Priscilla Ahn

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Priscilla Ahn
Ahn performing at the Unsung Heroes tribute in January 2017.
Ahn performing at the Unsung Heroes tribute in January 2017.
Background information
Birth namePriscilla Natalie Hartranft
Born (1984-03-09) March 9, 1984 (age 40)
Fort Stewart, Georgia, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • melodica
  • harmonica
  • ukulele
  • banjo
Years active2003–present
LabelsBlue Note

Priscilla Ahn (born Priscilla Natalie Hartranft; March 9, 1984)[citation needed] is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She released her single "Dream" from her debut album, A Good Day, produced by Joey Waronker for EMI's Blue Note Records, in 2008. After growing up in Pennsylvania and graduating from high school, Ahn moved to Los Angeles, California, adopted her mother's Korean maiden name, and began to pursue a music career.

Ahn has toured with Willie Nelson,[1] Amos Lee (for whom she sang backup vocals),[2] Ray LaMontagne,[1] Devotchka and Joshua Radin.[2] Her collaborative efforts include Tiësto's "I Am Strong", Cary Brothers' "Maps" and Ashtar Command's "The Breakup Song".

Ahn has released several albums, including A Good Day, When You Grow Up, and This Is Where We Are. She has toured internationally, including tours in Japan, China, Korea and the US.[3]

Early life and beginnings[edit]

Priscilla Natalie Hartranft was born in Fort Stewart, Georgia, to Kay (née Ahn) and Harry Hartranft. Her family visited South Korea, where her mother is from, several times.[4] Her parents met when her father was stationed there while in the military.[5]

Ahn spent her childhood growing up in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and attended Tulpehocken Area High School. She started playing guitar and harmonica at the age of 14 and performed in choirs and musical productions throughout high school.[5][6] After graduation her music professors Charles Eckhart and Douglas Crowder encouraged her to pursue her music career full-time.[7] She soon moved to Los Angeles.[5][8]

She took her mother's maiden name as her stage name, saying, "Ahn is so much prettier and simpler. It’s also an ode to my Korean background, which is where I get my musical genes from.”[4]


After years of performing at open mic nights, Priscilla Ahn played a showcase in New York City for Blue Note Records and was signed to the label. In 2008, Blue Note Records released her full-length debut album, A Good Day, produced by Joey Waronker. The following June, Ahn went on a national tour.[9] Her album, A Good Day included musical contributions by keyboardists Greg Kurstin, Keefus Ciancia, guitarist Mike Andrews, musical saw player Ursula Knudsun, cellist and string arranger Oliver Kraus, keyboardist Larry Goldings and singers Jim Gilstrap and Orin Waters.[7]

Priscilla Ahn has toured with Joshua Radin, Amos Lee, Willie Nelson and Ray Lamontagne and contributed vocals to the albums Supply and Demand, Mission Bell and Kaleidoscope.[10] She was selected as Artist of the Week in Paste magazine in June 2008.[11]

Ahn's songs have appeared on the television shows Grey's Anatomy,[12] Knight Rider, Make It Or Break It, Married Single Other, several episodes of the Ghost Whisperer,[13] and in the films Disturbia,[14] Bride Wars, Love Happens, My Sister's Keeper, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove and Moms' Night Out.

After contributing to the compilations album, His Way, Our Way, Priscilla Ahn collaborated with Inara George, Sia, Eleni Mandell, Charlie Wadhams and Jake Blanton on her album When You Grow Up which was produced by Ethan Johns.

Ahn appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in May 2011 and ABC's Dancing with the Stars, performing songs from her debut A Good Day and the title track from When You Grow Up.[15]

After a period of writer's block, Ahn isolated herself in a remote desert hotel to create new music for the album This is Where We Are. "I found the whole thing really inspiring, and suddenly, all these songs came pouring out. I just needed a little isolation and focus, some new sounds to play with, and a carefree, 'this is just an experiment' attitude to begin writing again."[3] This Is Where We Are was released in Japan on 19 July 2013 and later in Korea and Taiwan and was released in the US on 15 February 2014.[16]

She also composed and performed music for the nationally successful Ghibli film in 2014: When Marnie Was There directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi including the soundtrack in the credit sequence Fine on the Outside, as well as 9 other songs based on the film which were published in an album When Marnie Was There Song Album - Just Know That I Love You.

Ahn's music is described as grounded in folk, country, and pop.[7] Ahn explored electropop music in the album This Is Where We Are.[17] Of the album's stylistic departure, she said, "I like to let things naturally flow out when I’m writing, and be whatever they’ll be. I think the biggest reason why this album ended up sounding so different from my previous two is because I wrote most of these songs on a keyboard, instead of my guitar. I bought a keyboard, learned how to use Logic Pro, and used their basic audio samples as a songwriting tool. It opened up a whole new world to me sonically, and all these new songs just came pouring out."[4]

Personal life[edit]

Ahn married actor Michael Weston in May 2010. They have 3 children.[18][19]



Title Album details Peak chart positions
A Good Day 147 51
When You Grow Up
  • Released: May 3, 2011
  • Label: Blue Note Records
- -
Natural Colors - 186
Home ~ My Song Diary
  • Released: October 31, 2012
  • Label: EMI Music Japan
- 270
This Is Where We Are
  • Released: July 25, 2013
  • Label: SQE Music
- 238
Just Know That I Love You - 58
Priscilla Ahn Best[22] - 193
La La La
  • Released: Oct 28, 2016
  • Label: In a Tree Inc.
- -


