Born and raised in Miami, our Swag Spotlight this week, Ana Cristina Cash grew up listening to music in English and Spanish which shaped her artistry from a very young age. Her parents moved to Florida from Cuba in the 1960s and were avid music lovers. She tells New York Country Swag in a recent interview that her first concert was Gloria Estefan and she loved watching her perform live.
Her influences throughout her childhood included Barbara Streisand, The Carpenters, and even Madonna. She recalls her sisters having friends over and watching them make up dances to Michael Jackson songs, all the while curating a love for all kinds of music being instilled in her. “As I started growing into my own, I was heavily influenced by Jazz singers and country music singers,” Cash explains. “Etta James, Patsy Cline, Leann Rimes, Faith Hill, and Shania Twain, their voices and their stories were huge influences on me.”
Cash was fluent in Spanish and English as a child and now she always goes back to her roots when making decisions about her musical career. As a child, she performed on the longest running variety show, “Sábado Gigante”, which she explains was like The Mickey Mouse Club but in Spanish. That experience gave her the chance to work with professionals in the business very early on. “I began singing demos of popular songs and dabbled in writing when I was 13, 14, 15 years old. My demos were brought to an A&R person at Sony Music Latin who’s offices were in Miami and they offered me a job as an artist,” Cash tells us. She learned as a teenager the ins and outs of the industry, setting her up for a long career as a bilingual singer.
She met her husband John Carter Cash, the son of June Carter and Johnny Cash in a hotel in LA, they quickly became friends and it took John nine months to ask her out on a date. “We were drawn to each other and our mutual interests. We are a lot alike even though we come from two totally different worlds, me being from Miami and him being a Tennessee boy, we are so much alike, you would think we were cut from the same cloth,” she lovingly says. She admits that growing up in Miami without the ability to stream music on the internet, she had never really heard any of his father’s classic hits but now has a great appreciation for not only the way his father shaped country music but his mother as well. “It is great to be a part of a musical family, to have the inspiration. Now, I have nieces and nephews that sing and play instruments,” she tells us. John is a product of both parents being in the music industry, now their child, a 13-month-old baby girl is a product of both parents being in the music industry as well. “She’s very musical, I was 9 months pregnant and still performing.”
She prides herself on creating a country fusion sound mixed with blues and most recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of recording a Christmas album. “I always admired classic traditional Christmas songs and it is something I thought about doing for a long long time and I’m so blessed to be able to have done it,” Cash says. She worked with her husband over the course of several years, recording My Christmas Collection at the Cash Cabin Studios. The album features her versions of the classic holiday songs including “O Holy Night”, “Santa Baby” and of course “The Christmas Song”. She and her husband perform a duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as well as an original song that they penned together, “Santa Claus is Real”. “I love Christmas songs, I listen the entire year, not just during the season. I love the warmth that those songs inspire and how they make you feel and remind you of family and a joyful time in your life, I wanted something that sparked that joy,” she says of the album. She even sings one verse of “Silent Night” in Spanish, speaking to her bilingual fans and resonating with her culture. The entire project has a very old-timey sound, channeling the greats of the past who have put their mark on the Christmas season by recording the classic holiday hits. Take a listen to My Christmas Collection below.
Looking ahead to the new year, she plans on releasing a full-length album of original songs which was produced by her husband John. For all upcoming announcements and news follow Ana Cristina on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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