Charlene Ava

Charlene Ava

 Nashville, Tennessee, USA
BandRockSinger/Songwriter

Beautiful, passionate melodies and thoughtful lyrics wrapped around British Rock sounding songs. Well written and self-produced, her album is a finalist for the Independent Music Award's Pop/Rock album of the year. www.charleneava.com

Biography

[bio]

Charlene Ava knew that she would do anything to make her first CD, The
Only Way Out Is Through, a success when she sold her bed for money to pay for dinner for her band (as payment for a rehearsal). So she skipped hiring a booking agent, arranged her gigs herself, moved out of her apartment, got rid of some things and slept on the floor of a friend’s house through the making of the album.

“Desperation is good for art. I got sick of meeting with industry people who would promise this or that, but would want to change my sound. So, I decided if you want to get things done, do it yourself. I’d rather take the hard road, it makes things interesting, it adds to the art.”

Charlene, a child of two Egyptian parents, is tiny with masses of dark
hair, and, at 25, has a huge, supple voice that shows her range with power and delicacy. On stage, she is electric, a charismatic performer with an innate sense of how to grab the audience’s attention. Her first CD, The Only Way Out Is Through, is strong, exuberant and complex, and her spirituality comes through in every song.

Charlene performed constantly as she grew up, wanting to be the center of attention, acting, singing, playing, and driving her mother, a doctor, crazy. Charlene started singing at age 3, and played violin, guitar and piano from an early age--violin remains her favorite because of “the emotion it exudes, it can sing, it can cry.”

Charlene grew up in the church, and her church was her family, literally. Her 18 cousins attended church with her, growing up with her in the same town. They performed together at church, organically, a cappella—her music started in the church.

Charlene heard very little music at home (just Arabic music and gospel songs), except the music that she hummed or sang. She says that she writes “naively,” not knowing many artists, not having been influenced by any other music or musician. As a result, her music is fresh, unadulterated, innocent, and fully hers. “You have to write from what you feel-it must have heart,” she says, and hers does.

“Music’s always been a magical gift for me. It’s strange, from a very young age I remember I could almost literally hear an entire choir in my head-it was so surreal. I would hear angelic voices just singing—I could hear 4 part harmony, the soprano, alto, tenor bass. I heard every part beautifully weaving and singing together. I knew I was meant to be a musician from as long as I can remember.”

While in Nashville, Charlene attended Belmont University, receiving a
Bachelors of Music in Commercial Music-Performance, and achieving honors as part of the top 20% of her class. From that start, she rocketed into the Nashville music and theater scene with a steadily increasing stream of session work (for labels like Virgin, Universal, EMI, Curb) and theatrical roles in various theaters.

Her spiritually deep yet musically accessible songs on The Only Way Out Is Through were written in an intense 6 months; whenever the music came to her--in her car, in dreams--she wrote it down. As Charlene says, “It was pouring out everywhere. It was so desperate and alive, I couldn’t control it.” She chooses not to refine her lyrics because she prefers raw, rough lyrics over something too polished or something with just a good hook and no substance.

She co-produced the CD in a whirlwind 2 1/2 months using
“diamond-in-the-rough, underground musicians,” who played with passion and heart, as Charlene puts it. She enjoyed working with musicians that she’d known for years and worked with during college. They also were hungry (literally and figuratively) for success and to make amazing music. “I love that struggle”, she says.

When asked what type of music she plays, Charlene laughs. “Sometimes I don’t really know what to say, I’ve been through many phases and influences.” She rattles off indie rock, folk rock, Brit rock, but when listening to the CD, one catches blues, gospel, pop, and many other possibilities that give the listener a window into the phases she’s gone through as an artist.

Her two deeply spiritual songs, Holy Savior and Jesus Was a Lonely Man,
have beauty and emotion that transcend religious belief. Charlene’s commitment to her family is brought out in three songs:
Daddy’s Girl, a loving, acceptance of a flawed man; I Need Your Love, a
bittersweet ode of longing to her mother; and the bonus track Hymn For the Passed, which contains a clip of Charlene as a child singing with her sister and refers to her beloved grandfather (a pastor) who died in 2004. Her strong Beatles-like tune, Goodbye, is an amazing cry of triumph overcoming odds; Slipping chronicles the ache of a failing relationship; the unusual St. Peter’s Square wonders, with humor and sadness, about what it would be like to be the new pope.

