Berklee Spotlight: Jilly May

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Born and raised in upstate New York,  Berklee College of Music undergraduate singer-songwriter Jilly May captivates audiences with a sound reminiscent of the musical love-child of Regina Spektor and Ingrid Michealson. With authentic lyricism and natural vocal inflections,  her music can do nothing but make your heart smile. Jilly May is a sure bet on anybody’s playlist.

Here is her latest music video, “Beauty of Life”:

 Currently studying abroad at the Berklee Valencia campus in Spain, Jilly hopes to hone in on her craft as she returns to Boston in the new year.

You can find Jillian’s music here:

http://www.jillymaymusic.com/Jilly_May_Music/Music.html

https://www.facebook.com/Jillymaymusic

US Album Cover Picture

*NEW* Artist of the Week: US

The purpose of this blog is to showcase upcoming artists who have either signed with a label or chosen to build their career through a Direct2Fan method.

ARTIST/GROUP: US
BIRTH NAMES: Carissa Rae and Michael Alvarado

ORIGEN: Los Angeles, CA

GENRE: Pop, Acoustic, and Soul
LABEL: None
WEBSITEhttp://www.haveyouheardofus.com

FANBASE
TWITTER: 5,580 followers | https://twitter.com/ustweeting
YOUTUBE: 8,97,335 video views | http://www.youtube.com/MichaelAlvaradoMusic
FACEBOOK: 6,481 likes | http://www.facebook.com/HearUs

WHY US?

I discovered US from one of my friends here at Berklee Valencia. We were working on a project in her room and suddenly she started playing a cover of Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been?” I really liked it, so I asked her who the artist was. She told me it was a duo named US in which the male counterpart was playing all the instruments. This got me interested. Here’s the video:

As much as I love their rendition of the song, I was quite dissatisfied with their name choice. I couldn’t find them on my own. I had to ask my friend to send me the link to their video. Perhaps this is a strategy they have discussed and agreed upon, but I don’t like it. It made it very difficult for me to research them as a group. All of my research had to be conducted by individually researching Carissa Rae and Michael Alvarado who were already established singer-songwriters before they got engaged and became a duo.

Here are some of the results I encountered while attempting to find US (the music duo):

Universidad de Sevilla
United States references
Pronoun references
Toys ‘R’ Us..

Needless to say, I wasn’t looking for any of those things. None of those things even referred to music. The only thing that lead me to their official fan pages was their own website, which of course was not “www.us.com” It doesn’t seem as though they have acquired a manager yet, but if I were their manager, the first thing I’d suggest is a name change. There’s a thin line between creativity and feasibility.

As previously mentioned, Carissa Rae and Michael Alvarado began their careers as individual singer-songwriters. Alvarado was based in the Carolinas and Rae was based in California. They have shown what the best of love stories can turn out to be by their brave attempt to start their life together in Los Angeles as a talented duo. They got engaged Thanksgiving 2011 and have been performing together as duo all over the US gradually building a fanbase they hope will support their upcoming album.

US has a unique way of rearranging songs into unsuspecting genres. They recently began a new YouTube series “Studio Sessions” that showcases them recording their covers in their home-based studio. Check out their folk version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”:

Here’s my favorite video of Us depicting their longing for each other while attempting to sustain a long distance relationship.

US “Missin You Like Crazy”:

US has not signed to a label yet. In fact, I am not convinced that they want to. They launched a project on kickstarter last year to raise money for their album, and they promised their fans an album comprised of “real music from [their] hearts.” Perhaps they feel as though a label may hinder their artist creativity. They haven’t said much more about their feelings on this, but I am sure time will tell.

It’s obvious that Michael Alvarado and Carissa Rae are madly in love. Their chemistry is adorable and they make great music together. I am anxious to follow the growth of their music career, but they seem as though they will be perfectly content as long as they have each other. Stay tuned!

Prayre Finley

Sources:

“Carissa Rae & Michael Alvarado Form ‘Us’; Preparing Debut Album as a Duo.” a-Tunes.net. Web. 16 Mar 2013. http://a-tunes.net/2012/02/04/carissa-rae-michael-alvarado-form-us-preparing-debut-album-as-a-duo/

“Us.” Tumblr. Web. 16 Mar 2013. http://blog.michaelalvarado.com/post/18021047360/was-it-hard-to-just-leave-home-family-friends-to