Summerfield
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Summerfield

Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
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"The Summer of Summer by Dawn Elizabeth"

Summer Collins is sitting on the large loveseat in her parent’s spacious living room, fanning herself with a pillow. It’s her first interview, but she is not nervous; just hot.
“Do you mind if I turn on the fan? I’m melting,” she said as she bounces up to hit the fan switch and takes her place back on the couch. Wearing jeans and her Jack Britt Senior High t-shirt, Summer looks like an ordinary teenager. One would never guess that beneath the kid exterior beats the heart of an artist.
Singer Summer Collins may not be a household name yet, but at 14, the wide-eyed honor student is already making a name for herself in the music scene of Fayetteville, where she has snagged a coveted spot performing the National Anthem at this year’s Dogwood Festival, as well as a rare performance with Fayetteville-based country music band Dakota Rain.
“It’s going to be fun,” she says. “I only get to sing two songs with Dakota Rain, but I will be playing an hour set on Sunday.”
Born in Fayetteville on July 20, 1995 to a military family, Summer has moved around a few times and attended seven different schools before moving back. Military life can be hard on a kid, but not Summer. Like her music, she has taken the experience and made something positive out of it. She says moving around introduced her to a lot of friends and helped her learn to adapt to new places.
Summer found her voice at a young age, but it wasn’t until she was 10 years old that she started taking voice lessons. She says that’s about the time she started getting serious about her singing.
“I wanted to sing better and have more control over my voice,” Summer said.

Summer Collins - sings, plays guitar, and apparently has the ability to levitate. Photos by Dawn Elizabeth.
Starting with acoustic covers of her favorite songs, Summer began to work on her music in earnest, playing at home and at Huske Hardware House. Her voice caught the attention of recording engineer and musician, Ben Rice.
“I instantly saw potential in Summer,” said Rice. “Her voice is so natural and fits very well in the grassroots, country, folk style genres.”
Which might come as a surprise, considering Summer cites her influences as being Vanessa Carlton, John Mayer and Jack Johnson, all of which fall into the genre of soft rock and pop. The contrast of her influences and her own pursuits creates an interesting blend of folk and pop. Soon, Rice was working with Summer writing and producing original songs with her father, and manager, Josh Collins. Rice has written four songs telling the stories of young love and summer fun as well as the more personal experience of being an Army brat as well as Summer’s emotions about the passing of her mother five years ago.
“The song ‘Her Light Will Shine On’ is about my mom,” Summer explains. “She passed from leukemia when I was 10. It’s a stupid disease.”
Through her music, Summer hopes to reach out to people of all ages to motivate and inspire them with what she knows: “Yeah, sometimes life can stink, but it can also be great.”
Summer’s maturity is one brought on by a life that has seen much in such a short time. It’s that maturity that Rice says makes her so unique for a musician her age.
“She’s an example of how to press on despite hardships,” Rice said. “Her quirky sense of humor and silly personality make her very lovable and her voice is great beyond her years. So many of her peers will love her music and truly be able to relate.”

Chillaxin'. Photos by Dawn Elizabeth.
But through all the excitement of working to build a career in music, Summer is still a teenager and, thanks to her family, remains pretty grounded. Being the youngest of four kids, she definitely doesn’t catch a lot of breaks with her siblings or her parents.
Step-mom Tonia Collins is quick to get out the blooper reel of Summer’s self-made videos and regale everyone with stories of the goofball antics of her youngest daughter. But make no mistake; Tonia is very proud of Summer’s accomplishments, academically and musically.
“Summer has the brains of Einstein, a silly putty and Crayola imagination and a heart big enough to love the entire world,” Tonia said. “She’s very special to me and I love her as my own daughter.”
Dad Josh echoes the words of his wife Tonia when it comes to his daughter, but adds that, as parents, he and Tonia have tried to provide Summer with a simple direction, some support and the opportunity to pursue whatever kind of career she wants.
Above being a straight A student and ridiculously talented musician, Summer is still a teenager. She knows that grades are important as well as hanging out with her friends and being a kid and she doesn’t skip out on that. She laughs as she contemplates what she does when she is not busy being ‘Summer the Superstar.’
“When I’m off duty,” Summer says. “I like to hang out with my best friends. And up until the first day of spring break when I was in a horrible bike accident, I liked to ride my bike. Sadly, it’s not running properly anymore. Now I’m trying to get my friends to teach me tennis. I’m not that good at it.”
Though Summer has other interests, she has yet to find anything that compares to the thrill of performing live.
“I don’t really have a plan B,” she says. “Because I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
You can hear Summer’s music online at Reverbnation, MySpace, or on YouTube

- The Fayetteville Feed


"A youth movement: Emerging singers to watch"

