Annie Oakley studying and performing near you

May 2, 2016 Feature, Featured Slider, Features Print Print
Annie Oakley

Sophia Babb, Nia Personette and Grace Babb run through their Annie Oakley set before OCCC’s Got Talent on April 16. The trio won the grand prize later that evening. Photo by Lenora LaVictoire/Pioneer

Grace and Sophia Babb are two familiar faces at OCCC. The identical twins are hardly seen without each other.

The Babb sisters have been taking all the same classes in school together their entire lives. The twins are only 18 years old but they are soon to acquire their associates degrees in broadcast journalism from OCCC, where they have been taking concurrent classes since their junior year of high school. They will graduate from Epic Charter School, an online school, this spring, and the girls have much hope for their future.

“I see myself working at a radio station in the future,” Grace said. “I’ll still be playing of course and hopefully touring.

“It would be cool if we could find a job working at the same place,” she said. “We make a good team. We help each other study. Where I lack creativity she has discipline. One of us usually has an advantage over the other so it’s balanced.

“When we took Sharon Vaughn’s Intro to Government class, it really inspired us to get involved,” Sophia said. “We want to go into broadcasting with knowledge. We want to know what’s going on in the world.”

Though the girls love learning, they say their music is where their passion lies. The two have been performing together since they were just three years old.

“We have always sang, and I started playing guitar my freshman year,” Grace said.

Now, just three years later, they play gigs nearly every weekend. The twins make up two-thirds of the trio known as Annie Oakley.

The band recently won the grand prize at OCCC’s Got Talent, the college talent show.

But Annie Oakley has been playing the Norman and Oklahoma City area for quite some time now. They are especially popular on Campus Corner in  Norman, but they have recently started branching out of their home state.

They attended the Folk Alliance in Kansas City where they spent four days with agents who will book their tour.

Their music is folkish but they say they have a wide range of what they listen to. “I like Allison Crouse,” Grace said, “ but I also love Robert Plant. Locally, John Fullbright is my favorite.”

Nia Personette joined the band in 2013 shortly after they formed. Personette fills the sound with her violin and soft vocals.

“It’s always a surprise to me what song is next,” Personette said. “They can look at each other and feel it, but sometimes they don’t tell me.”

Personette is also a high school student who takes concurrent classes at OCCC.

Grace plays lead with a high harmony part, Personette plays violin and takes a third lower harmony while Sophia sings lead, plays rhythm, leads the group, she said, and keeps time by rocking back and forth to the music while, together, they fill the room with their like-minded melody.

Annie Oakley is currently working to release a new three-song EP soon.

They have been playing some of the newer tracks live.

“They have a brand new song coming out called Our Red Earth. It’s all about yelling without being angry,” she said. It’s about Oklahoma. Don’t get it wrong, we love Oklahoma, but there are so many things we don’t talk about or address like cultural issues, wage issues, the Daniel Holtzclaw trial. This song talks about the 13 black women who didn’t have protection,”

The women said the song suggests Holtzclaw cried behind his hands at his trial but he was only crying for the TV screen.

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