Croton Teenager Making Her Musical Mark

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Annie DiRusso, a 15-year-old Croton resident, said she loves the rush of being on stage.

Annie DiRusso performing at The Bitter End.
Annie DiRusso performing at The Bitter End. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Annie DiRusso
Annie DiRusso performing "Danger." Photo Credit: Courtesy of Annie DiRusso

DiRusso has performed at clubs throughout the area since she taught herself the guitar and began writing songs at 12. DiRusso said her music is acoustic folksy pop. She plays the ukulele and uses a loop pedal. 

Her influences are Ed Sheeran, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Taylor Swift and Frank Sinatra.

"I really like people who write their own songs," DiRusso said. "Singer songwriters are my inspiration."

A Taylor Swift concert at age 13 is what inspired DiRusso to want to start performing on stage. She said she likes writing about what she sees going on in other people's lives.

"It's what I see when I take the train," DiRusso said. "I hear a tidbit of someone else's conversation and I try to make it a story. I also like writing about the things I'm going to achieve and what I'm going toward."

DiRusso's music has been featured on WHUD and she received a $1,000 grant from Keds to pursue her music,

Performing at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village was the most memorable experience for DiRusso so far.

"I went into the green room and everyone who had played there had written their signature on the wall, so I wrote my signature too," DiRusso said. "It was really cool, when I got off the stage, everyone was clapping. It was the coolest moment of my life."

DiRusso said she is nervous before she takes the stage, but performing is her favorite thing to do.

"Being on stage is the best feeling," DiRusso said. "I love sharing something with a group of people and seeing their reactions."

Webster Hall is a venue that is currently on DiRusso's bucket list.

"I saw a concert there a couple months ago and it was really cool," DiRusso said.

DiRusso said her friends are supportive of her musical aspirations and one friend has even helped establish her social media profile. DiRusso said she would like to study music in college but very few programs offer contemporary programs. 

"I'm definitely looking into it," DiRusso said.

To listen to DiRusso's song, "Danger," visit

to follow Daily Voice Cortlandt and receive free news updates.