By Jennifer Russo
Like the age-old chicken and egg dilemma, truth and lyrical poetry are interchangeable depending on who is asking the question of which inspired which. Do musicians use their truth and experience to create their songs or do they write hoping to inspire others to go on their own personal journey to find what’s true? In the case of Ashley DeJarnette, a.k.a. DeyJ, I think it is a little of both.
“The most important message that I am trying to convey through my music is to be objective and believe in yourself,” Ashley says. “I get my lyrical inspiration from the adversity which I have overcome in my life. I find that it is easy to say something when you have something to say.”
Ashley, who has lived in Worcester her entire life, praises the local support and college experience that the city offers. “I am honored that the community allows me to perform my music and spoken word prose at their annual events,” she tells me. “I’ve performed at Bob Marley’s Birthday Bash, Michael Jackson’s Birthday Bash, a Veterans’ Day celebration and various venues throughout the city.”
Inspired by artists like Tracey Chapman, Prince and Chris Brown, Ashley also took home the 2011 Black Star award last year, which she tells Pulse “…felt amazing because I felt outnumbered by hundreds of critics. There is a special feeling and a nervous thrill that I get from performing.” Ashley’s sound is simple and fresh, the way I feel the best hip-hop and funk ought to be. It’s not short on energy, but the music merely sets the background for her prose instead of drawing away the attention from what she has to share, something she calls “lyrical acrobatics.”
“I don’t have a typical hip-hop style. I think a lot of what people take hip-hop to be doesn’t match up with what I represent as an individual as far as the main stereotypes, says Ashley. “I’m just me.”
Be sure to like Ashley on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Ashley-DeyJ-DeJarnette/187167788007948 and follow her on Twitter @DeyJ_tru
By Tine Roycroft
At the heart of country music, there’s a desire to remember the simplest, most profoundly beautiful experiences of this life ~ a car ride under a starry sky with a first love, a hard-won success, a quiet moment in which you realize that you are exactly where you need to be. Local country singer/songwriter Whitney Doucet has made it her mission, at the tender age of 21, to write and record those magical musical moments.
Doucet has been singing all of her life, but it was a Leanne Rimes CD that stole her heart when she was young. Doucet started music lessons at 14 and has already achieved great things. She was the North American Country Music Associations International 2011 Most Promising Vocalist and the Rising Star Award Winner as well as New Hampshire Country Music Association’s 2011 Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year in the 17-20 year old division. But she’s not resting on the past. Doucet is constantly in the studio, working with Kyle Anthony of Kyle Anthony Productions, creating new material. A quick listen to her song “Summer Nights” will make a country music lover out of you no matter how hard you try to resist.
Doucet is beautiful, inside and out. She’s currently enrolled in college, but her budding career requires much of her heart and attention. At this time, her music is available on her Facebook page and ReverbNation page and she has a number of upcoming local performances, but this country gal from Fitchburg is destined to win hearts on an even greater scale. In the short term, she’s looking to create a band that will enable her to perform more often. After that, she plans to move to Nashville within the next five years and work with the biggest stars in country music ~ before she becomes one.
By Jason Savio
First, they released their self-titled debut to much praise and enthusiasm, ultimately having two of the tracks featured on the television show “90210.” But their biggest break came when they won the coveted opening slot for Huey Lewis & The News at the Bank of the West Celebrates America music festival in Omaha, Nebraska.
“To open for such a popular band in front of that many people at this stage in our career was so hard for us to even quantify,” says singer Katie Ruzanski . “It was a huge break and it gives the band some serious confidence as we continue this journey.”
Too much success too early can sometimes put an unwarranted amount of pressure on a young band, but this group has a professional, centered outlook that has and will continue to serve them well.
“Having received that national exposure and winning such a huge contest did add a little bit of pressure,” admits drummer Tim Baumann. “We have set the bar at such a high level with these accomplishments; we need to continue to push ourselves to get to the next level. The way we look at it, pressure in this capacity is not a bad thing, simply the best motivator we could ask for.”
And with a new 4 song EP coming out soon to cap off their already successful and busy year, Scarlett Drive seems to have all the motivation they need to keep moving onward and upward.
To download Scarlett Drive, visit: Scarlettdrive.bandcamp.com.
By Jason Savio
For a solid dose of pop punk, local group It’s An Attack! has you covered. With a high energy name to match their sound, the self-described “rag tag” band embodies the essence of any care-free group just starting out. Being the first legitimate band many of its members have ever been in, the experience thus far for It’s An Attack! has been a learning one, starting with the recording of their first EP, Cool Story Bro.
“It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about the technology behind recording,” says guitarist and singer Dylan Sneade.
Inspired by groups as dissimilar as Blink 182 and Metallica, It’s An Attack! is a bridge between the two varying sounds with their fast paced and catchy melodies that sometimes give way to heavier breakdowns. But the mix of the two and a creative group of musicians is what keeps It’s An Attack! honest and their sound fresh.
“I think our sound is very unique on the whole because we have a very eclectic group of members,” adds bassist Chris Valentini.
With a brand new EP in check, It’s An Attack! have been making the most of their new release and are playing whenever they get the chance.
“We’ve played all over Massachusetts and locations all throughout New England,” says Sneade. “Our next scheduled gig is September 1st at the Mill Street Brews in Southbridge, but we play a lot of random house shows without warning. So, you never know.”
To download Cool Story Bro, visit itsanattack.bandcamp.com.