Debra Arlyn
Gig Seeker Pro

Debra Arlyn


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Debra Arlyn Portland Review"

"Debra is nonetheless getting music-bizzers abuzz over her TRL- ready voice (a sweet but strong instrument capable not merely of Mariah-like melismatic feats but of real emotion, too) and her more wholesome, less-buxom Britney looks." - Willamette Week

"Debra Arlyn Music Review"

“Between her sexy, soulful, infintely accessible (and, thankfully, unassisted by auto-tune) croon and her whitebread good looks, Arlyn could successfully become a pop diva." - Splendid Magazine

"ALL ACCESS Magazine CD Review"

Debra Arlyn
By Rob Swick

Tomorrow Another Day ~ by: Debra Arlyn

Can you say "Blue-eyed soul"? Here's a young lady who's already been favorably compared with Alicia Keys, so let this review of her 2008
release serve as a confirmation of that complimentary connection.
Coming from the great Northwest, Debra writes, sings, and produces her own songs, and plays her own piano, too. Arrangements often feature tasteful horns and mellow back-up vocals and harmonies. Debra's voice is clear and powerful, and she's capable of performing the same kind of vocal acrobatics so often engaged in by today's crop of singers -- but thankfully, she mainly projects for effect, without swooping out the vain, frivolous up-and-down warbling indulged in by others. These
songs are all piano-based, with capable, often-jazzy instrumental
support. It's funny to hear a young talent like Debra singing about
what she's learning as she's getting older, as in a song such as "Does
It Really Matter," which is filled with some pleasing horn accentuation. But no matter what she's seen and felt so far, as expressed in well-crafted tunes like "Forever" and "The Letter," dang it, she's really still just a youngster, and what a talented one, already with a good ear for the nuances of relationships. The disk's
opening track is "Worth the Wait," and as Debra Arlyn continues to
mature as an artist, her future efforts should likewise be worth
waiting for.

For more information about Debra Arlyn, contact Rhonda Boudreaux, Press, and Homeslice Music, Management, at


""Once and Future 'Idol'" - The Oregonian"

"American Idol" has become one of the most attention-grabbing cultural phenomena of our time, and a viable stepping stone to at least short-term pop stardom. But Corvallis singer Debra Arlyn should be congratulated for falling short of that televised brass ring.

Arlyn won a 2003 "Oregon Idol" competition sponsored by the media conglomerate Clear Channel, but was cut in an early round at the real deal in Los Angeles. So instead of focusing on the superficialities of performance and the interpretive challenges of wretched songs, Arlyn has had the freedom to work on what ultimately counts, or at least what ought to: writing and delivering a good, honest song, making music that reflects her heart, not her marketing plan.

And that work is starting to pay off with "Complicated Mess," the 21-year-old pop hopeful's promising new album. Handling all writing, vocals and keyboards, and producing this (only her second album) on her own, Arlyn sounds impressively mature and confident. Her voice is warm and clear and can affect both a youthful lightness and a richer, more soul-inflected feeling, and she's sussed how to shape the sound of guitars and a taut rhythm section in ways that both support her vocals and build the emotional resonance of the songs.

But as appealing as her voice is (and on that count she has a refreshing sense for when not to use her power and melismatic athleticism), it's the songs that mark Arlyn as a talent to watch. The title track in particular builds around a memorable central hook that's dramatic but never oversold, and throughout the 10 songs she shows a knack for concise structures and graceful melodies. Most notably for a young artist shooting for the mainstream moon, she doesn't slip into the cheesy musical resolutions or lyric cliches that tend to hamper artists of this stripe.

Forging a path to stardom from the base of what's essentially a family-run label out of Corvallis won't be as easy as withstanding Simon Cowell's sarcasm might have been. But Arlyn's clearly headed down the right road. And she might end up someone actually worth idolizing.

- The Oregonian


I guess the thing that stands out the most about Debra Arlyn is that her voice is perfect. It almost sounds too perfect. If she were a major label artist I might suspect that she's had some help (if you know what I mean, cough*Britney). But seeing as Arlyn is an independent artist I'm going to assume her voice is just that spot on.

She has a voice made for commercial radio. It's very appealing, though not terribly unique. But her songs are likeable enough that I think she could still be a very powerful artist in the AAA world. Not to mention the fact that she's visually lovely.

