BY ALISE CHAFFINS
When Grace Campbell heard that 123 Pleasant Street was looking for a local act to open for national artist Kassi Valazza tonight, she was quick to make sure her name was in the pool.
“I was sort of freaking out because I thought I could really do well in this spot and I think our sound would really complement each other nicely,” Campbell told The Dominion Post.
Campbell and Valazza are part of the singer/songwriter style of music, which is to say that it’s music that covers a large swath of genres.
The show will be at 8 p.m. today at 123 Pleasant Street. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at 123pleasantstreet.com.
Valazza gained a following when she self-released her album “Dear Dead Days” in 2019. Shortly following that release, she dropped a digital EP titled “Highway Sounds” last year. Her latest album, “Kassi Valazza Knows Nothing” dropped just a few months ago on Fluff & Gravy Records, giving her the opportunity to reach a larger audience.
Campbell has a single on a compilation album titled “Who’d You Fall in Love With Now?” available anywhere you purchase music. It was recorded in partnership with the WVU Music Industry program’s student-run label. She and her performing partner Dalton Matheny will release a full album by the end of this year.
Both Campbell and Valazza write songs that tell stories, using poetic lyrics to transport the listener into their worlds. Valazza’s latest album delves into topics like love, life on the road and the danger of sitting still and letting life pass you by. Her instrumentation and vocals conjure a folk country sound that has broad appeal.
Campbell’s single is a fun, energetic tune about the difficulty of writing love songs and the sometimes too personal questions that result from them. She said she is excited to share more of her original music with the audience tonight.
When asked about how Campbell and Matheny collaborate, Matheny said, “Grace is the lyrical genius and I’m the instrumental guy. Most of the time Grace will come up with an idea and bring it to me and we workshop it and it turns into something.”
Campbell likes to blend the literal and metaphor in her lyrics.
“A lot of my lyrics are inspired by life, of course. I’m telling the story of what has happened with me emotionally and then putting those concepts into an interesting way that is captivating and relatable for an audience to listen to. I don’t want to make myself cry — I want to make myself and other people cry.”
You can follow both artists on their websites: kassivalazza.com and gracecampbellmusic.com.