NEW CASTLE —
Tarra Layne says she can’t remember a time in her life when she was not singing.
“I’ve been singing ever since I was super small,” the Pulaski Township resident said. “All through school, I was in choir, and competitive choir. I was addicted to my mom’s old records and I grew up on MTV.
“I first started writing lyrics and melodies around 14. Music has always been all I ever wanted to do.”
Tonight, she will step into one of the brightest spotlights of her career when she opens a concert for Gavin DeGraw and Vanessa Carlton at Webster Hall in New York City. Layne hopes the opportunity will energize her career and propel her further down the road toward success in the popular music scene.
Layne earned the honor through the Green Band Search, an online contest held by the concert’s sponsor, Origins skin care products. Contestants were invited to submit a brief piece of music to underscore a video showcasing the brand’s commitment to recycling, tree planting and saving the planet. The winner was determined through an online vote.
Layne received an all-expense-paid trip to New York to open for DeGraw and Carlton, as well as VIP access and rock star treatment.
DeGraw is known for a string of recent hits, including the song “I Don’t Want To Be,” which is the theme song for the TV drama “One Tree Hill.”
Carlton’s website says she has recently released her fourth album, and is best known for the hit single, “A Thousand Miles.”
Both artists are the headliners for the 2012 Origins Rocks Earth Month Festival, an annual celebration of Earth Month.
Layne is ecstatic to have won in an extremely tight vote.
“I won literally in the last minute,” she said, noting that voting closed at midnight on the contest’s final day, and “At 11:59 p.m., I received a few last-minute votes, pulled ahead of another artist and I won by less than 10 votes.”
She is particularly pleased to be a part of a festival that celebrates Earth Month.
“I am a very earthy person,” she said. “I love animals, love trees, love nature. I guess I’m just a hippie at heart.”
“Beautiful Day,” Layne’s first single from her recently released album, is all about recognizing the world for how beautiful it is and being careful not to take advantage of it.
The album, released in November, contains all original music and is available at www.TarraLayne.com. It is a collection of songs she has written over the last five or six years.
“Every song was written just from the experiences in my life, and where I was at that moment,” she explained. “ ‘Beautiful Day’ was literally written on a Little Tykes xylophone.”
Stylistically, Layne says, the album is a combination of soul, country, rock, blues and pop.
“I grew up in the ’90s on R&B pop. As I got older. I started listening to country, Motown, Southern rock and classic rock and roll,” she said. “I’ve blended it all together into my style.
“I try not to box myself in, so I write a lot of different types of songs.”
Layne’s immediate goal is just to get as much exposure as possible by booking as many performances as she can, but even that can be a real challenge.
“I am a completely do-it-yourself musician,” she said. “I am my own publicist, my own web designer, my own graphic designer, my own booker, my own road manager.”
Layne will return for a performance July 14 at the downtown Fireworks Festival, and she hopes to book more local venues.
For those who can’t get to New York to see what Tarra Layne hopes will become a breakthrough performance, the concert will stream live at 8 p.m. today on www.Origins.com/live concert. It will be rebroadcast on the same website at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow.
(Below, watch Tarra Layne’s video for “Beautiful Day.”)