For an aspiring musician, going to a school like the Berklee College of Music might be a step forward in finding an artistic vision for a burgeoning music career. But singer-producer Ayleen Valentine decided to drop out and carve her path in Los Angeles. Hailing from Miami, Valentine began making music in her teens and quickly picked up proficiency in a wide variety of instruments ranging from the piano to the saxophone. Ahead of an upcoming It’s A School Night set in LA on March 20 at Bardot, she’s released two music videos for “anesthetized” and “stars,” a double single showing off her capabilities as a multifaceted producer and dynamic singer.
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Both tracks pull from multiple corners of modern indie music, including electronic and acoustic elements, all in a condensed lo-fi style. Beginning with an unnerving piano corrupted by glitches, “anesthetized” sees Valentine stuck in a numb emotional state.
In the music video, she runs through the halls of a building where its inhabitants are frozen in place while the song itself confronts the ensuing collapse of a relationship. “stars” continues where “anesthetized” left off and breaks out of the lo-fi shell with dispersing drums and electronically charged guitars. Despite its short runtime, Valentine uses each instrument deriving from her electronic toy chest to expand the beat further and further away from where it began.
It should be emphasized that Valentine produces all her music. While other contemporaries most likely have some involvement in the production of their songs, she’s at the forefront of each song’s creation from its inception. Even if that means drowning out her voice beyond recognition and using it as another sonic texture like on “stars.” Yet because her production is just as much of a creative outlet as her singing, the vision is still all her own.
Words: David Sosa
The double single “anesthetized” and “stars” by Ayleen Valentine are available on all streaming services. Follow her on TikTok, Instagram, and her website for future updates on music and shows. Visit the official School Night website for more information on her LA show at Bardot.