Summerfield
Listen Up: summerfieldnow.com; youtube.com/thesummerfieldband, Facebook
Who are they? Summer Collins, 15, and Isaac Ball, 20
Haven't we seen you around? They have performed at Huske Hardware and the 2010 Fayetteville Dogwood Festival. Their first single, "Everything," off their debut album, "Sunlit Destination," has had more than 71,000 views. The Summerfield channel on YouTube has had more than 800,000 views.
Why they're ones to watch: Summerfield's sound is solidly rooted in the best, feel-good traditions of country-pop. Summer' voice immediately evokes comparisons to Taylor Swift, while Isaac can play a mean violin. Both performers write all of their own original material.
Sounds like: Lady Antebellum
Influences: Vanessa Carlton and Taylor Swift (for Summer); the Zac Brown Band and Itzhak Perlman and Hillary Hahn (for Isaac).
How do they balance it all? "It's tough, because I hate missing class; I can't stand the thought of my chair being empty," said Summer, a sophomore at Jack Britt High School who has maintained an A average during her academic career, despite missing school for travel to Nashville to record her music. "My biggest fear is that I'll miss my senior prom or won't be able to make it to Governor's School because I'll be so busy," she said. "The good news is that we have time," added Isaac, who works as a server at Huske Hardware. "I was going to audition for Julliard, but put that on hold. It could still be a possibility for me."
What's next? Summerfield's debut album, "Sunlit Destination" is slated for release sometime in March. A number of tracks are available on iTunes. The duo will be performing at the 2011 Dogwood Festival and at Huske Hardware on Feb. 16.
- Fayetteville Observer Times


Discography

Singles:
-Everything
-Wont Lose Out on Me
-Hurricane

Albums - Mar 11
Sunlit Destination-

1. Won’t Lose out on Me –2:45 (Summer Collins)
2. The First Thing – 3:13 (Summer Collins)
3. Hurricane – 3:52 (Isaac Ball)
4. Here's to You – 4:37 (Summer Collins)
5. Sweet Tea – 3:08 (Summer Collins/Isaac Ball)
6. Summer Is – 4:31 (Summer Collins)
7. Everything – 3:13 (Isaac Ball)
8. Sunlit Destination – 3:32 (Isaac Ball)
9. Stay Awhile – 4:06 (Summer Collins/Isaac Ball)
10. You Love Me – 3:50 (Summer Collins)
11. My heart Cant Come Along – 3:17 (Isaac Ball)
12. Drive On – 3:30 (Summer Collins)
13. God Given Evening – 5:27 (Isaac Ball)
14. Runaway – 3:47 (Isaac Ball)
15. Point of View – 3:59 (Isaac Ball)

Photos

Bio

Family acts are one of the deepest traditions of music from the American South. From the earliest days of the settlers, music has always been an important Southern family and social activity. Strong and unshakeable, it’s just something that’s in the blood—and in the air—when Southern folks get together to play. Think of the Carter Family, the Everly and Allman brothers, the Judds. And now prepare to add another name to that list: Summerfield.
Comprised of cousins Summer Collins (15, vocals and guitar) and Isaac Ball (20, violin), Summerfield is an astonishing modern country-pop duo that, in barely a year, has won legions of fervent fans stretching from the pair’s Fayetteville, North Carolina, home to as far away as Russia and Europe. But, being close relatives, Summerfield’s roots naturally go back farther than the act’s official beginnings.
“Our families get together every year for the holidays and have a little private Christmas concert,” says Isaac, whose interest in the violin started when he was six. “When Summer and I first played with some other family members at one of those gatherings, we never thought that in just a few years we’d be working together—and having so much fun writing songs.”
Fifteen of those songs make up Sunlit Destination, Summerfield’s debut on the group’s own Rock the Boat Records label (the duo also runs its own publishing wing). “Everything,” the album’s uplifting first single, was composed by Isaac as a tribute to his hard-working father, a loving sentiment that Summer, a self-described “Army brat,” strongly shares. “Like Isaac, I’m very thankful to my dad for all he does,” says the singer, who has been performing since age 10. “‘Everything’ has a message people everywhere can relate to, I think.” Among the record’s other melodic, radio-ready cuts with equally far-reaching resonance are “Hurricane,” a poignant meditation on the confusion of first love, laced with Summer’s soaring voice; and the title track, a carefree ode to breaking free from the workaday world that pairs Isaac’s lilting strings with rock-tinged guitars.
As a live act, Summerfield had a true baptism of fire—playing to over 15,000 people at Fayetteville’s annual Dogwood Festival in April 2010. “We were pretty nervous at first,” recalls Isaac. “But it felt great and right away we knew we had something really special.” Still floating on air from their debut, the duo spent the following summer rehearsing, performing, and writing songs—and then it was off to Nashville to record Sunlit Destination.
Advance reviews of Sunlit Destination have seen Summerfield compared to hitmakers Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, and Vanessa Carlton. “We admire those artists because, like them, we try to write songs that are fun but have a meaningful story,” explains Summer, an honor student who brought her homework to the studio. Each single off the album is being accompanied by a specially produced video.
“What strikes me most about Summer and Isaac’s music is the substance it has,” says producer Ben Rice (Goesl’s Parade, Pilotdrift), who oversaw the sessions at NashVin Studio. “Even though they’re both still really young, their songs have real depth and longevity. Working with Summerfield feels like being on the cusp of something big.” And, judging by the music and the reaction of those who hear and see Summerfield perform it, that something will only get bigger over time.