Young songwriter headed to Florida festival

Lafayette High School student Ayse Young performs at the 30A Songwriters Festival in January. (Photo: Submitted photo)

Forgive Alyse Young if she is a little quiet when conversing about music.

This 15-year-old singer and songwriter, who already has two CDs and numerous local performances under her belt, prefers putting her message in lyrics.

Music just seems to be a natural part of her life.

“I don’t really know. I just started doing it,” said Young on her fondness for songs. “I like the response I get and being able to write songs. I just like it. It’s fun. I like performing.”

Young will soon expand the reach of her voice when she performs at the 30A Songwriters Festival Jan. 15-17 in South Walton, Florida.

The event features 150 songwriters performing in local theaters, restaurants, town halls and patios, in front of crowds ranging from 75 people to 4,000.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jackson Browne, known for such hits as “Running on Empty,” “Take It Easy” and “Somebody’s Baby,” headlines the festival.

Grace Potter, Shovels & Rope and Ani DiFranco are among the artists scheduled to perform.

Young landed a spot at the festival through an online application.

“I sent in some music and a bio,” said Young, who attends Lafayette High School. “I think there were over 400 people that applied and they chose 100.

“I’m the youngest one. That was kind of cool.”

The festival is another accomplishment for a young musician who has turned heads since early childhood.

The daughter of Johnathan and Mollean Young, Alyse remembers singing around the house as a child and taking her first guitar lessons at age 7.

Young started writing songs at 11 and by 14, she composed her debut album, “Unrequited Love.” This year, she followed up with an EP of five original songs, “Unfamiliar.”

In 2014, Young won a songwriter competition at Artmosphere Bistro and performed an original to win the Lafayette High talent show this year. Her success opened the doors to live performances at local restaurants and festivals.

Veteran educator Jane Vidrine and musician/studio owner Travis Matte are two of Young’s biggest fans.

Vidrine, Young’s guitar instructor in middle school, said she possesses talent beyond her years.

“When Alyse became my guitar student at L. J. Alleman, I was immediately blown away by the maturity of her songwriting,” said Vidrine, a Grammy nominee with the Magnolia Sisters. “I tried to give hear as many opportunities as I could for her to perform, stretch her musical abilities, and to explore diverse musical genres.

“What impresses me most is her vision for herself and her music. I think she is going to make a mark as she develops even more in the coming years. I’d relish the chance to work with her again now that she is older.”

Matte, who recorded both of Young’s CDs at his Kingpin Studio in Scott, was impressed by her emotions and natural voice.

“Unlike most artists that we hear on radio that are almost all using studio tricks and help to a huge degree, Alyse never used Auto-Tune or anything of that nature,” said Matte. “What you hear on record is her natural voice and talent.

“To top it off, she is super cool.”

Young hopes to hone her talent and skills for a long time.

“I’d like to be able to make a career out of it, or at least do songwriting,” said Young. “But I’d love to do performances and go on a tour and just have people hear my music.”

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