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  WINDY CITY TIMES

pronoun talks about name, breakups
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2018-10-31

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Out singer Alyse Vellturo ( aka pronoun ) is attempting to outdo her counterparts—and going by the name pronoun is just the start.

The songwriter grew up in Boston and graduated from the Berklee School of Music. She took her music business major to New York and currently manages independent music labels during the day. At night, she plays her music around town and is heading out on tour.

Her single "it's the way" benefitted Planned Parenthood and her latest song, "you didn't even make the bed," covers the ending of a past relationship with her ex-girlfriend. The new record is planned for spring 2019.

Windy City Times: Have you spent much time in Chicago?

pronoun: We played Riot Fest there this year—very early, at noon.

WCT: When did you first start playing music?

pronoun: I started this almost three years ago. I grew up with music and played a bunch of instruments. In high school I started making my own music. I went to college for music, but gave up on creating my own stuff. I worked with artists and did engineering.

I also studied business and work at a music distributor now. I manage indie labels.

After a bad breakup, I decided to make music and test the waters.

WCT: How did the name pronoun come about?

pronoun: I wanted to be called "Monachopsis," which is the feeling of being out of place. My friend thought that was a bad idea. I gave her 30 minutes to think of a better one and she came back with pronoun. I lower cased the p. It happened in about an hour.

As you dive deeper, pronouns can stand alone, which I felt like I was doing. It can be subject or the object of a conversation. It makes a lot of sense that I am called this. At first, I just liked how it looked as I typed it out.

WCT: Look how important pronouns are in the LGBT community.

pronoun: Totally—but that is not why I named myself that. I didn't think about gender much until now—and have to, thanks to the government! I work at a company where the leaders are all women. I didn't realize how special that is until recently.

My preferred pronouns are she and her. That conversation is brought up a lot these days. I think it is great people are talking about it now more than ever.

WCT: Do you prefer to be called a lesbian, gay or queer?

pronoun: I like being called gay, but I have friends who identify with all of those names. I just call them whatever they prefer.

WCT: Let's talk about music. Is "you didn't even make the bed" a track that had you venting?

pronoun: That song and some others that are about to come out are very old. I wrote it three years ago and I was in a sad breakup mode. It was right when I got back to our apartment and it was trashed. She left all of her laundry. She wanted me to bring it to her. She left a big mess in a so many ways. This inspired me writing about all of the lazy things that happened during our relationship.

WCT: Has she heard the song?

pronoun: It was so long ago, but it is not out yet for her to hear it. It doesn't feel like a bad thing anymore.

The breakup was meant to happen. I am a true believer in everything happens for a reason.

WCT: Tell our readers about your live show.

pronoun: There are three people onstage. I play guitar and sing. I have a bass player who also sings. There is a drummer too.

We are rock, but the EP is very quiet, because I recorded it in my bedroom with drum machines. The live shows bring it into a different space. There are so many influences in my live shows. Guitar riffs are the way I view things and based off of things I have been listening to for a very long time.

WCT: Who do you listen to?

pronoun: I'm obsessed with The 1975. In the past, it was Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab for Cutie. Julien Baker's first album inspired me to get back into music. I have my own record label, so I listen artists on that.

WCT: What advice do you give to new musicians?

pronoun: Don't give up on your dreams, work really hard, and above all be yourself. That is what I try to do.

See pronoun live at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., on Thursday, Nov. 1, with Justin Courtney Pierre. Tickets can be purchased at LH-ST.com .

WCT: Who do you listen to?

pronoun: I'm obsessed with The 1975. In the past, it was Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab for Cutie. Julien Baker's first album inspired me to get back into music. I have my own record label, so I listen artists on that.

WCT: What advice do you give to new musicians?

pronoun: Don't give up on your dreams, work really hard, and above all be yourself. That is what I try to do.

See pronoun live at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., on Thursday, Nov. 1, with Justin Courtney Pierre. Tickets can be purchased at LH-ST.com .


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