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Alicia Marie Venchuk brings young talent to Michigan music scene

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Alicia Marie Venchuk, is proving that training and talent can be an incredibly gifted combination. Even though Venchuk does not have a CD or a band yet, she is still rising in the music industry when she provides guest instruments to many local acts.

Even though Venchuk does not have a CD or a band yet, she is gaining a large following on social media. "Nobody would know of me if I came out ten or fifteen years ago. Social media allows me to reach people from all over the world. Youtube, Facebook, and Reverbnation are great avenues to gain exposure. I've literally had people from the peaks of Mt. Everest to people from "Down Under" telling me they listen to my music. It's amazing!" said Venchuk.

Once Venchuk completes her college studies, she is likely to become an evening bigger name in the music industry in Michigan.

I had the chance to interview Alicia Marie Venchuk, we discussed everything from when she first discovered music to what musical influences she pulls from when she writing music. The entire interview is below.

C: When did you first discover music?

A: From preschool through grammar school, I had a pension for musicals. I would watch "Fiddler on the Roof," "Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang," "Wizard of Oz," and "Cats" over and over. I also recall having an affinity for dancing and singing to the "Chicago" soundtrack and cranking Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's, '"Fan Fare for the Common Man" on our stereo. Additionally, my parents would play a variety of music around the house, from '70's pop, funk, classic rock, and disco to '40's Big Band music. It seemed like a variety of music would always be playing somewhere; in the car, in the house, on the TV...

C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?

A: In addition to musicals and my parents' record collection, I would have to say that BB King was a big influence on me. I saw him speak during a PBS special when I was about nine years old. He talked about his vibrato being like a "butterfly" and that inspired me to want to pick up the guitar myself. However, early on, I didn't listen to much of King''s music outside of the album he did with Eric Clapton called, "Riding with the King." My other early musical influences included Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, various classic rock artists, Gatemouth Brown, Buddy Guy, Albert King, Chess Records (I wore out the Chess Box set, haha), Brian Setzer, Wes Montgomery, and Charlie Christian.

C: In a few words, how would you describe your musical sound?

A: Old-school. Just my guitar and my amp. I don't used any effects pedals or distortion. I have always been drawn to the older '50's/'60's clean sounds. I admire smooth, minimalist playing and singing ala. Little Milton or BB King and it's a goal of mine to preserve that style of music making.

C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?

A: I pull from a variety of artists and genres. The main artists I pull from include BB King, Chess Records, Stax Records, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Johnson Orchestra, Gene Harris, Kenny Burrell, Ron Eschete, Brian Setzer, Little Milton, Magic Sam, Howlin' Wolf, Stanley Turrentine, Big Mama Thornton, James Brown, Motown, Eddie Harris, Gatemouth Brown, Albert King, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Charlie Christian, Buddy Guy, Earth, Wind and Fire, Albert Collins, Lonnie Johnson, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Aretha Franklin. The genres I pull from are: blues in all it's various forms, big band, surf, disco, gospel, funk, R and B, hard bop jazz, rockabilly, swing, traditional jazz, and pop music/rock music from the '50's, 60's, '70's, and '80's.

C: You're gaining quite a large following in Michigan, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?

A: I haven't really come up in the industry. My main focus if college right now, so I'm mainly a college student who plays music a lot during the summer months. I don't have my own band or a CD yet. Most of the following I've gotten has been through my YouTube channel; bluesbaby8, my other internet sites like Facebook and Reverbnation, and word of mouth. Also, I've been very fortunate to have some kind musicians give me the chance to sit in or perform with their bands!

C: How would you describe the Michigan scene?

A: I'm not really in the scene, as I only play around occasionally. Thus, I haven't fully experienced the Michigan scene, so I don't think I'm qualified to answer this question accurately.

C: How do you feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?

A: Social media has helped me immensely. Nobody would know of me if I came out ten or fifteen years ago. Social media allows me to reach people from all over the world. Youtube, Facebook, and Reverbnation are great avenues to gain exposure. I've literally had people from the peaks of Mt. Everest to people from "Down Under" telling me they listen to my music. It's amazing!

C: What does your future hold?

A: I don't know exactly, but I hope it's good! I do know one thing though: I will always have music by my side.

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