Her talent is obvious as soon as a soulful note omits from her mouth and her fingers charismatically press down on the keys of her piano as if they were a canvas. She doesn’t just perform. She paints a picture for her audience, a picture that symbolizes hope, heartbreak, love, and of course sunshine. Her shoulders continuously sway to the beat of the music as her eyes close in moments of deep thought and open animatedly to express her surprisingly human tales. With each dramatic and subtle movement of her hands, she instantly captures the attention of her audience and invites them to join her on her journey.
Avery Sunshine, also known as Denise Nicole White, is a soul artist from Chester, Penn., which is only 9 miles away from Philly. It’s no wonder that her musical performances can be compared to a religious experience. When she was 13 years old she was the choir director at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, according to her website averysunshine.com. As she performs, she often amps up the crowd in a very similar way as a preacher does at a Sunday morning sermon. Her music serves as a sermon for the struggles that we all go through in life. “I also sing about the promise of God; the promise that he will never leave me or forsake me. The idea of never being left alone somehow makes things easier to deal with. Burdens seem lighter,” says Sunshine in a MTV interview.
Sunshine uses her personal burdens as inspiration for her musical sermons. According to her official website. She is a single mom with two children and went through a divorce. “I was able deal with a lot of my issues because of this music,” says Sunshine. With songs such as “The Ugly Part of Me,” where she sings “Last night, I got mad/And said things I shouldn’t have said/I wanted him to know how deeply I feel/I wouldn’t even let him talk,” it is evident that Sunshine uses her music as a platform for her to express her emotions and experiences.
Her piano lessons included Rachmanioff, Bach and Beethoven, according to Essence. Sunshine uses her eclectic influences and creates her music the way she sees fit, which many coin as “indie” music. Although indie artists can experience financial difficulty, Sunshine defines success beyond financial success. “Success is being happy with where you are. Not content with stuff just being sub-par or standard- you’re always working and always changing and always evolving- but even in that place where you are, you’re happy with that,” says Sunshine in a VH1 interview.
If you haven’t checked out Avery Sunshine yet, I suggest you do so. If you are searching for music that embodies real human emotion and an artist that offers an unbelievable amount of vocal talent, then Sunshine’s music is definitely something worth exploring. She is the type of artist that even when she sings a cover song, you completely forget who wrote the original song. She has a way of owning and creating something entirely new with each song she sings. Is Sunshine a success? I would say that as soon as you witness her remarkable soul and classical combination, you will certainly agree that Sunshine is in fact a success for the indie soul music genre.
-Samantha Miller, 2014