to following his lead. No matter what happens, music will always be a huge part of my life and I'm really thankful for the journey I'm on now. I know how blessed I am to have the support of family and friends who believe in me and to be given the precious gift of singing and writing music. I don't want to take one minute of it for granted. I want to fulfill the purpose God put me here for. I want to make everyone proud of me."
Considering the life she is striving to live and the wonderful things she's already accomplished, there is no doubt...they already are!
Genre-Bridging Beauty| Posted February 26, 2014
Not just a beautiful voice, but beautiful music to go with and help you get caught up in it. This isn't even a genre I usually listen to, but with such beauty, I am happy I made an exception.
I also appreciate that "No Tomorrow" had deep lyrics asking such a meaningful, personal, and intelligent question. Its nice to hear a younger artist go beyond dance songs (although I love those too) and shallow or meaningless lyrics to such deeper music that really touches people.
Definitely interested in hearing more from this talented young lady!