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Ava Valianti

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AVA VALIANTI WHAT HAPPENED?

Hi Ava. What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had this intense love for both acting and singing – they were like two best friends vying for my attention. In middle school I had the chance to do a year-long independent project called an “Innovation Pursuit” and I decided to write my own original songs, compose the music, and have them professionally produced to create an EP. It was my golden ticket to explore my passions more deeply, and that’s when the scales started tipping. Stepping into the studio for the first time changed everything. The entire process of bringing a song to life, crafting its melodies and lyrics, blew me away. I knew my dreams were starting right then and there.  Music won.

Introduce us you and your musical history.

Singing has been in my DNA from birth, learning piano early on and later adding guitar. Since the ripe old age of 3.5 I followed my brother into the world of musical theater, from Shrek to Footloose. Music has always been a major part of my family’s life and the backdrop to some of my best childhood memories.  I’m as new as a person can be on the music scene.  Currently I have my one single ‘Bubble Wrap’ out and my second single ‘Middle Ground’ is about to be released. I’m in the studio working on some new songs, well on my way to the EP I’ve been building towards.  But it’s just the beginning and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

What was life like for you before music?

There was no life before music!  It’s always been a part of my life, since day one! My parents did a great job of always having music going in the house, from the Beatles to Elvis Costello to Van Morrison to Tears for Fears and REM. They wanted me to hone my musical taste early to keep me from falling down the Kids Bop rabbit hole (though I have to admit to loving Kids Bop just a little bit in elementary school – hey I was really young!). So basically there was a never a “time before music” in my life and I’m so happy there wasn’t! 

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Honestly it wasn’t just one song – it was an entire EP! Billie Eilish’s first EP “Don’t Smile At Me” and every song on it – “I Don’t Want To Be You Anymore,” “Party Favor,” “Hostage,” and “Bellyache”. It was like a musical revelation and it hit me that Billie wasn’t much older than I am now when she created that masterpiece.  Her songs weren’t just a simplistic take on heartbreak and love, her lyrics are these intricate layers of emotion, deep and relatable. Her voice, with that unique quality and control, just blew my mind. What struck me most was how she knew exactly how to wield it. Billie Eilish is one of my earliest influences, and honestly, she still is. Her EP opened my eyes (and ears) to the endless possibilities in music, and I’m just trying to find my own path in that same vast landscape.

Ava Valianti

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

Right now, I’m not sitting, I’m standing! But I’m eagerly waiting to find my spot in the music industry. This is just the beginning for me, and I’m hopeful that soon, I’ll snag a seat at that table.  There’s an undeniable excitement bubbling within me – I know what I want, and I’m determined to get there. I’m on this journey because I want people to listen to my music and be moved by it. The dream is simple yet powerful – a seat at the table and hearts moved by my melodies. So, watch out world, because I’m on a mission to make my mark in the music world!

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry? 

I’ve been lucky to get some solid advice from both a former teacher and my music producer.  My teacher’s wisdom has stuck with me – he said, “Never make a song you’d be embarrassed to show your friends and family.” And the other pearl of wisdom – if you’re listening to your song with your eyes closed and something makes you open your eyes because it feels off, it probably is.  Time to put some more work in. My producer told me that it’s very simple – you’ve got to put in the work and always be writing. Grow your fanbase and you’ll be undeniable. I’m soaking in these lessons, putting in the hours, I’m writing, and working towards making music that not only I’m proud of but also something that connects with people on a whole different level.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

When I was 6 years old I sort of accidentally auditioned for Annie on Broadway because I was tagging along with a friend, and I ended up making it to the final round before deciding I’d rather just get a souvenir t-shirt and go home.

Since I was 4 years old I’ve been playing the saxophone, and I was asked to play at the inauguration of the Governor of Massachusetts. 

When I was 9 years old I met Nicole Kidman in New York City while she was filming a movie and she said hi and I exclaimed to my mom and brother “That was Aquaman’s Mom!” (I do now know her as an Oscar-winner and the AMC lady!)

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

If I had one wish to propel my budding music career, it would be to catch the ear of an established singer-songwriter who not only appreciates my music but also invites me to join them on their tour.  I’m envisioning a scenario like the one with Holly Humberstone and Olivia Rodrigo, when Olivia reached out to Holly and asked her to be her opening act on her first tour.  That kind of collaboration and shared stage would be an absolute dream come true. If anyone knows Billie I’d be thrilled to open for her!

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Absolutely, as a singer-songwriter, authenticity is my compass, and my songs are a mirror of who I am and what I feel. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, knowing that not everyone will vibe with my perspective, especially in this age of swift judgements and cancel culture. People can be quick to form opinions. But, you know, you have to be confident in your own skin, and unapologetically embrace who you are and how you feel. I am a pretty resilient person and I’m ready to weather any storms that might come my way.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If no why not?

