Gabrielle Sterbenz

Gabrielle Sterbenz



What are the chances of an artist from New York and a UK production company from England coming together and producing an album to rival the greatest of established artists…well, that’s what has just happened!

Within weeks of this initial contact being made, Gabrielle Sterbenz would be offered a recording contract from UK-based writer/producers Barnaby Pinny and James Reader, learn an album’s worth of material and travel to their studios in England to start the recording process. Over a thirty-day period, she would leave the town only once. On leaving London-Heathrow Airport to return to New York City the following month, she had completed vocal recordings to the twelve songs that would comprise her first album.

“When I think about it, it could have been such a disaster!” reflects Gabrielle. “I was in a foreign country for a month, staying with people I had never met before, save a few trans-Atlantic phone calls. Barnaby, James and I were together in the studio all day, every day; we only took breaks to eat lunch or have a cup of that English Breakfast tea! It really could have been a mess but it wasn’t; it was incredibly right. I felt like the project was made for me; not only did I love the songs but I felt like they were written for me to sing. Then there were Barnaby and James’ amazing families, who welcomed me with open arms; they were so wonderful and kind. It was a dream situation, in fact, I’d always dreamt of being involved in a project like this. The bonus of the awe-inspiring moment when I stood and sang ‘Amazing Grace’ in the very church where it was first sung in 1772, though only for Barnaby, James and myself, just added to the wonderful dream-like experience!”

After graduation from NYU, Gabrielle quit her job as a paralegal at a corporate law firm to sing professionally. Identifying Eva Cassidy, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss as influences, she began performing regularly in bars and on club dates, undertaking session work, voice-overs and working as a private voice teacher. Early breaks saw her chosen to compete at the Viña Del Mar music festival in Chile (singing in both English and Spanish to an internationally televised audience of 25000 people), featured on CBS-TV series ‘Star Search’ (becoming the highest scoring challenging contestant of the season) and whilst exploring the acting profession, land a small part in the forthcoming film ‘The Rebound’ (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha) as well as featured-extra work in ‘Sex and the City’ (film) and 'Ugly Betty’ (TV). During a performance in Westhampton, NY, Gabrielle got quite a surprise when music legend Neil Sedaka, who was dining at the venue that evening, introduced himself to her with very high praises for her singing. He has been a supporter of Gabrielle’s ever since and even joined her for a duet of ‘Laughter in the Rain’ during her show at ‘The Bitter End’ in NYC! Until events of September 2008 however, Gabrielle was still seeking that one ‘big’ break – an opportunity that would allow her to sing for a far larger listening audience.

“I had been experimenting with all kinds of musical styles for a while,” Gabrielle explains, “in an attempt to find my musical or vocal ‘niche’. From the moment I first heard the songs that I would go on to record, I immediately understood that here was an opportunity to sing a style of music – firmly routed in A/C though with more than a touch of Pop and Country - that I had always wanted to perform. I’m happy to say that my time spent ‘searching’ enabled me to approach the recording of these songs in a really authentic way - in a way that was really me - honestly, vulnerably, nakedly me. Now, I feel like I’m taking my first steps on a truly wonderful journey; I have this music - these twelve songs that are so close to my heart - and I can’t wait to get out there and sing them for people!”