New album in works for young recording artist after NAMA win

Photo caption: Osage tribal member Ava Rose Johnson, 12, attended the 19th Annual Native American Music Awards on Nov. 2 in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and became the youngest person to win an award. Courtesy Photo/Nathan Johnson

Ava Rose Johnson, the youngest artist to win a Native American Music Award at the age of 12, has a busy winter and spring ahead of her.

After her Nov. 2 win in Niagara Falls, N.Y., at the 19th Annual Native American Music Awards for Best Independent Recording for her video “Heaven’s Window,” she is currently in the songwriting process and gearing up to travel to Albuquerque, N.M., where she will record another video.

She recently performed in Wilburton for the Christmas Tree lighting on Nov. 22, said her father Nathan Johnson.

“We hope to have it [her new video] completed by mid-December. She is focusing on songwriting and hopes to be back in Nashville in 2020 to record some more music,” he said.  “She will be performing at three private events during November and December and participating in the Performing Arts series at Eastern Oklahoma State College in February. Ava also plays basketball, softball, participates in 4H and is the youngest member of her Church Choir.”

She also presented an award at the NAMAs, he said. Some of the award recipients that night were Oscar winner Wes Studi, WWE’s Mickie James and Rock band Portugal.

When asked if he expected his daughter to win, he said no.

“Not really we just thought it would be fun and a great experience to go!! When she won, we all were so excited!!” he said.

Johnson co-wrote “Heaven’s Window” with Sean Fuller, Florida Georgia Line drummer. The video was produced by Lainey Edwards (Choctaw) and Billy Dawson over the course of three days and premiered on April 9 at the First Baptist Church Life Impact Center in Red Oak, Okla.  

“Heaven’s Window” is a song in memory of a friend who died in an ATV accident two years ago, Johnson said.

The Native American Music Awards & Association consists of more than 40,000 registered voting members and professionals in the field of Native American music and entertainment, according to the NAMA website. They hold the largest Native American Music archive featuring a collection of over 10,000 audio and video recordings in all formats housed since 1990.