  • Priscilla Ahn (2007, self-released)
  • Live Session (2008, iTunes)
  • In A Tree (2009)
  • Sweet Hearts (2012, With Charlie Wadhams)
  • Waiting (2021)


  • "Dream" (2008, Blue Note)
  • "I'll Never Smile Again" (2009)
  • "I Am Strong" by Tiësto featuring vocals by Priscilla Ahn (2009)[23]
  • "Where The Leaf Starts To Fall" featuring Taiwanese music band Sodagreen (2013)
  • "從一片落葉開始 (It Began With A Fallen Leaf)" by Sodagreen featuring vocals by Priscilla Ahn (2013)

Music videos[edit]

  • "Dream"
  • "Red Cape"
  • "Vibe So Hot"
  • "I Don't Have Time To Love"
  • "When You Grow Up"
  • "Torch Song"
  • "Home"
  • "Remember How I Broke Your Heart"
  • "Leave It Open"

Compilation appearances[edit]



Credits of Priscilla Ahn as a vocalist and/or songwriter

Year Film Recording Title Notes
2009 Bride Wars "Dream"[30] Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Loving Leah "Dream" Hallmark Hall of Fame
2010 My Sister's Keeper "Find My Way Back Home" Warner Bros. Pictures
Brand New Day (f/k/a Traveling) "Dream" Universal City Studios Productions LLLP
Legends of the Canyon "Dream" Impact film Sales LTD
Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove "Find My Way Back Home" Warner Bros. Pictures
2011 An Invisible Sign of My Own "In a Tree" Invisible Indelible
Red Flag "Find My Way Back Home" Hands On Productions, Inc.
2012 Chasing Maverics vocalist
2013 Missing Pieces "Find My Way Back Home" Contraction Entertainment
The Goats "Wallflower" The Goats, LLC
Pacific Rim "Mako"[31] Warner Bros. Pictures & Legendary Pictures
2014 When Marnie Was There "Fine on the Outside" Studio Ghibli
Moms' Night Out "Dream" Affirm Films
2016 La La Land additional vocals
American Pastoral (film) "Moon River"[32] Lionsgate


Credits of Priscilla Ahn as a vocalist and/or songwriter

Television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Priscilla Ahn: A Rising Star's Modest Approach". NPR. May 20, 2011. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  2. ^ a b "Priscilla Ahn". Happening @ Michigan. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  3. ^ a b Cihak, Izzy (2014-05-02). "Priscilla Ahn: Deliberately Deserted and Back Again". Philthy Mag. Retrieved 2014-05-11.
  4. ^ a b c Hamlin, Andrew (2014-05-02). "Songwriter recalls lonely, idyllic childhood, & feeling 'different'". Northwest Asian Weekly. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  5. ^ a b c Carlson, Julie (October 10, 2014). "Dream goes Ahn". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  6. ^ "Priscilla Ahn - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  7. ^ a b c "Priscilla Ahn Biography". LetsSingIt. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  8. ^ "Debut album hints at good things to come from Korean-American singer Priscilla Ahn". San Jose Mercury News. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  9. ^ "Priscilla Ahn Pictures, Albums, Ringtones, Videos". 2011-04-20. Archived from the original on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  10. ^ (Feb 21, 2011) Amos Lee on World Cafe NPR News, Retrieved April 212012
  11. ^ Leahey, Andrew (2008-06-04). "Artist of the Week: Priscilla Ahn". Paste Magazine. Archived from the original on 2019-06-17. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  12. ^ "Grey's Anatomy Music - Singer-Songwriters From the Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack". 2008-06-10. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  13. ^ (2010-09-02). "Ghost Whisperer - Season 4, Episode 5: Bloodline". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  14. ^ "Disturbia Soundtrack". IMDb. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  15. ^ Chagollan, Steve (2011-05-05). "Priscilla Ahn's angelic charms". Variety. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  16. ^ "Priscilla Ahn Plugs In for February 25 'This Is Where We Are'". Hot Press. 2013-11-20. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  17. ^ Monger, Timothy (2013-12-05). "Priscilla Ahn This Is Where We Are". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  18. ^ Lim, Vincent (2011-06-28). "On Growing Up: Priscilla Ahn album review". US-China Today. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  19. ^ Magazine, Audrey (2014-03-07). "VOICES CARRY: Priscilla Ahn". Character Media. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  20. ^ "Priscilla Ahn Chart History Billboard". Billboard 200.
  21. ^ "Priscilla Ahn ORICON NEWS" (in Japanese). Oricon. 4 August 2014.
  22. ^ "New Best of Album in Japan". Priscilla Ahn. 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  23. ^ "Tiësto* - Kaleidoscope (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  24. ^ "The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs - Various Artists - Credits". AllMusic. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  25. ^ "We Were Here - Joshua Radin - Credits". AllMusic. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  26. ^ "Underwater - Joshua Radin - Credits". AllMusic. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  27. ^ "William Fitzsimmons - The Sparrow And The Crow (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  28. ^ "Popservations™". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  29. ^ "Priscilla Ahn & Rachael Yamagata Feature on Ashtar Command's 'American Sunshine' Album". 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  30. ^ Magazine, Jigsaw. "Priscilla Ahn". Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  31. ^ "Pacific Rim: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". WaterTower Music. Archived from the original on 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  32. ^ "'American Pastoral' Soundtrack Information". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  33. ^ グローバル・プラス株式会社 (29 September 2012). "プリシラ・アーン、美しい日本語でドラマ主題歌を担当 - Priscilla Ahn - BARKS音楽ニュース". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  34. ^ "Priscilla Ahn プリシラ・アーン・ベスト". Universal Music Japan. Retrieved 2015-04-09.

External links[edit]