Classically trained pianist Stacy Antonel fronts a Coronado-based pop-music band called Velvet Café. Otherwise, Antonel says she sang in high school plays but not much else. “I’ve always been a singer, just not publicly. Then, when I moved to Argentina, I fell in with a band. Electronic, like, cumbia. I could make up my own lyrics. That band is what got me over my stage fright.”
She taught English there and sang on a pair of jingles, too. “I answered a Craigslist ad that wanted an American who could sing like June Carter Cash. It was for Latin American Jeep and Latin American MTV.”
The Berkeley-trained anthropologist moved back to the States in 2010 and began working with Velvet Café. She also tried out for another TV singing competition called The Voice. “I made it through the first round.” She made it much further on 3 Minutes to Stardom, a local singing competition that aired on FOX TV in San Diego in early 2013. Antonel won the $10,000 grand prize at the conclusion of the first season.