“Alana Springsteen’s Heartfelt Gratitude to Taylor Swift: A Tribute to Her Hero”

Speaking of her recent first-time skydiving adventure, Alana Springsteen beams. She says to PEOPLE, “It was a thrill.” “Never have I felt so alive.”

Then it was even more exhilarating than playing to thousands of people?

Springsteen chuckles after giving it a fleeting thought. “Least, really,” she exclaims.

With a recently announced headlining tour, a full-length debut album featuring collaborations with Chris Stapleton and Mitchell Tenpenny, a Billboard chart appearance, touring with Luke Bryan, a featured spot on the CMA Fest stadium lineup, and nearly half a million TikTok followers, that response explains a lot about how the 23-year-old artist has arrived at this point so quickly.

She has never needed a parachute since she launched herself into her professional career at the ripe old age of 14. Everything about her suggests that she was destined for the crazy, exhilarating, and yes, dangerous life of an artist.

Despite not having been raised in the spotlight, Springsteen made her way there as quickly as possible. She claims her dad enjoys telling the tale of how, when she was no older than five or six, the two of them went down the church aisle to sing a duet during a Sunday service. She turned to face him mid-step and said, “Dad, go sit down.” Today, I’m going to sing it by myself.

Springsteen laughs at herself and adds, “So, I just wanted all the attention already.”

But it wasn’t until she went to her first concert at the age of nine that she really settled on a goal. Taylor Swift was the artist.

Springsteen, who grew up near Virginia Beach, says, “That night changed me, watching her connect with every single one of those people in the audience, me included.” “I was drawn to this because of the connection that music can create, as it was the most exquisite sensation I had ever had. From the beginning, she was singing about my life.

Springsteen couldn’t help but believe that if Taylor Swift could accomplish this, she could too. She was undoubtedly joining millions, if not thousands, of young girls at that very time who likewise aspired to create, record, and perform songs, just like the international diva has been doing since her teens. But Springsteen really went out and remarkably followed in Swift’s first footsteps, unlike those other little girls.

When Swift was eleven years old, she visited Nashville’s Music Row for the first time, and when Springsteen was ten, she did the same. At the age of 14, Swift convinced her family to transfer from their Pennsylvania home to Nashville so she could start her career; at the age of 14, Springsteen’s parents, who are real estate agents, also helped her fulfill her ambition by moving the family from Virginia. At the age of fourteen, Swift and Springsteen both secured their first publishing deals. Additionally, Springsteen and Swift’s early, significant partner Liz Rose co-wrote a number of songs together.

So the question is, how much of this is influenced by Swift and how much is just coincidence?

Springsteen, who happily refers to herself as a Swiftie, says, “Oh, I think both at the same time, if that’s possible.” “Without Taylor, I most definitely wouldn’t be the songwriter and artist that I am today.”

“Taylor Did,” track number thirteen on her debut album Twenty Something, is her ode to her hero. “They’re like home, they’re almost a part of me / Hit right when it was hard to be a girl trying to make the world make sense / When no one knew what I was going through growing up / Taylor did” is a perfect example of how Swift’s songs encapsulate the power they have over Springsteen’s generation.

Springsteen’s lyrics are incredibly personal, much like Swift’s. Similar to Swift, Springsteen is passionate about inspiring others. However, Springsteen insists that the analogies end there. More than anything, she is aware of the Swiftian paradox: if she wants to emulate her hero, she must forge her own route, make her own decisions, and design her own existence.

“The most genuine version of yourself is the only thing worth pursuing,” she declares.

Her striking last name is another manifestation of her honesty. It is truly hers, yes. She is not related, either. She admits that she briefly thought about altering it, if only to get away from the questions (which she claims she’s getting tired of by now).

“It would have completely contradicted what I’m trying to do with my music if I had chosen a different name,” admits Springsteen, whose first name is troublesome since it rhymes with “ah-LAH-na” rather than “banana.” “That honesty—nothing standing between me and the fans—is the core of my music.”

During his live performances, Springsteen practically embodies that commitment. She regularly walked into the audience for hugs and selfies, lingered over fans’ hand clasps at the edge of the stage, and stayed for conversations and more hugs with admirers until the club closed during her tour launch in Nashville.

Even though Springsteen isn’t even a quarter of the way through her third decade, her larger-than-life confidence and charisma are undoubtedly what have earned her the right to name her album Twenty Something. But she has a career that requires her to mature quickly. She has to be formidable both onstage and off, as does any artist signed to a large label, managing a crew of ever-expanding backers.

“It’s quite a bit,” admits Springsteen. It’s crazy. However, I’m happy to report that my team acts as my skeleton. I have such a deep faith in them that it allows me to concentrate on speaking the truth and pursuing my dreams of writing, co-producing, and truly being there for the fans—activities that I have always felt were destined for me.

