Aubrey Anna: An Interview with the YouTube Fashionista and Songstress

To someone viewing her Instagram photos or watching her YouTube videos, Aubrey’s world is one which contains fashion and a touch of magic. It’s life best viewed through a pair of bubblegum pink sunglasses. The woman behind the screen is just as charming as her media platforms convey; to top it all off, she’s passionate, hardworking, and an amazing vocalist. Aubrey uses her platform to present a place full of whimsical 70's vibes, as well as a space of creativity and openness, to her 20,000 plus subscribers. In this interview, Audrey discusses her view on the effects of social media and creating new YouTube content,  as well as gushing about yummy vegan food and the people that inspire her most. Interview by Kate Hunker.

Lithium: You are obviously a multitalented woman, one of those gifts being a beautiful singing voice. Have you always wanted to sing? Who has inspired you most to do so? What are some of your favorite songs?
Aubrey: Thank you very much! I think it started when I was super little. I learned "The Star-Spangled Banner" and got some praise from my mom and some neighbors, you know. I started singing the national anthem everywhere could-- 4th of July parties, Little League baseball games, [and] even the school talent show. I couldn’t get enough of performing. A few years later I discovered musical theater and that was when I really caught the bug. Some of my all-time favorite songs are from musicals. There’s something special about a song meant to tell a story or be a window into a character's mind. Leading ladies from classic musical films inspired me as a child; they were such stunning and poised performers. I always wanted to be Dorothy and get lost in Oz.

Lithium: Besides your singing videos, you post plenty of other content. What are your favorite videos to make?
Aubrey: I love making videos that let me be a little creative with editing! I love editing clips to music, as in my Monthly Playlist & Favorite Places in L.A. videos. I also love playing with color[s], border[s], and title text like [the ones] in my Lookbooks. I am definitely comfortable in front of a camera, but I find a satisfying escape in the post-process.

Lithium: Is there a type of video that you haven’t made yet or a topic that you want to discuss or create?
Aubrey: Yes, definitely! I feel that there’s a ton of uncovered ground on my channel that I have yet to explore. I would like to play around with more covers and some original music content as well. I think I’ve always secretly wanted to center my channel around music and film. Oh, and probably videos about being vegan, because there’s nothing I love more than discussing food!

Lithium: Do you think that the content of your videos has changed since you began posting on YouTube? 
Audrey: Definitely. In the beginning, I was dabbling in a bit of everything. The early stages of a YouTube channel are filled with trial-and-error and a ton of self-discovery. You find out what you feel comfortable creating and what content makes you feel alive and imaginative. At this point, I have a good feel for what is not only right for my brand but what I truly enjoy creating! I enjoy more curated content than candid. (I save more of the off-the-cuff stuff for my second channel, Regalshow, that I share with my boyfriend, Joe.) Lately, I’ve been wanting to lean towards the direction of highly edited videos, like covers and lookbooks.

Lithium: Do you feel as though having a substantial social media presence has changed any part of who you are offline? How do you believe social media affects the offline lives of its users, specifically adolescents?
Aubrey: Social media has helped me in a pretty valuable way. I look at everyday things differently...I feel like I’m sort of on a constant creativity mode. Now that I have a medium to create upon, I discover inspiration in everything! It’s also gotten me to take singing and filmmaking much more seriously and motivates me to always be working. Also, [it serves as] a daily reminder to continue to be kind and positive [due to the fact that] my audience includes a younger demographic and I always want to do right by them.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few negative aspects of social media. Looking at the analytics, engagement rates and views can get toxic at times. I found that distancing myself from the YT analytics has helped me make content that I enjoy before what I believe will do 'well'.

Lithium: Switching topics, many of your videos center around thrifted clothing. Why do you thrift? What is the best part about thrifting your clothes? Can you comment on the impact that thrifting has on the environment?
Aubrey: I have always thrifted. It definitely roots from my high school days-- wanting to have a unique style that expressed myself while not having much money. I would work after school every day, and the second I got my paycheck, it was a beeline to the thrift store. It was heaven. I could finally play around with styling and altering clothing without the worry of how much cash I shelled out. Also, I am always trying to be conscious of my impact on the environment, and thrifting is an easy (and fun!) way to cut back on giving your dollar to companies that use factories overseas.

Lithium: Switching topics again! You’ve mentioned in a couple videos that you follow a vegan lifestyle. Bless us with some knowledge on veganism! What would be your advice to someone who wants to go vegan? 
Aubrey: Going vegan is a million times simpler than I thought! I always say the easiest swap for starter vegans is milk. Almond, soy, hemp, rice, cashew...the list goes on and on! [There is] no need for cows when there [are] so many plant-based choices-- all creamy and delicious, too. Another tip for beginning vegans would be to first introduce a wide variety of fruits and veggies to your diet. Then when you cut out meat [and] dairy, it [will seem] minor. My last tip [is to] try a hearty vegan dish at a homestyle vegan restaurant (if available). You will never look back!

Lithium: What is one thing that you want everyone reading this interview to know about you?
Aubrey: My Instagram handle is @aubrey.anna and I post there regularly!

Lithium: What is the future looking like for you?
Aubrey: The distant future... who knows! I’d like to think that no matter where I end up I will be joyful and fulfilled. I’ve been focusing a good deal of my energy on some new music-related projects that I’m excited to share! I’m also working on a few film projects with my boyfriend/partner, Joe (regaljoe) that I am equally excited for. So, lots to come! And thanks a million for having me for Lithium Magazine!

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