Dallas is home to an emerging pool of talent, especially young songwriters and performers. Some of them are students in the arts, others are fresh professionals. Their original work – they both compose and perform – is now being shared through a new project of the AT&T Performing Art Center, LISTEN – Close-up Concerts with Dallas Originals. The Center is creating videos of the artists performing their compositions and presenting them on the Center’s YouTube channel, AT&TPAC @Home.
“We really do have an incredible wealth of talent here in Dallas, and LISTEN showcases these artists and lets us all share in, celebrate and support their work at the start of their careers,” said Debbie Storey, president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
One of those talented singer-songwriters is award winning musician, composer/songwriter, singer, and recording artists Damoyee. Her stirring song “Change” was the first LISTEN recording. It is a powerful work that both haunts and uplifts. A North Texas native, Damoyee is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts. She is now (remotely) attending the renowned Berklee College of Music. She also recently headlined one of the shows in the Fall on the Kessler Green series. And if you’re a fan of the Center, you may remember in 2019 when Damoyee, while still attending Booker T, was chosen to compose the new music that accompanies the ascension of the Moody Foundation Chandelier into the ceiling of the Winspear Opera House before each performance.
LISTEN is recorded inside the small sound studio tucked away on the 5th floor of the Wyly Theatre. The compact space has the best acoustics for recording and just enough room for the artist and a videographer squeezing in for the shots. Future videos may be recorded on other parts of the Center’s 10-acre cultural campus. The LISTEN recordings provide North Texas audiences with a great sneak-peek at our budding Dallas talent, and also gives the artists a great visual and audio piece to use for auditions and promotion.
Guitarist and singer/songwriter Blakely Winblood is a senior at Booker T. She got her first guitar when she was in 2nd grade and has been songwriting ever since. Her LISTEN contribution is the spirited ode “Another Love Song”. She hopes to continue writing music in college and eventually work full-time in the music industry.
“I absolutely loved this experience of getting to go and record my song with AT&T PAC,” said Blakely. “It was so much fun and a great portfolio building experience!”
Alexandria Carrington was born in Virginia and raised in Texas. Also a senior at Booker T., Alexandria is a well-rounded musician with classical, jazz, and contemporary music training, Alexandria is a 2021 YoungArts National Competition Finalist/Winner in songwriting and a 2020 Texas All-State Choir member. Her LISTEN experience taping “In The Dark” was a big step.
“This was my first time recording in a studio,” said Alexandria. “The [Center] crew made my experience so incredible. They eased my nerves and encouraged me through the whole process.”
New artists interested in participating can email the Center at SupportingDallasArts@attpac.org. LISTEN – Close-up Concerts with Dallas Originals is made possible with support from the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture.