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Lavanya Bahuguna


JWB Talks To Its Teen-Girl-Crush, Avonlea, Who’s Making Instagram A Musical Land

  • JWB Post
  •  January 13, 2017


I am learning to play the Ukulele from the internet these days, and it was then that I stumbled upon Avonlea’s Instagram handle. 

I swear to God, I find her voice is heavenly. Avonlea is quite regular with posting her singing videos where one can spot her playing her favorite Ukulele.

Below is my conversation with the enthralling teenager. I bet, by the time you will finish reading her story, you would have bookmarked her page on your phone.

Tell us a little about your family, friends and hobbies.

I live in California, with my family of seven. I have a mom and a dad, two sisters and two brothers. We have three dogs and a lot of chickens. I have some pretty close friends in the area, but my best friend is long distance. My hobbies include tons of music, consuming Kombucha (local tea) and chocolate and yoga.

My favorite song out there right now. What's your favorite song?⭐️ #AllTimeLow #JonBellion @omgvoices @a.c.a.p.e.l.l.a @chorus  @giftedvoices @tumejorvoz @singers  @thegoodvoice @clipsoftalent @amazingvocal.s #ukulele #ukulelecover #cover #dreamerswelcome #singersongwriter #kala #kalabrandmusic •• @jonbellion @jonbellion @jonbellion @jonbellion

A video posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on

How old are you and what are you studying?

I am sixteen years old, seventeen on the 29th of this month. I’m homeschooled like my three other siblings and I’m a junior in high school.

When did you start making music?

I started singing when I learned how to talk. I grew up around a lot of musical theater because my dad is a play-write and singer-songwriter. I pretended I was on stage for most of my childhood. When I was about ten, I started learning guitar, but it grew kind of tired. On a whim, I moved over to the piano and haven’t stopped since. I’m self-taught for the most part through my song writing. I’ve played ukulele for about four years.

Is your family musical?

Yes. My family is very musical. My dad, as I said, is a singer-songwriter/play-write and my mom starred in a lot of musical theater productions locally. My older sister sings and plays guitar every now and then and my little sister dances, sings/acts and plays piano. As for my brothers, one of them is a producer, actor/singer and the littlest one has a BIG personality and can play ukulele and sing, too. We’re a very artsy and loud family for sure.

It's been 4 weeks since we left home. What a wonderful time so far. I miss you guys a lot. ❤️ #DreamersWelcome #Blessed #Love #SingerSongwriter #NewYorkCity #Boston #Like #Life

A photo posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on

Which instruments do you play other than piano and Ukulele?

A bit of guitar, drums if I have to, banjo, a little bass and kazoo.

"Side To Side" by #ArianaGrande and #NickiMinaj @arianagrande @nickiminaj #SideToSide • • @omgvoices @a.c.a.p.e.l.l.a @chorus  @giftedvoices @tumejorvoz @singers  @thegoodvoice @clipsoftalent @amazingvocals_ @topvoices_ #kala #ukulele #uke #ukecoverd

A video posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on

What was the first song you learned?

I think it was ‘Rainbow Connection’ by the Carpenters.

Share your memories with your music teacher.

I had a lovely piano teacher when I was five. She taught me for about a year then unfortunately, she passed away from cancer. I stopped playing after that until I picked it up on my own about five years later. Now I have an amazing coach that I work with four days a week. She teaches me everything. Voice, technique, piano, theory, musicianship, etc. She’s brilliant. 

Does old classic and countryside music inspire you? How?

I grew up on the classics and only that. I find it hard to listen to new music now just because I’m so attached to the old stuff. I love Carole King, Aretha, Freddie Mercury, Billy Joel, Elton John…the list goes on. It’s inspired my style in every way, shape and form. I’m so grateful to the greats, haha!

Talk about the awards you’ve received.

I’ve won little ones through the years. The one I’m most proud of however was from the ISC, (International Songwriting Competition). I won first place in the teen category out of thousands of submissions. I got some great equipment from the win as well as a full ride scholarship to the ‘Berklee College Of Music 5-Week Summer Program’ in Boston, MA.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I can not believe I won #SongOfTheMonth from #WestCoastSongwriters in Petaluma. Onto Song Of The Year competition in #July😱🌿❤️ I am sooooo #grateful and excited. What a blessing. Also…completely off subject, I found this space background. I mean, can we just take a second✨🎴🎆🔮 #beautiful #iwonthis #certificate #toofancy #cantbelieveit #love #singer#songwriter #music #like #comment #follow #saturday #happybirthdayolivia ❤️

A photo posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on

You are so young and energetic. What dreams do you have for yourself?

Thank you! I just want to continue writing, hopefully feeling satisfied with what I create. In my wildest dreams, I aspire to win a Grammy for sure.

Do you also teach music?

I do! My dad and I teach at risk youth in our community ukulele. I really love it. I love meeting the kids and helping them grow as musicians. They’re very inspiring. 

How do you select which songs to sing for your Instagram fans?

I chose based off of what’s the most requested. People usually give a full view, maybe a like and a comment to songs they’re familiar with. I try to give them stuff they already like.

I see you’re fond of earrings. Have you got a big collection and where do you shop them from?

I love them! I don’t really shop for them surprisingly. Most of them are given to me from family and friends. A lot from birthdays, some are hand-me-downs from my grandma and aunts, a lot are from my sisters and mom, too. I definitely have A LOT! They’re just not at all organized, haha.

Highly requested "NO" by Meghan Trainor!! @meghan_trainor @meghan_trainor #MeghanTrainor #No #uke #Ukulele #ukelelecover @omgvoices @a.c.a.p.e.l.l.a @chorus  @giftedvoices @tumejorvoz @singers  @thegoodvoice @clipsoftalent @amazingvocal.s ••

A video posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on

Your #DareToShare post was inspiring. What flaws of yours have you made peace with?

Thank you. It means a lot. Insecurities can be so debilitating. Naturally, I’m still learning to make peace, but I feel a lot better about my body than I ever have.

How do you handle insecurity at an age when most of the youngsters go through the similar pain?

I like to talk about it. I really recommend therapy to anyone who’s brave enough, because it’s very freeing. You’re not awaiting judgment once you’re done ranting about your stomach or acne. Also, do things that make you feel good. If singing, cooking, painting or talking to a good friend makes you feel better, then do it! It will take your mind off of the insecurity. I find they lose strength and fade with time if you ignore them. They’re most certainly not there to make you feel better about yourself.

Accept your individuality, too. That’s the only thing that’s helped me to overthrow my insecurities. There’s only one YOU. And it’s the most beautiful, talented and genuine you there is. Don’t try to change into something you’re not.

Songs that you have written but we’re yet to listen to it.

‘He only knew of angels singing up above. Young love.’

What is so cute about a fennec fox?

Their ears are so big compared to their tiny bodies. They’re like permanent weird little bat/puppies.

What has been the most adorable thing a fan has done for you?

One made a video game music video of an original song of mine! It was so awesome.

Where do you want to travel to wearing your Panda cap?

Everywhere!! But I hope to take it to London.

🐼Panda🐼 #AvonleaMusic #Love #Life #DreamersWelcome #Music @jeffforney

A photo posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on


What did the painting on your back by Olivia Renée mean? It looked beautiful.

That’s my sister. She’s an amazing artist. I asked her to paint something beautiful and she did a pretty great job.

Painting and photo credits to the talented Olivia Renée @livvypiper11 🌷 #Blessed #Love #Life #DreamersWelcome #Music #Art #So #Tumblr #Rain

A photo posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on


You once wrote – “We should never be ashamed of our tear”. What else, do you think, girls shouldn’t be afraid of?

"We need never be ashamed of our tears." ~Charles Dickens #Art #Life #Love #Music #Joy #DreamersWelcome #BasicArtsyPhotoAndQuote #NoRagrets

A photo posted by Aaa-Von-Lee (@avonleamusic) on

Girls shouldn’t be afraid to speak their minds. Your opinion always matters. If anyone tells you it doesn’t, they shouldn’t take up matter in your life. Stand up for what you believe in and you should never be afraid to love yourself.

Which song would you dedicate to your BFF?

“Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars.

And, song for your parents?

“If I Didn’t Have You To Wake Up To” by Carole King.

Lastly, a song for your beloved?

“Bloom” by The Paper Kites.

[Photos are Avonlea’s own]

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