Grand Bahama News

Grand Bahamian artist goes for ‘All or Nothing’

‘Last night he broke my heart, tonight I’m taking shots through yours’ isn’t simply a lyric about the vengeful grieving of a soured love.

For independent music artist Ava Symone, it’s a personal reminder to remember her charm, talent, and audacity to follow her dream.

Born Ava Symone Barrett, a Grand Bahamian native, Symone always had a deep love for music and performance.

The 24-year-old spent her early years at Bishop Michael Eldon School fostering her passion to entertain through various stage productions. 

She admits that a career in music seemed out of reach until she witnessed other young artists being recognized on social media.

“There was this magic I felt of being discovered,” she said.

“It felt so attainable to me. Eleven to 12-year-old me was like, ‘I think I love music; I want to do this.’”

With the support of her father, Edward Barrett, she penned three songs that led to her being noticed by the record label International Music Group founded by top-selling rapper, Flo Rida.

From the age of 12 to 16, Symone was signed to IMG working with other major labels such as Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group.  She recorded over 100 songs and one in particular became a breakout single. ‘Heart Beat’, a pop-infused R&B love song, gained traction both in The Bahamas and internationally.   

The track received consistent radio play, thousands of views on YouTube, and led to what Symone describes as her ‘first real performance’ at Port Lucaya at the age of 16.

“I think I performed five originals,” she said.

“So many people were there wearing Ava Symone shirts. The experience had really sealed the deal for me.”

In 2016, Symone departed from IMG with the majority of her recorded projects remaining unreleased.

“That felt like the world is ending in a way,” she said.

“But it was another defining moment in my career. There was a humbleness that came with that. Looking back, I had so much growth to do.”

Remembering her grandmother’s words, the artist chose to look at the glass half full seeing her withdrawal from the label as a newfound freedom to become an independent artist.

In the following years, Symone dedicated herself to improving her craft.

At Troy University in Alabama, she pursued her Bachelor in Music Industry with a minor in marketing and promotion. During her program, she learned the ins and outs of the music business while training vigorously as a multi-instrumentalist, music producer, and a vocalist.

Symone also admits that she was conflicted about her artistry as her sound was different from the reggae, dancehall, and rap that dominated Bahamian radio.

She worried that family, friends, and fans that she grew up with would reject her artistry as she ventured into bolder and more mature concepts, lyrics and visuals.

Currently, Symone is working with Grammy-nominated music producer, Kyduh Beats, known for his work on the Spiderman Multiverse soundtrack, to create new records to release in early 2023.

Excited to see where it leads, she said, “It’s the best thing I’ve worked on in my life.”

And to her fellow Grand Bahamian artists, she wants to remind them, “When you don’t see things moving, keep going.”

‘Where Angels Go to Cry’ is now streaming on Deezer, Apple Music, and Spotify. To follow up with Ava, follow her @avasmusix on Instagram, @avamusixx on TikTok, and @OfficialAva on YouTube.

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