The Tasmanian hip hop/R&B artist Annie Medling’s career began with a near-death experience. When she was twenty years old, Annie suffered a heart attack while jogging and was found unconscious.
After being fitted with a pacemaker, Annie decided not to let her condition stand in the way of her dreams and opened her first dance studio.
“I’ve had a lot of extreme health issues over the last ten years consistently, and that’s definitely had an impact on how I’ve run my life,” said Annie. “It’s made me lose my fear of failure.”
Over time, Annie’s hip hop dance studio expanded to four locations across Australia and Malaysia. “It was a massive part of my life,” said Annie. “I had a no formal training or business experience when I started, so I developed a lot of skills on the job.”
It was at the encouragement of her dance students that Annie began posting videos of herself singing online. “I had started doing a little singing here and there. I originally didn’t want to go public with it, but my dance students threw back advice that I had given them: ‘You’re always telling us to be confident and put yourself out there!’”
Annie uploaded her version of Alicia Key’s “Fallin’” onto Facebook, where it attracted the attention of New York rapper Chase Baker. When Baker contacted her with the idea of pursuing a career as a vocalist, Annie insisted that she wasn’t a singer.
“You’re wrong,” replied Baker.
Annie Medling’s 2016 debut, Elusive
At Baker’s encouragement, Annie moved to Melbourne, where she made a name for herself in the city’s thriving independent music scene. Eventually, Annie decided to devote herself entirely to music and left her dance studio to a former student. She released her debut album, Elusive, in 2016.
Annie moved to Toronto this year. “There’s a really amazing music scene here that a lot of people from Australia follow,” said Annie. “I’ve accomplished more in the past two months here than in the whole last year.”
Moving to Toronto has been another challenge in a life of taking risks.
“I’ve had lots second chances, which I’m thankful for. Even if it’s not a guarantee, I feel it’s worth it. When I’m on my deathbed, I don’t want to feel I didn’t try. To the point where I was able to pack a couple of suitcases and move to another country.”
On Thursday, June 29, Medling will perform at Studio.89 as part of its monthly Coffee House open mic night. Starting at 7 PM, a diverse array of musicians and spoken word artists will perform, including three vocalists who took part in MAC’s Teen Got Talent Vocal Competition: Sophie Byrd, Cmagic5, and third-place winner Maame Gyiwuo.
Emceeing the event will be former Limelight artist Matthew Stellinga, a singer/songwriter who has performed throughout the GTA. Stellinga is also a photographer and filmmaker pursuing a degree in Digital Communications at Humber College. For more information, visit his website at www.stellingacreativeco.ca.
There is no admission fee for the evening. If you would like to learn more about Coffee House night, or if you’re interested in performing, e-mail Nansy Khanano at firstname.lastname@example.org.