What’s in a name? For R&B singer/songwriter Avalon Young, the story behind her name foretold her future. Named after the song by Roxy Music, Avalon had her musical destiny initiated for her before she even sang her first note. Years later, she had the lyrics “Yes, the picture’s changing every moment. And your destination, you don’t know it” inked on her arm, solidifying the prominent and permanent significance of her origins. Today, the San Diego native is making waves in the indie hip-hop music scene, but her story has just begun…
Like many emerging new singers, Avalon got her start by cultivating her talents and building up her following online. Her YouTube channel is a highlights reel, featuring her covers of “Marvin’s Room” and “All That Matters,” her mash-ups of “Blank Space/XO” and “Am I Wrong/Wait On Me,” and her collaborations with YouTube stars JR Aquino, Joey Diamond, and Andrew Garcia. These projects paved the way for the release of her Redline EP in 2015, which contains five original songs which showcase her atmospheric and soulful approach to contemporary R&B music.
This year, Avalon opted into the biggest opportunity of her career when she competed on Season 15 of American Idol. After impressing the judges during her audition with her acoustic rendition of Beyonce’s “XO,” she won over the Idol audience with her soulful swagger, tomboy style, and laid-back personality, Her cool performances of Chris Brown’s “Yo (Excuse Me Miss),” Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” and The Weeknd’s “Earned It” established her as the most current-sounding singer of the group of contestants. Avalon made it all the way to Top 8, cementing her place on television history as a finalist on the show’s final season.
Since her stint on Idol, Avalon has been hustling to live out her dream as an independent artist. In the months after the Idol finale wrapped up, she went on tour with fellow R&B artist Jeff Bernat, headlined solo shows in Los Angeles and New York City, and released a single, “What’s Real.” Now, Avalon has the distinction of being the first finalist from the final season of Idol to release a full-length album. Her latest project, SHIFT, which soared up to Number 2 on the R&B chart on iTunes during the day of its release on August 30th, is full with jams of contemporary hip-hop & R&B flavor, including the lead single, “Favorite” (featured below) along with the songs “Closure,” “I Know,” and “Do That.” From the vocals and the production, to the infectious beats and smooth vibes, the album has all the markings of Avalon’s identifiable artistic stylings.
Avalon was my immediate favourite during this last season of American Idol. Her audition was the one that stuck out in my memory bank and her performances were the ones I looked forward to every week during the competition. One day, I found Redline on Spotify and listened to the EP (particularly “Bad News“) non-stop for a week, a habit which I now find myself repeating every time she releases new music. Everything about Avalon, from her songs to her social media updates, is chill, authentic, and refreshing, and for all that, I feel an affinity towards her. Ms. Young is a young lady to watch out and listen for!