Based in La Jolla, Valentine Byrne is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer who studied classical piano for over 20 years. She holds a B.A. in Music Theory & Composition from New York University and studied under Romanian conductor and composer, Dr. Dinu Ghezzo, as well as Dr. Tae Hong Park of NYU and Dr. Kay Etheridge of USD.
She collaborated with Pool Cosby on the Blind Gold album track “Lookin’ Up,” which reached #12 on Spotify's Top 50 Viral in the United States.
She composed, recorded, arranged, produced, and mixed her debut solo EP Baby On a Wall, released March 23, 2021. She also performed all instruments (guitar, piano, drums, bass, synths) and contributed layered field recordings (including campfires, wind chimes, cowbells, and voicemails) she gathered over the years, to give texture and context under her tracks.
"I have always loved and appreciated the process of creating and recording music at all stages and I am fortunate to have acquired experience over the years through working at NYC recording studios Engine Room Audio and Antfood Creative Audio and venues Le Poisson Rouge and Arlene's Grocery. I wrote, recorded, produced, and mixed the EP myself in addition to performing all the instruments, with the exception of 'I Can't Help Myself,' which I produced along with my longtime friend Jacuzzi Jefferson of Pool Cosby and 'Don't You Say You Love Me,' which features a verse by my friend and local rapper Real J. Wallace. I felt that having creative control over this project would allow me to better maintain my own vision, and it really pushed me to develop my own sound, although I definitely got lots of feedback from friends and colleagues along the way such as audio engineer Gabe MG."
The album ends with a track that features around 24 layered vocals and a touch of electric guitar. "I was told I should have added percussion, but in the end I felt like I would only be doing that to make the song more listenable for others, and I had to stay true to what my ideas were. I tried to just create something that sounds like me, and hopefully that resonates with my audience. This process of putting together my own solo project has been incredibly empowering and honestly, a little terrifying. My music degree isn't in performance but in theory & composition, and I have built my career around ghostwriting music for other people. I have never preferred being in the spotlight, but as I get older I have realized that a big part of why I always sold my work to other artists to perform was because I feared the vulnerability of performing myself. I have really tried to change that narrative recently by finding the freedom in feeling exposed through releasing my music under my own name."
A video was produced for the EP's first single, "Sleep Like You Mean It." "I worked on this with my musician/videographer friend Jon Corun and together we shot and edited the video in his completely insane playground of a living room. He's created a one of a kind art space complete with silent, wireless music jam session capabilities, vibrating platforms, 3D cameras, FDA regulated lasers, and 100s of nanoleaf panels on the walls that respond in real time while you're jamming. My incredible mother is a wardrobe stylist and has been a tremendous help styling my shoots and giving her invaluable advice."
As the EP release was prepared, Valentine began rehearsing with a live band for eventual gigging, including drummer Lena Zawaideh (Bad Things) and guitarist/bassist/percussionist Aaron Queen (Pire, Possible Man With a Possible Gun, Bleak Skies).