The opening songs, "Let it Go" is one I want to play in the car while driving down the freeway with the windows down singing along. It's very carefree. Very radio friendly.

A bonus (for me) is that Arlyn also plays piano. But the piano is not as prominent on this record as it is on some other artists' releases. There is a lot of other instrumentation going on here and I daresay you might not even notice the piano on most of the tracks if you weren't listening really intently. But generally that just makes it more appealing to the masses, so it's probably just fine for her.

"Circles" is another really good song. Too bad it's so short.

"Why Can't We Start Over?" is a nice one, and has lovely piano but her voice does a little bit more than I like. It's impressive that she can do it, but I don't think it's needed.

I like this record, she's very good and the album as a whole is a very slick production, it sounds and looks very major label
- COLLECTED SOULS, a guide to women in music

"Another day, another great CD..."

Arlyn starts 2008 with new album and top female vocal honors

The year 2008 started out with a bang for local singer/songwriter Debra Arlyn when she won Best Female Artist of the Year at the First Annual Portland Music Awards in January. Arlyn, who was up against female performers including Jasmine Ash and Linda Hornbuckle, said she was shocked to win the award, which the public voted on through Music Spectator Magazine.

For Arlyn, the award was just the icing on a brand new year, which has brought with it a new album which came out Tuesday, “Tomorrow Another Day,” and a new Web site, With her music appearing in two independent films, and the song “Why Can’t We Start Over?” featured on the television show “Related,” it appears that Arlyn is on the brink of major celebrity. But then again, those of us who have known and loved Arlyn and her music since she was a Philomath high schooler have been feeling that way for a long, long time.

And with “Tomorrow Another Day,” all of us waiting breathlessly for Arlyn’s stardom might just finally be requited. I was hugely enamored with her previous release “Complicated Mess,” which still finds its way into the CD player rotation at my house. But I was not at all surprised to find that, yet again, Arlyn has managed to up her game and provide an even more sophisticated and refreshing musical product.

Although American 20-somethings are often accused of being part of a cult of instant gratification, where stardom appears as easy as getting onto one of millions of mindless reality television shows, Arlyn has proven that she doesn’t expect that kind of immediate celebrity. While her fans have been convinced that stardom is inevitable, Arlyn has quietly gone about both promoting her work through videos, tours and CD releases, and has surrounded herself with the best teachers and fellow performers she can find, determined to use this time to improve. And her efforts have paid off, not with a major record label contract, but with the sincere praise of music critics and a growing number of devoted fans.

But back to “Tomorrow Another Day.” With the album’s first song, “Worth the Wait,” like many of Arlyn’s previous works, she seems to be singing about many things at once, both the power of a burgeoning romance, and her ongoing faith in her own professional direction, filled with the hope of something more.

“I never knew things could be so good. After all the sadness I’d encountered, my only wish, and it seems so selfish, I wish that you had found me sooner.”

The second song, “Forever,” felt immediately familiar, and I soon realized that it was a mature adaptation of “Forever’s What I Mean,” on her debut CD, “That Girl is Me.” I was slightly critical of the original version of the song, which I felt had a bit of a glossy teen view of love. Everything I disliked about the original song has been either erased or polished to a gorgeous sheen, and the lyrics have been tweaked to reveal a more mature, earthy view of devotion, but still one filled with youthful enthusiasm (Arlyn, we must keep in mind, is 23).

“There’s no question I’d go crazy without your touch, and no doubt in my mind that to all your faults I turn a blind eye. When I say I want to be with you forever, I hope that’s not asking too much, ’cuz a love like the one that we share, there’s nothing that compares.”

There’s a little more regret in “Tomorrow Another Day,” a little more life lived. In “The Letter,” which is perhaps Arlyn at her most Alicia Keyes-esque, there’s an intense bittersweetness that her previous songs lacked, and her work is the richer for that new voice of experience.

“And it’s too late to call you this evening, and it’s too late to ask if you miss me, and it’s too late to say that I’m sorry, but I know that I’m to blame for making you wait and now it’s too late.”

In “Does It Really Matter?” Arlyn contemplates her quest for stardom, and what kind of sacrifices she might be making as she pursues a career in music.

“The older I get, the more the world offers its distractions. But the more life I live, I ask myself does it really matter?”

