Relocating from Medina, Ohio, is Knoxville’s newest breakout musician Nancy Ann Wilson. Wilson’s music career started where it seems most children today do not frequent enough—the playground. Her swing-set dreams carried her to the sixth grade talent show, where she cried and cried of stage fright. Feeling defeated, Wilson rushed down to snuggle and hold her favorite comfort blanket; and he held her right back.
Nancy’s father, Nick Wilson, cultivated an environment where it was okay to be yourself. He empowered his daughter by showing up to talent shows, local fairs, and purchasing his little bird her first guitar—named Tweety. Nick’s support gave his daughter the courage to wipe away those tears, get back on stage, and land a spot in that talent show. This newfound confidence carried Nancy through high school auditions and even landed her a semifinalist spot on American Idol.
A Pinterest worthy quote from Choke by Chuck Palahniuk says “Art never comes from happiness,” and Nancy is no stranger to tragedy. In August of 2015, Nick Wilson suddenly passed away—leaving his little bird to fly solo.
“Losing a parent makes you grow up fast and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Wilson said. “Being independent so young made me ambitious, yet cautious; fiercely trying to achieve our dreams, while watching my own back like he would have.”
Wilson took the Old City by storm on June 8, 2018 by debuting original music in her dad’s signature flannel. Her new comfort blanket chromatically stitched and belted gave Wilson the confidence she needed to continue her art.
“After that first performance, it didn’t feel right to wear anything else,” Wilson said. “That night defined me as an artist; but, also created so much validation around our relationship. From that moment on, we were doing this thing together, and not even his passing could take that away.”
Her favorite ways to wear his flannel are: thigh high boots & a belt (of course), like a cardigan over a crop top and high waisted jeans, around my waist 90’s style with a skin tight collar neck red dress and white sneakers.
After her performance last summer at Pretentious Beer Company, Wilson and guitarist/ boyfriend, Matt Robbins, landed local gigs at the Pilot Light, Rhythm and Blooms festival, Awaken Coffee, Bliss and Tori Mason Shoes, and the Dogwood Arts Festival. She also signed with Broadcast Music, Inc. and Tunecore with an EP in the works.
The mark of a true artist is one that can elicit a particular emotion through their music––where the music can be an antidepressant or a sedative. If you’re needing an extra shot of happiness in the morning, Coffee and Tea “will always be okay with me” and you! Needing to “take a fake apology and throw it out the door”?
“How To Know They Don’t Love You” (originally called “I Hate You”) is your maximum volume anthem. Knox Music Warehouse even added this song to their Top 20 releases of 2018 list.
“It’s okay to be angry [in dealing with grief], but there comes a point where it’s consuming and you need to allow yourself to change––because you need to to keep going,” Wilson said.
That is exactly what Wilson’s career will do—keep going. How can the sky be a limit when your VIP seating is in heaven?