Alyse Vellturo’s music as pronoun (lowercase very much intended) has, like pronouns themselves, referred heavily to the people interjecting themselves in her daily conversations.
Her stage name, which was born from a group of friends suggesting monikers when she decided to bring her work to the stage, is representative of that.
“I started [playing music] pretty young, and it’s always been a part of my life. I took piano lessons when I was younger, some drum lessons, and guitar lessons. In high school, I got really into sports, so I stepped away from music for a bit,” said Vellturo.
The Concord native and Cambridge transplant wasn’t even focused on a career performing music when she enrolled at Berklee College of Music in 2009, even after a childhood of learning various instruments.
“I wanted to get into writing my own songs and performing, and when I got into Berklee, I just thought ‘oh, I am so going to be a rock star,” she adds. “Within, like, two weeks of being there, it hit me like, ‘whoa, you are not as talented as you thought you were.”
It was then, wandering around nightly and talking with friends at places like the Pour House, Flat Patties, and Crazy Dough’s, that Vellturo found her calling was in production. Along with her Music Business major, she took to learning lighting tech, console recording, and navigating Pro Tools. After graduating, Vellturo headed for New York where she found a job in music business, but she began to sense a void in her life.
“I still have a business job, but a few years back, I started to feel a little weird, like something was missing, “ said Vellturo. “So I just started producing tracks. I didn’t really know what to write about, then I went through a tough break up a year and a half ago, and this whole EP came out of it. The reactions from people were so great, that I decided to put it out and that I would try to do this, even knowing how hard and self-deprecating it can become. I was willing to take the risk.”
Her debut EP, There’s No One New Around You, was released this past November via Sleep Well/Rhyme and Reason Records. Although a little nervous about making a record with such stark, personal revelations, Vellturo knew that the material she put together she made was good.
“It’s a little of both confident and nervous,” Vellturo adds. “I mean, you always feel like you can do it, but you’re so in your own little world when writing your own music, so you’re like ‘people are going to love this!’, but you’re kinda bias, because you made it,” she continued. “At the end of the day, all that really mattered to me was that I liked it, but the reactions from everyone overall have been awesome.”
Vellturo’s hard work brings her out on a multi-state tour, including shows in Jersey City, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington DC, Cleveland, Brooklyn, and a dream-fulfilling stop at Allston’s Great Scott on June 26th.
“It’s a little nerve wracking,” Vellturo admits. “I mean, obviously, I’m excited to come back to Boston, to come back to Flat Patties, my home base, and it’ll be cool to see a bunch of high school friends and family there. It’s just a little nerve-wracking hoping that people show up, especially when it’s your hometown.”
Given the undeniable positivity surrounding Vellturo’s underdog story as pronoun, her Allston homecoming will likely be less of a proving ground and more of a celebration for Boston’s quietly creative types making it by every day.
pronoun plays Great Scott tonight with Funeral Advantage and Deep Secret. There’s No One New Around You is out now.