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Firmly based in her underground sound, Las Vegas Based singer/songwriter Erica Vanlee’s latest release, Sunset Street, raises her songs to a pop style influenced by world travels and resulting in an international flair at times draws further influence from Tori Amos, Nine Inch Nails, The White Stripes and Bjork.
Raised in Louisiana, Vanlee draws from her upbringing to create a truly individual artistic flair to her songwriting and recordings.
Growing up in the rural place of Bayou Chicot, LA, with a population of only 2,000, Vanlee is one who soon outgrew the borders of her upbringing.
And so after high school, Vanlee enrolled in and commuted to Louisiana State University at Alexandria for nursing. But with her first student loan, she plunked down $2,500 for a Roland GX 305 Synthesizer, an investment that remained hidden under her bed until her parents left the house. At these times alone, Vanlee embarked upon her musical journey.
Soon Vanlee pursued acting classes and excelled. She was accepted into London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Midway through her four-month stay in England, during a tour of Ireland, a new direction called.
Vanlee was cast in a small part Jim Sheridan’s film In America. While on set she met a couple Irish guys and began hanging out with her Irish friends and singing and playing music. Her newfound discovery and appreciation of “fun” prompted her to drop out of her program at the Acadamy. Now, music was all she wanted to do.
After a semester at Harvard, Vanlee packed a sharp wit, an eclectic sense of humor and the beauty of a supermodel to land in Las Vegas to complete her degree at UNLV and immerse herself into the performing arts. Since, Vanlee has acted in independent films and music videos, appeared on television shows including Criss Angel’s Mindfreak, and become a regular in the shock-magician The Amazing Johnathan resident Las Vegas live show, as well as appeared in the Amazing Johnathan Comedy Central special Wrong on Every Level.
Today, Vanlee is melding all of her experiences and multifaceted stage talents into her music and live performances. Music, she says, has always been the point. Vanlee only knows that it is within music that she is meant to be.