New Jersey Stage

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Interview With Anjelia Pelay

by Gary Wien

Anjelia Pelay has a CD release party on November 11 at the Stone Pony (11/11/11).  Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.  The show is open to all ages.  Michael Dante Summonte and Town Hall will open the show. had the opportunity to talk with Anjelia about the new CD and the release party...

How does it feel to have your first full-length CD coming out?

It feels amazing. I can't believe I have a CD coming out this year. I can't believe this is my first CD. I am truly happy about this all. And can't wait for you all the hear the album!

You've performed at many big venues in the area as part of Glen Burtnik shows, what's it like to see your name headlining a show at the Stone Pony?

It's pretty cool because it's what I've always dreamed of. Growing up I did a lot of acting, theater, and dance so if I was "headlining" a show it was playing an actual character. This is the best because it's all my own work. I wrote everything from scratch - the songs, the choreography, the script. It's a pretty cool feeling to get to share that with everyone on this night.

The record sounds incredible with several songs that should get serious airplay. What are your goals for the album? What would make it a success in your eyes?

Thank you so much! Seriously. That is such a great feeling to hear someone say. My goals are to go on tour and share my music with the world.

Over the past few years, I can't even begin to tell you how many local musicians told me I had to go see you perform live. You definitely have a considerable fanbase that includes many fellow artists. What are your thoughts on the local music community and its support of you?

I LOVE you guys! Thank you so much. That is an honor if someone really loves watching you perform live you know? When I first started playing out, I couldn't believe there were other weirdos out there like me that love to write and play music everyday as well. Haha : ) And the support system of it all is amazing in Asbury.

How important is it to have the support of artists like Glen Burtnik?

Glen is such a good guy. He's both: super talented and super down to earth. I absolutely love working with him musically and also hanging out eating ice cream with him is pretty much just as fun. It's always a good time with Glen. And the fact that he is such a great support means the world to me.

I'm calling 2011 the year of the Jersey Girl because I've heard more solid releases this year from local female artists than ever before. The list includes names like Emily Grove, Christine Martucci, Jo Wymer, Nicole Atkins, Laura Warshauer, Kelly Carvin, Linda Chorney, and Sheli Aarden. As a female artist, do you notice something special going on? Is it getting easier to be a female artist around here? Years ago, many female artists indicated it was a bit harder for them than for male artists to get noticed.

Hm. That is a hard question! Because sometimes I still feel it is harder for a female. But I am super happy for all my talented friends and their releases this year.

Speaking of getting noticed, one of the first things I noticed about you was your admiration for Marilyn Monroe. Tell me about that.

As long as I can remember, I was being compared to Monroe a lot in the sense that we are both very misunderstood. When people first meet or see me they usually judge me as a "dumb blonde". Then when they see me perform or get to actually know me they realize I'm actually a lot smarter than they thought and have much more depth than just a "dumb blonde". I've read so many Marilyn biographies, autobiographies, her diaries,watched documentaries, etc, and I can't stress enough how much I feel for her and can relate to her.

Another aspect that's hard to ignore is the relationship you had with your father. I know his passing really affected you. Did his struggles work into any of your songs? Or are their some topics or feelings that are simply too personal for you to share in your music?

I wrote "Forever Gone" [which is on the album] about my fathers death. Sometimes when I perform it live I am crying literally in the middle of the song. Also while recording the ending vocal I cried a bit as well. But I always feel better after being able to do that. Being able to let my emotions about it out through art. I grew up playing music with my father, [he was a blues guitar player] - he is the reason I play, write, perform today. So I feel him most still with me..through music.

Finally, tell me about “Sunshine” – is that a nickname you've had or one given to you by Todd?

I've always thought I am more like the darkness than the sun, except for my hair maybe haha Todd is one of my biggest fans and he definitely likes to disagree with that one!