Charlene’s personal faith is strong. When asked where she wants to go, she says, ”The horizon. I remember when I first learned that word in Elementary scho

Lyrics

EVERYTHING GOES TO RED

Written By: Charlene Ava

Chasing your wild dreams
There in the blood red sky
Nothing works out
And you're asking the question why

You've already flown away
To another day
But it all goes down in flames
Everything goes to red so easily

Where do you go?
Where do you go when you're sad?
How do you hold on,
when it gets this bad?

Catching the fireflies
Holding them tight in your hands
Nothing is quite right
Nothing goes like you've planned

Love is the hard thing
Taking your strength away
But you can't give up today
Up in the red sky
Something is bound to break

Where do you go?
Where do you go when you're sad?
How do you hold on,
when it gets this bad?

Where do you go?
How do you breathe again?
When everything goes to red
Do you fly?
Do you love again?
It all comes burning down...

So goes the summer
Out with your broken heart
The summer is sinking
She's already done her part

But everything goes to red
All the things that you left unsaid
Everything goes to red
As you're lying there in your bed
Where do you go, where do you go?

IT GETS BETTER

Written By: Charlene Ava

So this is where
The end begins
I've got no place to lay my head
I'm finding out
I'm not afraid
Of making enemies of friends

You think it's easy don't you
To climb to heights you never knew

Oh, I tried so hard a hundred different ways
But there's nothing I can do to erase
The feelings that still linger from the past
Seems like nothing else was ever meant to last
But I'm finding it gets better everyday

So this is where
The line is drawn
I've got no reason to be sad
The ticking of
A timeless clock
The sound is driving me mad

It's always easier to drown
You'd rather sink and go down

Oh, I tried so hard a hundred different ways
But there's nothing I can do to erase
The feelings that still linger from the past
Seems like nothing else was ever meant to last
But I'm finding I get stronger everyday
Your love chases all my fears away
And I can finally see you lighting up my way
I'm seeing all the chances I can take
It gets better everyday

There's a place
Where love's still strong
I'll be going there before too long

DON'T CHANGE A THING

Written By: CHARLENE AVA

I'LL NEVER ASK YOU TO CHANGE
DON'T CHANGE A THING
STAY LOVELY AS YOU ARE
I'LL NEVER ASK FOR A THING
AS LONG AS YOU'RE HERE
THAT'S ALL I NEED

STAY LOVELY
DON'T CHANGE A THING
I'M PLANNING
ON STAYING BY YOUR SIDE
AND NOTHING
COULD STAND IN THE WAY
OF ME LOVING YOU
NOW AND FOREVER
I'M NOT GONNA CHANGE A THING

I WON'T BE WALKING AWAY
NOT ANY TIME SOON
NO, I'M HERE TO STAY
BUT IF YOU SHOULD EVER STRAY
I'LL COME FOR YOU
I'LL COME RUNNING TO YOU

STAY LOVELY
DON'T CHANGE A THING
I'M PLANNING
ON STAYING BY YOUR SIDE
AND NOTHING
COULD STAND IN THE WAY
OF ME LOVING YOU
NOW AND FOREVER
I'M NOT GONNA CHANGE A THING

SOMETIMES I'M SO FAR AWAY
MY HEAD'S IN THE CLOUDS
OH HOW LOVELY YOU ARE

Discography

"the only way out is through", album released 8/18/05

"everything goes to red", single off the album with radio airplay

Set List

ORIGINALS:
Everything Goes to Red
Love is all there is
Don't Change a Thing
Should I Change?
Bar of Iron
War in the Home
Daddy's Girl
Jesus Was a Lonely Man
It Gets Better
St. Peters Square
I Had a Dream
Holy Savior
Dream Song
Emily
Goodbye
I Need Your Love
Slipping Through My Fingers
My Lucky Day
Waiting For My Spaceship
Hold Onto Me
Feet On The Ground
+ more...

Set List can range from the smallest to a one-two hour set.

COVERS:
Beatles--Golden Slumbers
Patty Griffin--Top of the World
Coldplay--Amsterdam
Nikka Costa--So Have I For You
Prince--How Come you Don't Call Me
Lots of Jazz tunes as well!