Ava August, a 17-year-old singer-songwriter and junior at Dana Hills High School, released her latest single, a heartbreak ballad, titled “Move On” on Feb. 24.
At age 12, August appeared on NBC’s The Voice. At 15, she became the youngest contestant to perform and appear on American Idol. August wrote her latest single the summer after she left American Idol and was just getting out of a relationship.
“I was having to move on from this person and I wasn’t ready to, but it was painful because they were moving on from me,” August said. “So, it was kind of this feeling like I have to move on regardless and that was really hard for me to accept.”
On a trip to Nashville for a songwriting session that summer, August shared the idea for the song with her producer.
“I told my producer I want to write a song that encapsulates the feeling that I’m going through in this moment,” August said. “I started messing around on the piano at the studio and we co-wrote the song that day.”
“We wanted to write something that was emotional, but people can relate to,” August continued. “Something that also encapsulated a power from a powerful vocal and very simplistic production.”
Over a year after writing the song, August began teasing “Move On” to her fans on social media in mid-January,
“The first kind of teaser I did of the song was this video of me in my car and I was lip-syncing some of the lyrics of the first verse and I said, ‘oh, this is one of the saddest songs I’ve ever written,’ ” August said.
“It got a lot of great engagement, a lot of fans responded, and they were just super excited to be able to listen to the song,” August continued. “It’s really insane and mind-blowing how music is so universal.”
August added that she’s amazed by the response “Move On” has received from fans around the world.
“Many people, hundreds of people all over the world are commenting like, ‘oh my god, I literally am going through this right now,’ like, ‘I need this song immediately, I need to add it to my playlist,’ ” August said.
“That’s why I do music,” August continued. “It’s just so cool to see the fan response and how people relate to the song.”
Since the song’s release in late February, August said it’s been satisfying to have fans connect so much to her music.
“I’ve been writing for so long and I took the last two years since I left (American Idol) to really find my sound, tell my story and write songs that I want people to really identify me with,” August said.
“Part of that process is having to uncover different emotions and feelings and things that you kind of put in the back of your mind, just being super authentic,” August continued. “That’s been so amazing just seeing how well received the authenticity has been from the fans. They like seeing realness.”
Ever since she first sang publicly, what August loves about being a singer-songwriter is seeing the effect music has on people.
“It’s so exhilarating for me, and I get this like serotonin. It’s this excitement that I get that’s so addictive,” August said. “It’s always making me want to perform out and share my originals.”
The multi-instrumentalist plays ukulele, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and keyboard but writes most of her songs on the piano.
Though her post-high school plans are up in the air, August said she aims to pursue music full time.
“Personally, I just want to be doing music full time,” August said. “It’s hard juggling both school and my career at the same time because doing my music and putting out songs and connecting with my fans, it’s a full-time job.”
“I absolutely love it so hopefully by the time I’m 18 and done with high school, I’ll be able to take my music to the highest level.” August continued.”
Later this month, August plans to perform on the Laguna Beach promenade.
Soon, August said, fans can expect more songs over the next year, with the hopes of having an EP out by the end of the year.
August, speaking with the Dana Point Times on March 2, also teased a music video to be released in the next week, available on all platforms and her YouTube channel.
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