If you knew Gabrielle Gordon ‘07 in college, you may not have had any idea she was a talented musician. Though she’s been singing since she was eleven, Gabrielle, now the lead singer of the punk band DeVille, admits, “I am very shy. I actually kept my singing a secret!”
That all changed during her junior year at WC, when she sang the national anthem before a friend’s basketball game.
“I was asked to be in the jazz combo that year, and I think that is when I finally gave in to the fact that music is my passion,” she remembers. “It started at WAC.”
Though she grew up singing in her church choir and at small functions with her sister and a friend, Gabrielle confesses she didn’t take her music seriously until college.
“Being far from friends, family, and home, music turned into my escape. I took music theory and music history thinking they’d be easy classes but became fascinated with the many turns music has taken,” she said. “I told myself if I was going to be serious about it, I was going to make music that would last.”
She began honing her talents with voice and piano lessons in college, which have proved invaluable.
“Vocal training will teach you how to breathe correctly, utilizing most of your oxygen so you don’t lose your breath in the middle of a song. This has been very helpful, considering I sing hour-long sets! It also trained my ear to hear pitches and harmonies which, let’s face it, is a huge part of sounding good,” she explains.
The formal musical training she received at WC helped prepare Gabrielle for her next challenge—lead singer for DeVille, the D.C.-based soul punk band she started. She describes their sound as “pop punk with a funky R&B twist,” something that can’t be pigeonholed into one specific genre.
The blending of musical styles is intentional, she says. “I write my own songs with the goal of connecting with everyone in the audience. With music being so universal, I try not to fit into a particular genre because I want to be able to relate to and reach a wide range of listeners.”
Over the past year, Gabrielle and her band mates—Ian Graham (guitar), Trevor Thrift (drums), and Pat Mitchell (bass)—have played for audiences around the DC Metro area at venues including DC9 and Rock N Roll Hotel, and they are currently recording their first EP.
And these days, Gabrielle is letting everyone know about her music. You can find DeVille on facebook, follow them on Twitter (@DeVilleRock), and check for upcoming shows at myspace.com/devilletheband.