Anni Krueger has always been interested in the arts. She says the Hudson Valley is a much better place for artists than her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. She moved here when she was 18.
The middle child of parents who were performers, Anni was active in the performing arts from an early age. She began dancing at age three, and had her first role in a theatrical production at six. Since then, she has worked in many areas of the entertainment industry, from setting up and breaking down mics in a studio to singing with Levon Helm at one of his midnight rambles. She is also a model, having done national shoots for Parent and American Baby magazines, though locals may know her best as the face of Dig boutique.
When she’s not playing with her four-year-old son, Fenwick, Krueger spends much of her time using the Internet to build a wider audience for her musical pursuits. She’s currently recording her first full-length solo album, which she describes as mainstream pop, but in the future she wants to pursue an edgier, more rock sound. Though she asserts “I am not a rock star,” she says that she is proud that she has been able to make money doing what she loves most, which is making music.
What makes Saugerties unique?
The huge amount of artists. It’s special to me because I feel more at home here than I did where I grew up. Where I grew up it was all about sports and there wasn’t much of an appreciation for the arts. I love that you can go anywhere and find music. Anyone you talk to is a producer or a writer or a filmmaker. Everyone that I’ve ever met is somewhat arts-involved.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
My fiancé designs furniture and I think it’s amazing. I’m super-impressed by the amount of skills you have to have to be able to build things. I was always good at math but not good in the sense that I could figure out how to make a chair without it breaking or falling over. I spend some time in his studio with him when he’s building and I really love to learn about that. I’d like to develop as many skills as possible in my lifetime. I’d like to be better at the hands-on side of being creative.
What quality do you admire most in others?
Perseverance; people that don’t procrastinate, because I’m a huge procrastinator. I guess because I’m a perfectionist I’m always waiting for the right time for everything, so people that can just go out and get things done without hesitation impress me.
Do you have any heroes?
Musically, there’s a lot of artists that I admire for just making it happen for themselves. My parents, obviously. They both dropped out of college and still found awesome jobs. We had a great childhood. We weren’t the richest family in town but I don’t remember having a struggle, so I admire them for that and I hope I can provide that for Fenwick. That’s a hard thing when you have artists as parents. You have to fulfill your need to create and at the same time put food on the table. I want to be my own hero for my child just like my parents.
What is your idea of a perfect Saturday?
Sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee all day. If I can’t sit on the couch with a cup of coffee in my own home, then I’d like to be sitting on a couch with a cup of coffee in a studio doing music. Either way I’m happy, as long as there’s coffee involved.
What is your idea of happiness?
Doing what you love and making a living doing it. I don’t really have much of a drive for anything else.
What is your main fault?
That I’m a perfectionist. I always want things to be done right but I put too much pressure on myself. I’m starting to become more comfortable with just hearing my voice back on a recording. It’s a very personal thing to record yourself singing. It’s part of you. It’s taken several years to be comfortable and confident in myself. There are so many incredible singers and it’s hard not to compare yourself to them.
What is your favorite motto?
I don’t have one that I live by, but for me it’s ‘do what you love to do. Don’t settle.’
Which characters in history do you most admire?
Women’s rights activists. Even in the music industry you see live bands and they’re so male-dominated. I’m sure there’s just as many good female guitar players.
What is your present state of mind?
Happiness with an underlying note of stress. There’s constant stress. Whether it’s thinking of where Fenwick’s going to go to school or whether I’m going to have a job this month. The work I do is so inconsistent and that’s why I spend so much time online trying to network and make connections with people. But I’m really happy about where I am in life in general.