I think Arlyn’s fans can safely say that her work is much more than a glorious distraction, and that to us, yes, it really matters.


Having listened to Tomorrow Another Day at least 15 times since receiving it in the mail, I must say this studio release is Arlyn's finest achievement in not only production value but also songwriting. The usual Pop/R&B elements to Arlyn's arsenal of music are present and she even adds in some soft rock and disco elements on certain tracks. The track Through To Me has a little musical number in the latter part of the song that, for about ten seconds, makes me think I'm listening to the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. No, John Travolta does NOT make an appearance on this track or the record, for the record.

Some heavy hitters in the music world collaborated with Arlyn with a couple of the tracks from Tomorrow Another Day such as Mariah Carey's first producer, Ben Margulies on Does It Really Matter, hip hop/jazz producer and artist Dapo Tormiro on Worth the Wait and former Portland Prince of Producing, Steve Sundholm on New Favorite Song.

Debra Arlyn is quickly becoming a known and sought after commodity in the music world. Her seemingly tireless effort in making music connects with those who cross her path by offering a 'happiness and heartache' reality check within loving and hurting those we love. Arlyn's pain and passion through song is evident, and will challenge you to reflect, react and respond within the happiness and heart ache in your own life. All I can say is that John Travolta's music never did that for me, and I'm truly grateful for that!"



Debra Arlyn sits in a worn chair in Bombs Away Cafe on Monroe Avenue, the place is quiet after the noon lunch rush. Its bright outside, and sunlight comes through the cafes clean windows, catching in her eyes as she laughs.

She shimmers in the filtered afternoon glow like a star in a small town set to go somewhere ... but still in love with home.

At 21, Arlyn has come a long way musically, and she hopes theres a long way still ahead.

Her goal is to break into musics mainstream, build a strong fan base and to make music her life, personally and professionally.

I dont want to have to get a day job, she laughed.

Arlyn, a life-long Corvallis resident, will perform songs from her upcoming album, Complicated Mess at Bombs Away Cafe tonight at 9:30. The album is set for release in August.

At age 17, Arlyn won Clear Channels Oregon Idol contest and was flown to L.A. to compete in the American Idol TV competition.

Although she was eliminated in the second round, Arlyn said she spoke with Idol judge Randy Jackson afterward. He said she didnt need the show as a stepping stone she already had the talent.

Complicated Mess, Arlyns second full-length album, blends aspects of jazz and R&B into a polished pop package. She said her music takes on the best aspects of the two genres good beats with strong but not overpowring vocals.

My music is a combination of different influences Ive had in my life, Arlyn said. She compared her vocal style to Christina Aguilera, but with the sincerity of Sarah McLachlan.

Arlyn lets her music flow naturally, drawing on personal memories to make songs come alive.

I try to remember what was going on and what I was going through at the time, she said. And it comes back quickly.

Arlyns creative mantra is Do what feels right. Writing and composing to the rhythm of her natural flow results in genuine music throughout Complicated Mess. Insincerity of pop artists, along with cookie cutter instrumentals is a pet peeve for Arlyn.

Originality and sincerity are what is important to Arlyn in music, as made clear the first time listening to Complicated Mess.

I can tell when its not coming from the heart. It sounds contrived, she said. With most pop artists, you can tell they didnt write the songs theyre singing.

However, there were no traces of bitterness in her responses. But she is proud of how personal she has kept her album.

A lot of songs talk about going through transitions; growing up, dealing with life, changes in relationships and the struggle of following dreams but being practical, she said.

Arlyns idea of practical is different than most. A four-year varsity basketball player through high school, Arlyn continued to play at Linn-Benton. Torn between two talents more importantly two passions Arlyn chose to pursue her music.

Arlyn does not end her role in the musical creative process at the lyrics. Using the Apple program Garage Band, Arlyn adds bare bone drum beats, bass lines, guitar lines and even strings. Her band develops Arlyns work further until everything flows and sounds right.

Complicated Mess was recorded in Arlyns home in eastern Corvallis, which doubles as headquarters for her business, Homeslice Music.

Run mostly by Arlyns family members and associates in Los Angeles, Homeslice gives Arlyn the creative license and freedom she thrives on.

Arlyns favorite tracks on the album reflect the real vibe of her music, strength and creativity, and her natural feel for composing and performing.