This is a fun question! Nope, I don’t really subscribe to conspiracy theories.  My feet are pretty firmly planted on the ground. But if I had to pick one, I’d go with The Matrix conspiracy theory – that we’re all living in a virtual reality.  It’s pretty silly but I just re-watched The Matrix and the idea of moving stuff with your mind sounds pretty cool so I’m open to it!

What was the worst experience on stage?

Without a doubt, my worst experience on stage was my first grade talent show. It’s a story etched in my memory. Having performed in musicals since I was a tiny 3.5 year old, singing and dancing in front of crowds, nerves were never a thing for me. So, when the school talent show rolled around, I eagerly signed up, ready to belt out “Maybe” from Annie in a red dress with my trusty Raggedy Ann doll by my side. Reality hit hard during the first rehearsal – frozen in fear, I couldn’t sing a note. It was a moment of sheer panic and confusion. I sobbed my heart out and ran to my mother’s arms. Little did I know, it wasn’t about playing a character, it was about being me, Ava Valianti, on that stage. Singing was the talent, and for the first time, it was personal. Determined to conquer this newfound fear, I dove into years of singing lessons, facing audiences at recitals, building my confidence brick by brick. That day, though brutal, shaped me into who I am now. From lemons to lemonade, that experience fueled my passion for music, turning setbacks into stepping stones toward a future I’m excited to embrace. 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

Here’s a surprising fact about me – I’m a bit paranoid at times.  Blame it on too many scary movies, but I’m always double-checking for potential serial killers lurking around. My friends joke that I’d be the first to get killed off, but I promise you I’m “final girl” material! I’m that person peeking behind the shower curtain, tapping mirrors to ensure they’re not double-sided, and meticulously scanning my room for any mysterious shadows.  Jamie Lee Curtis watch out, I’m coming for your job!

What makes you stand out as an artist?

What sets me apart as an artist is the combination of my youth, a distinctive vocal tone, and my unique style. I get that being a teenage girl singing about love and heartbreak is a crowded lane, but I make a conscious effort to stand out. It’s evident not just in my music but also in the details, like my cover art. I’m meticulous about the people I surround myself with, especially in the production process, and every choice I make, from lyrics to melody, is a deliberate part of crafting my own sound and identity. It’s about perseverance, pushing through, and ensuring that my voice resonates with authenticity in every note and nuance.

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

‘Middle Ground’ is my second single, out Friday, February 23rd, following my debut single ‘bubble wrap’ which came out October 20th.  ‘Middle Ground’ is about when you reach a point in a relationship where you can’t come back from the things each person has said and done, the relationship frays and fractures. I had one of those points, and this song was my process of realizing that however badly I wanted everything to stay the same, everything had already changed. ‘Middle Ground’ is about trying to accept that this person you’ve grown attached to is already moving on, and trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to do the same.

What was the recording process like?

The recording process is a journey that breathes life into my music. Even on days when I don’t feel my best, stepping into the studio sparks a different kind of energy – making me feel alive. Sure, some parts can be a bit tedious, like sorting through drum patterns, but when it comes to vocals, especially the harmonies, it’s pure magic for me.  That’s where I’m happiest, adding those little flourishes and witnessing it all weave together seamlessly. Working with my producer Chris Plante of CP Pro Audio, and assistant producer, Tate Pinyochon, has been nothing short of amazing. They’ve never treated me like just a young kid; instead, my opinion and voice are valued at every step. I’m an active participant in the conversation, treated as an equal throughout the production process. Being in the studio with Chris and Tate, seeing it all come together, and listening to the finished track is incredibly rewarding – especially when I reflect on where each song started and the journey it took to get there.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

The biggest learning curve in writing new songs has been understanding that you have to churn out 99 not-so-great songs to finally uncover that one gem. Initially, I had this notion that every song I worked on would be an instant masterpiece, but reality hit, and I realized it’s more of a journey than a destination. It’s a process, an iterative one at that. Not every attempt yields a masterpiece, but every effort contributes to the growth and development of my songwriting skills. The surprise was discovering that the magic is in the persistence, the willingness to keep writing, keep experimenting, and trust the evolution of the creative process. It’s about embracing the journey and understanding that, with each song, I’m getting closer to striking that perfect chord.

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

Usually, there’s that nagging desire to go back and tweak something – a vocal here, a note there. But with ‘Middle Ground,’ when I listen to it, I can genuinely say I’m proud. It’s one of those rare moments where I feel like we nailed it. So, instead of picking it apart and second guessing myself, I prefer to savor the satisfaction. When ‘Middle Ground’ plays, I keep my eyes closed, immersing myself in the song, soaking in that proud feeling that we got it right.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

I’m young, I’m learning, and I plan to keep experimenting and evolving on this musical journey.  I’m so excited to introduce my music to the world! I’d love it if you’d listen to my music and it if isn’t for you, share it with a friend! This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to see where things go from here!

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