Ana Free Biography
Born to a British mother and Portuguese father, Free grew up with her older brother in Cascais. At a young age she was passionate about writing poetry and stories, and began writing and composing at the age of 10. Since then, she has been able to play the guitar fluently for over 15 years, and has amassed over 300 original compositions. During her childhood, she went to St.Julians International School in Carcavelos, where she picked up her distinctive accent.
She is currently recording and living in the United Kingdom and recently finished a degree with First Class Honours in economics at the University of Kent in 2008. Ana developed a particular fondness for subjects like international trade and game theory and went on to write a dissertation titled What is the Impact of Technology on the Structure of the Major Record Labels (between 1995 and 2005)? for which she received a Distinction. As well as being fluent in both English and Portuguese, Ana also speaks Spanish, French and Greek.
Free claims to have been very musically influenced by the records her father used to play to her as a child. She says she grew up listening to artists such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Santana, Sam Cooke, Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow. She learned to play a lot of blues songs on guitar, which she practised with her father. She says that as a teenager she used to borrow her brother's records and listened to artists like Bryan Adams, Guns'N'Roses, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and 4 Non Blondes. She was also a fan of mainstream pop acts like Christina Aguilera, En Vogue, Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, Spice Girls, and Ace of Base. Among these, she listens to artists like Pink, John Mayer, Rihanna, Jason Mraz, Pixie Lott, Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding and Linkin Park, as well as having strong influences from Portuguese, Greek, Spanish and French music.
A recent interview with Billboard Magazine mentions Ana is scheduled to release her debut album later in 2012. In May 2012, Ana showcased her album at the first officially YouTube endorsed festival in Singapore, her first ever visit to Asia, sponsored by Warner Singapore, Blackberry and telecoms company Starhub. Performing alongside David Choi, Tiffany Alvord, Jason Chen and Joseph Vincent, Ana debuted the first single "Electrical Storm" off her upcoming debut album on The MTV Show. On June 2nd 2012, Ana will perform for the first time at the prestigious Rock In Rio festival in Lisbon.
In late 2011, Ana teamed up with MTV EMA nominee DJ Diego Miranda and together they recorded the hit single "Girlfriend" which went on to hold the number 1 spot on the national charts for over 8 weeks.. The videoclip has over 1.5 million views.
In August 2011 it was revealed that Ana had won the Music Crowns pop category with her track 'In My Place' as judged by Samantha Mumba, Liam Bailey, Ahmir, Su-Elise Nash and ultimately the UK and Ireland general public.
In May 2010, Free travelled to New York City to work with British film director, music producer and writer Mark Maclaine, for the filming of the videoclip for Questions in My Mind, her first single off the five-track EP Radian, released in February 2010. She also travelled to Portugal to record the videoclip with Portuguese rock band Hands on Approach, for whom she recorded vocals on the song Black Tears, for their album High and Above.
In the autumn of 2009, Free recorded her five-track acoustic/pop EP Radian in London which went into physical distribution in FNAC stores in Portugal the following year. In February and March 2010 she debuted the record in Miami and New York City. She was also featured prominently on a billboard in Times Square. The album has an acoustic/pop theme and is a selection of 5 of Ana's most popular original-content YouTube videos.
In November 2008, Free was invited to record the Portuguese theme tune Voa Até Ao Teu Coração for the release of the Disney movie Tinker Bell for which she also recorded the music video.
She made her first live TV performance in the summer of 2007 on TVI in Portugal, where she sang "Crazy", a song she composed herself. Ana has achieved chart success with her first single, which was released on 23 May 2008, "In My Place". The popularity of her song made it feature in various Portuguese series including Morangos com Açúcar and Podia Acabar o Mundo.
Ana frequently tours in Portugal, London and New York, and her gigs are recorded by her friends and uploaded to her blogs and websites. She opened for British singer/songwriter James Morrison in the summer of 2010. In November 2010, she opened for Shakira, which Ana considers one of her career's most defining and special moments. Some of her most popular songs, with over a million views each, include covers of Nickelback's "Savin' Me", The Rolling Stones hit "Angie", and Shakira's 2010 World Cup theme "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)".
Ana has contributed to a variety of charitable causes, including lending her name to the Liga Portuguesa contra o Cancro (LPCC) in 2009, as an ambassador for raising awareness for cervical cancer. In 2010, the Make A Wish Foundation worked with Ana to fulfil the wishes of a young teenage fan suffering from cystic fibrosis, by inviting her and her family to spend 5 days in London, where she accompanied Ana to studio, the London Eye, and attended her popular show at The Barfly.