The opening song, Let It Go, starts the album strong leading into the title track.

Complicated Mess is my favorite song (on the album) because I moved away from my lyrical norm, she said.

Why Cant We Start Over and Words I Never Meant are two of Arlyns best R&B songs.

In Words... I got to be more funky with it, playing with horns.

She wrote the song Why Cant We Start Over. in 10 minutes, she said the soulful piece was the result of her natural musical flow at the piano. She taught herself how to play when she was 15.

It was a nice experience how the song came together when I wrote it.

Outside the studio, performing live is a different story for Arlyn. She loves it.

The number one thing at live shows is interaction with the people there. I like intimate settings, where I can actually look into peoples faces and talk to them, she said. The second most important thing is having fun with the band, where the music is flowing and everyone enjoys playing.

Of the venues shes played, Arlyn said the intimate setting found at Bombs Away is her favorite kind of setting.

Although not her official release party, tonights show is a celebration of her albums completion. Arlyn wants simply to have people listen to her perform and enjoy themselves.

It will be like a private party for anybody who wants to come, she said

- The Daily Barometer

""Arlyn Keeps Digging Deeper""

New CD burns with bittersweet perspective, sultry musical stylings

The Entertainer

Its been a good long time since I sat in little Debbie Arlyns house, listening to her play piano and talk about her dreams. At the time, the 17-year-old was looking forward to basketball finals, graduating high school and maybe, just maybe, hitting it big in the music world.

That was in 2002, and since then, Arlyn has thrown her heart and soul into the pursuit of a career in music, with the support of her family and friends, and with a youthful exuberance that was matched by the work of her debut CD, That Girl is Me.

Four years later, Arlyns third release, Complicated Mess, is a world away from the giddy, optimistic teen that belted out songs such as Lost in You. Arlyn has spent those years toiling away in the difficult world of the music industry, producing a music video, a second CD titled Thinking Out Loud, and has traveled around the West Coast. One of her songs was featured on the WB series Related, and she was featured in Billboard Magazine.

Arlyn is still waiting for the break that propels her into stardom, and on her latest CD, she explores the frustrations of a young singer who knows she has greatness in her and is impatient for the world to realize it.

Am I doing the right things? Pursuing the right dreams? Ill go for a drive. As I take in the scenery, look up at changing leaves, its then I decide to let it go, out the window, just let it flow out of my mind, she sings in Let it Go. While Arlyns voice has always been astonishingly rich and immediately recognizable, theres a certain touch of Kelly Clarkson at her best in this number, only Arlyn surpasses the original American Idol with ease.

While much of Arlyns early work had the sheen of first romance, songs such as Fine, reflect a depth and understanding of the complexity of human relationships, and has a healthy tinge of bittersweetness as well.

All of our memories and the things we shared, it seems like a waste of time cause they got us nowhere. Some days are good and some days are bad, sometimes I wake up and Im not that sad.

The title track, Complicated Mess, is my favorite piece on the album. While it starts out with seductive slowness, Arlyn rips into the chorus with a kind of dark melancholy ala Fiona Apple. This is definitely one I turn up when it cycles through on the CD player.

The sultry Why Cant We Start Over? definitely turns on the heat, as Arlyn slips into R&B mode. The song asks the question so many couples ask after theyve said goodbye.

I want you babe, and I need you babe, theres just no way around it, and this leads me to the questioning over why did we let go of everything we used to know?

I can already hear a dance mix version of The One, which has almost a Dido quality, and is a refreshing empowerment song, the kind of thing you blast out of your car stereo after a bad breakup or running into an ex-boyfriend. In it, she battles the modern girls struggle to balance her own needs with her hope to find the perfect One.

I realize that I shut my eyes to the warning signs, and I take full responsibility for what I let you do to me, I promise never again. Im doin okay, so dont you worry. Im doin okay, I just thought you were the one.

Arlyn is definitely doing okay, and we look forward to the music world finally waking up to her talent, so her wait doesnt have to be a long one.

Check out Arlyn at Bombs Away Cafe on Friday, April 21, as she celebrates the release of her new CD. She will also share the bill with rock act The David Samuel Project at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Venetian Theater in Albany.

