Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alyssa Del-Valle: Never Giving Up

The gift of hearing is one many of us take for granted.  However, for vocal artists such as Alyssa Del-Valle, hearing is essential to what they do; it drives their passion and their futures in this industry.  At a young age, Alyssa had a passion for singing; however, she faced a medical issue, which almost took from her the ability to hear.  This condition discouraged Alyssa from following her dream, and made her shy about singing in front of people.  It was not until high school that Alyssa regained her confidence in singing through the help of one of her friends, Janelle.

Currently, Alyssa attends Manhattanville College as a Communications major and music minor.  She says that her interest in communications stemmed from her love of music.  “It is open and diverse…” she describes, “and I can mix it with music.” 

Young and ambitious, this 19 year old from the Bronx has experienced first hand how competitive the industry can be.  At the age of 16, Alyssa went to Nashville, Tennessee to audition for the reality show American Idol.  However, after countless hours on line and one audition with the show’s producers she was not moved to the next phase in the competition.  This didn’t slow her down though, since then Ally Dee, as her friends call her, has only improved vocally and gained more and more confidence in herself.

Alyssa loves the music of artists such as Bruno Mars, Christina Aguilera, David Archuleta, and Jessie J just to name a few and admires all of these artists for their hard work, dedication, and love of music.  She considers her own voice to be a blend of Tori Kelly, Bruno Mars and Jessie J, “It’s like a pop, soul, jazzy, rock blend” she says, and there is no doubt about that when listening to her lovely voice. 

We spoke of what her potential album name would be and although she was not one hundred percent sure, she mentioned she might want to name is Deaf Sonata.  After coming so close to losing her hearing, the first song she learned how to play on the piano was Sonata.  And so, the name Deaf Sonata would be relevant to the start of her beautiful journey back toward what she truly loves: music. 

Her mom and dad have always been huge inspirations for Ally and she says that if she were to make it big there are a few things that she would do with her money before anything else.  She says she would give everything to her mom, make sure her bills were paid and that her mom is able to go on a nice vacation, “I really want to make her happy.” She said.  Also, Alyssa plans to choose an existing children’s organization to donate to and actively participate in as a way of giving back. 

Motivation is key in an industry like this, and Ally says that she is always doing things to remind herself to keep her dream alive.  She is currently taking classes at her college that involve music, “…it’s a part of me” she says. No matter what she does she always has time for her music.  “I don’t have to make time for music, music is just always there,” she describes. 

Alyssa has assured me that she will always work hard at what she loves, and wants to spread the love though her music.  She has come to appreciate the gift of sound so much more after coming so close to losing her hearing, and wants to let other people her age know to never give up on what they truly love because you never know what could happen. 

Contacting Alyssa:
Twitter: alydee01
Instagram: alykazam

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Johnny Petrop: Feel Good Music

Family first and always stress free. This is the way of life for Queens native Johnny Petrop.  Determined to become a big name in the hip-hop industry, Johnny knows that no matter what he does everything revolves around his music and his crave for success.  Johnny tells me, “The sky is the limit” and he aims to make people feel good with his music and put smiles on the faces of those who hear his voice. 

Johnny has always had a relationship with his pen and paper but it is not until very recently that this talent has begun to surface.  Johnny spent much time as a kid writing poems but this was not something he advertised about himself, he wrote in secrecy.  Finally he decided that he'd combine his love for music and passion for writing in order to deliver something beautiful to the public.

Johnny is no stranger to the music world, growing up he saw his father make his way as a musician and it's been a key influence in Johnny's blossoming music career.  Using his room as his sanctuary, Johnny writes endlessly, working to make his dream a success.  He says when he writes he always has to be in his room, it is his happy place, the place he goes to think.  Lyrics are a key element when making music and Johnny says that when he hears a beat, it speaks to him and he talks back in the form of his writing.

Inspiration stems from all over but above everything Johnny looks to his family and friends.  His father serves as his mentor and is teaching him the ropes and his mom too influences what he does with his music, he says that they have always been extremely supportive of everything he does and this is what keeps him motivated.  He also mentioned his older brother Tim, who  is identical to him, always keeps him going and is behind him in everything he does.  “Family in general,” he says is his main motivation for success and they move him toward greatness.

Johnny’s friends also play into his drive and his passion.  His team that helps him produce everything in his musical career thus far, MFA records has helped push him to be better.  Most of all, Johnny mentioned his close friend, YouTube sensation Joe Santagato of SantagatoTV. “He’s been a big influence,” Johnny said “I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.” Between friends and family Johnny admitted he was blessed to have so many people willing to help.

For someone who is just starting out, Johnny has had a decent amount of success.  Just recently, the video for his song entitled “No Stress” reached 25,000 views and he has already preformed three times at The Byre in Woodside, Queens.  He was overjoyed by the amount of views the video has gotten in such a short time, and he feels as though that song allowed him to give the audience a piece of himself.  The feeling he gets on stage is like no other, “it can’t even be put into words,” he says.  He feels free, at home and simply amazing, but those words cannot truly amount to the feeling of actually being on that stage. 

Johnny’s future looks bright.  He one day hopes to be able to collaborate with one of the greatest producers in the industry Pharrell.  After seeing in interviews how Pharrell won’t stop working his magic until he is finished producing the song to perfection Johnny thinks they would be perfect working together, “I’m a perfectionist,” he says. He also mentioned his respect for rapper Eminem especially as a kid; he used to go to his friend's house and they would listen to Eminem's LP on repeat.  Now however, Johnny listens to everything he can get his hands on, one of his favorites in the moment being the Goo Goo Dolls. 

With a strong foundation and great people behind him, Johnny has no choice but to keep moving toward success.  Always one hundred percent real and never scared to put himself out there for the world to see, Johnny has nothing but great things in store for his fans and they’re coming very soon.  “[Music] really is an art, and I’m just trying to paint the perfect picture” he says, and slowly this picture is being painted right before of our eyes. 

Contact Johnny Petrop:
Twitter: JohnnyPetrop
Instagram: johnnypetrop