It should come as no surprise that Springsteen’s “word for this year” is “present.” As her songs indicate, living a true twenty-something life has come with its own learning curve, but having support has also given her the opportunity to do so.

The eighteen tracks on the co-written album by Bruce Springsteen are grouped thematically into three stages of life: “figuring it out,” “messing it up,” and “getting it right.”

The lead single “you don’t deserve a country song” is one of the six “messing it up” tracks. The other five songs are a litany of heartbreaking truths that recount Springsteen’s early attempts at romance between the ages of 18 and 20.

“I simply adore love,” she declares. “I adore emotions. I would even go so far as to argue that experiencing pure, intense emotions, such as grief, is wonderful.

She acknowledges that her early lovers made her feel a lot—perhaps too much. She acknowledges, “I was in some pretty awful relationships, just falling for the wrong people.” “I tend to fall in love with people quite easily. When I feel anything, I’m all in because I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person.

When she came to the realization that she “didn’t know myself well enough to know that I didn’t need validation from anyone else,” she started her “figuring it out” phase. I was absorbed in it.

She claims that while a psychotherapist guided her toward significant self-discoveries, songwriting partnerships provided an equally effective form of treatment. She says, “I’m thankful for the people who gave me the confidence to be that vulnerable and to share that aspect of myself.” “Writing these songs is really how I get it out. I walk in and start writing about things that are heavy on my heart.”

She claims that writing the song “chameleon,” a cutting self-revelation, helped her overcome “my tendency to shapeshift to please people.”

“It was difficult to release that song,” she says. Sometimes, singing truly hurts since it’s not something you’re proud of. But my goodness, this song’s words are so therapeutic that I’ve had fans yell them back.

“When we were friends,” another song, addresses a frequent sadness that is rarely expressed in lyrics: the breakup of a friendship. Springsteen adds, “Over the past couple of years, I experienced a new kind of breakup.” Sometimes growing to know oneself and adapting to change causes you to distance yourself from people who once held great significance in your life. With that, it’s simple to experience some remorse.

When she penned “hypocrite,” a poetic grappling match with life’s inconsistencies, further insights became apparent. “You understand that there are multiple perspectives and that none of us are singular entities,” she explains. “Your twenties are really messy, as is life in general.”

“Amen,” the last song, is a moving benediction to that awareness. “And I’m sorry to my mama/ but I’ma live the way I wanna / so I know this life was mine in the end,” she sings in the chorus.

Springsteen states: “I’m granting myself the freedom to be who I am, to err, to make errors, to not have everything figured out, and to live according to my own terms. I wrote this song to remind myself to always have the guts to follow my destiny and live life to the fullest.

She swiftly stresses, though, that the lyrics aren’t meant to minimize the impact of her parents. She is close with her dad and her three younger brothers, and she views her mother as one of her “best friends.” Making my parents proud and remaining loyal to my heritage are the two things that matter most to her. However, I’m not ultimately accountable to them. I have God and myself to answer to.

After living only 15 minutes away from her family’s house, Springsteen ultimately made the mature decision to move out last year, which came with stress along with her newfound independence. She laughs sardonically, “I remember the first night I was just sitting alone, and I popped a bottle of champagne, and I was like, what do I do now?” “I have bills to pay now. How do I store everything here? How should my bed be moved into the bedroom?

Though Springsteen clearly still needs time to “figure it out,” he exudes will to live it out, record it, and play it.

She’s not attached to it at the moment. She expresses gratitude that her dating is restricted by the speed at which her profession is moving. “I needed to just get to know myself, so the timing has been perfect,” she says. “I needed to wait to enter another relationship and, for the first time, really understand Alana’s single identity. Who exactly am I?

One thing she’s discovered about relationships and life in general is that “I’m not a chaser.” When you are being the most authentic version of yourself, the things that are meant for you will find you. “We don’t chase” has been one of my life mottos throughout this phase. We draw people in. (She added that tidbit to the song “look i like” from another album.)

Taking stock of her developing career, Springsteen declares that she is positive that “I’m exactly where I’m meant to be,” but she also acknowledges that she is restless.


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“I have the ability to just keep moving forward because I have this vision in my head,” she declares. My goal has always been to connect with as many people as I can through my music and create this community. I consider the 9- and 10-year-olds in the crowd when I’m on the road and performing live. I was that person. I was observing Taylor at the time. I do what I do because I think that someone might be inspired to achieve their ambitions and to think that anything is possible by a song, a show, or a moment.

Through December 10th, Springsteen will continue her 15-date Twenty Something tour. In November, she will make two appearances at the Ridin’ Hearts Festival in Australia.

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