- The Entertainer


“Arlyn has the pipes and point-of-view of a mature songwriter. This young artist is working at a high level and is ripe for major label interest.” - L.A. MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE


"The Get Ready EP" - 2009
- "Get Ready"
- "Never Wrong"

"Tomorrow Another Day" LP - 2008
- Singles:
- 'Forever'
- 'Tell Me Now'
- 'New Favorite Song'

"Complicated Mess" LP - 2006
- Singles:
- Let It Go
- Fine

"Thinking Out Loud" LP - 2005
- Singles:
- Dance With Me
- I Love You



"DEBRA ARLYN, Portland Music Awards “Best Female Artist of the Year”, continues to gain industry acclaim and success as one of Portland’s most established independent artists. The presence and soulfulness of Debra’s incredible voice combioned with her award-winning songwriting, sets her apart from other female artists, and leaves listeners wondering how such a mature soul singer comes out of a young girl."

Debra's Career Awards:

*1ST PLACE WINNER in the 'SONG OF THE YEAR CONTEST' for unreleased song 'Hush'.


* 'Honorable Mention' in the JOHN LENNON SONGWRITING CONTEST, for song 'New Favorite Song'.


* 'Honorable Mention' in the 'BILLBOARD WORLD SONGWRITING CONTEST' for song 'Let It Go'.

* WINNER of the 'SINGER/SONGWRITER AWARD' for single 'Fine'.

*'BEST FEMALE ARTIST' WINNER from the '08 Portland Music Awards.

*'VOCALIST OF THE MONTH' Award from 'Singer Universe Magazine'.

* Wrote & Recorded entire soundtrack for documentary 'CLEAR-CUT', which premiered at SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

* Won 'OREGON IDOL' Contest and competed for 'AMERICAN IDOL' TV show.

* Songs placed in CW TV Show 'Related', written & produced by Marta Kauffman (of 'Friends' fame).

*Song placed in the E! TV Show 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians.


Debra has showcased at these National Conventions:

*NEMO (Boston)
*NARM (San Diego)
*WFA (San Diego)

Debra has performed at these Music Festivals & Fairs:

*Bite of Oregon
*Taste of Tacoma
*Bite of Seattle
*Oregon State Fair
*Willamette Valley Music Festival
*Music on the Green
*Benton Co. Fair
*Lane Co. Fair
*Clackamas Co. Fair
*Clear-Water Casino Summer Concert Series
*Lake Oswego Concert Series
*Jackson Co. Fair
and many more...

Debra Has Performed at these Colleges:

*Olympic College
*Lewis & Clark College
*University of Nevada - Reno
*Redlands University
*Treasure Valley Community College
*Idaho State University
*Eastern Oregon University
*Western Oregon University
*Willamette University
*Central Washington University
*Gonzaga University
*Spokane Falls Community College
*Evergreen Community College
*Peninsula College
*Oregon State University
*Klamath Falls Community College
*University of Idaho
*Portland State University
*Wyoming University
*Eastern Washington University
*Yakima Community College
and many more...


DEBRA ARLYN, Portland Music Awards “Best Female Artist of the Year”, continues to gain industry success as 'Portland's finest young pop singers..." says the Willamette Week. For the past 3 years, Debra has captivated audiences at colleges, major music festivals, and popular music venues. Performance highlights include mainstage shows at the Portland Waterfront BluesFest, both The Bite of Seattle and Bite of Oregon Festivals, and opening for Tower of Power, Chris Isaak, Curtis Salgado & Epic artist Lenka.

Debra's songwriting talent has won her top prizes in the John-Lennon Songwriting Contest, Billboard’s World Songwriting Contest, The Great American Song Contest, Unisong International Song Contest, The Singer/Songwriter Awards, Winery Music Awards and being listed on the annual ‘Top Hot Unsigned Artists’ from LA’s Music Connection Magazine . Her music was in the film ‘ClearCut’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the Sundance Channel, and on TV shows including the CW TV show ‘Related’and 'Keeping up with Kardashians ' on the E! Network.

With a strong presence on the West Coast via college radio, Oregon Hot Ac radio, national magazine reviews and thousands of fans though Facebook, iLike & Myspace - Debra’s music is far out-reaching her homegrown grasp. Though only 23, Debra has come a long way since winning Clear-channels ‘Oregon Idol’ contest and competing for the ‘American Idol’ TV show. It is clear Debra has something significant to offer the music world as a musician, songwriter, and performer.