I am so excited for you to hear the songs on this year’s Reimagination project. It is clear from working on this collection of songs that making music has a positive impact on the artists who participate. Through Reimagination, these musicians are developing a range of skills they need to explore a career as a working musician. But more importantly, the recording process improves their confidence, both personally and professionally. One of these talented artists said she now feels less shy and another musician admits that her friends didn’t know she could sing until she started working on Reimagination. There is a tremendous sense of achievement as their ideas become reality and they hear themselves recorded for the first time. Reimagination invites young artists to express themselves through music and develop a stronger sense of self-awareness. I hope you enjoy this unique and authentic musical experience as much as we enjoyed making it.
MATTHEW SPANGLER WYEP Director of Education & Community Engagement
Steven Hart was inspired to become a musician after his parents bought him a guitar when he was in the third grade which led to an interest in composing music. He performs fingerstyle original and cover songs, as well as instrumental cover arrangements. Steven is influenced by Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, Sufjan Stevens, Phil Elverum, and Nick Cave, among others. You can also catch Stephen playing guitar in the local rock band, Father Avalanche. “I enjoy the process of making music—the writing, recording and everything put together is a fun, rewarding process.” (Stephen Hart)
Angela Autumn Cash is ready to take the Pittsburgh folk scene by storm. When she first picked up the guitar at the tender age of 10, she knew music was going to be a big part of her life. She was encouraged to start singing by her guitar teacher and the songwriting soon followed. An old soul at heart, Angela is heavily influenced by some of the greats such as Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Her songs are about experiences and have a darker undertone of everyday messages. You can catch her running regularly with the Duquesne track team, working on her writings as an English Writing Major, and playing her heartfelt music on the street corners of Pittsburgh for anyone to hear. “My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night but ah my foes and oh my friends, it gives a lovely light.” (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Nadia Huber was inspired to be a musician at a young age when her parents encouraged her to play the guitar. She has been writing songs on guitar and ukulele since she was nine and was inspired after listening to Taylor Swift’s acoustic performances. Other influences include Vance joy and Cage the Elephant. Nadia’s music is acoustic and upbeat with an indie edge. Her single “Ages” is about her life experiences and how she has changed and grown over time. She loves to express herself through her music and enjoys playing around artistically to see what she can create. “This was the first time I was ever in a studio, it was a really good experience, it was cool to see how to record your songs and how to produce them, so it was a positive experience for me.” (Nadia Huber)
Mimi O’Malley and HAT Co have a funky, eclectic sound and pride themselves on their unique brand of weirdness. HAT Co is made up of talented instrumentalists who work together to see how the music naturally flows. Mimi O’Malley wrote the single “Ghost Girl”—a song about when you feel like you don’t want to be in the same moment that you’re in. When you want to just get away, be alone and not have to worry about others. The group has a wide range of musical influences from Blues to Rap, including artists like Korn, John Davis and Green Day. “What made me become a drummer is listening to different musical textures, exploring how the different ways music can be played and sound.” (Desmond Rucker)
The Funky Fly Project is a young funk and jazz group founded in March 2015, in Pittsburgh, PA. Talented beyond their years, these young musicians use their powerful skills to fuse classic jazz styles with contemporary funk to create a unique, funky sound. The band’s influences include Kenny Garrett, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Maceo Parker, Marcus Miller, Les Claypool, and James Brown, as well as Radiohead, Gorillaz, Beatles, Jamiroquai, and RHCP. You can catch them performing throughout the summer at local jazz festivals and clubs and enjoy their unique blend of funky jazz music.
“Funky Fly Project is about four normal boys that play instruments and who enjoy inspiring others through the melodies of jazz and funk.” (Brandon Terry)
The Incandescents excel far beyond their years musically. The band attributes this to the fact that they are passionate about making music together whether it be recording in a studio or just jamming out. With inspirations such as Ty Seagul, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, The Incandescents have a raw, hard-rock, West Coast vibe which gives them a very unique sound. They are currently working on their album, Sexy Weird Heavy, which embodies the essence of rock and has a versatile rock-pop vibe.
“It’s great when you write a song and know that it’s good and other people are enjoying it too.” (Giovanni Orsini)
Hourglass is a blues rock band from Wexford, PA. Lead guitarist Casey Hoel formed the band in 2014. They debuted their first record, Off the Reservation, in the fall of 2015 featuring singer Margot Jezerc, bassist Evan Gick, and drummer Lucas Ross. They are influenced by a wide variety of musicians including Janis Joplin and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Hourglass mixes blues, classic rock and country together to create fresh and original music with a vintage flair.
“Our sound evolves over the course of time. We’re all progressing and getting better and better so this is an awesome thing to be a part of.” (Evan Gick)
Sophia Blake is a 15 year-old singer/songwriter from Oakdale, PA, who got her start playing piano when she was just five years old. Sophia gets her love of music from both of her parents, who introduced her to bands and musicians at a young age. Currently, Sophia sings, plays piano and ukulele, and writes her own songs. When writing music, Sophia turns to books and movies which play a big part in influencing content, and often help create the perfect lyrics. Although she is a singer/songwriter right now, Sophia would like to move on to more electronic music, having a hand in both the music and lyrics. Sophia’s influences include Arctic Monkeys, Passion Pit, and The 1975.
GG & The Boys are three teens who share a love for creating upbeat feel-good music. While she was growing up, Gabby loved writing poems and recently realized she could turn them into songs. She is inspired by her musical influences which include Coldplay, 21 Pilots and Halsey. Over the summer, Gabby wrote “I’m On My Way” and got Jon and Shawn to play drums and bass for a jam session, and the rest is history. The song is about going your own way in life and inspires listeners to not let anyone stand in their way. GG & The Boys look forward to more jam sessions in the future and performing over the summer.
“Everytime we get together it’s always a giant jam session, the creative juices are always flowing and we just love to play.” (GG & The Boys)