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Brandi Harvey to release solo album
Set to perform at EKT Nov. 8
Brandi Harvey

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve certainly heard of Brandi Harvey. She’s been dubbed “The Sound of Downtown,” and performs regularly in Statesboro and the surrounding area. If you missed her singing at various venues around town, you likely caught her starring as Patsy Cline in “Always…Patsy Cline.” Or you may have caught her with the Dark Desert Highway Band.

    However you may have heard her, one thing is for sure: the girl can “sang.”

    Harvey is performing Nov. 8 as part of the ONE: Series at the Emma Kelly Theater. The series has showcased local talent in the area such as Vivian Summers, Shaunta Ellis and Nora Franklin. In her performance, Harvey will preview some of the music from her debut solo album. The night promises to be a glimpse of her life as a single mother, writer and performer.

    A preacher’s kid, Harvey was born in Gainesville, Florida and grew up mostly in the central part of the state. The family landed in Waycross in 1993, where she finished high school and attended Waycross College, which is now South Georgia State College. Harvey transferred to Brewton-Parker College in Mt. Vernon, Georgia, where she graduated.

    Harvey says her mom will tell you that she’s been singing since she was born.

    “I grew up singing in church with my dad and at school,” she said, adding that she took some voice lessons in college, but her talent is “pretty much natural.”

    When asked about the first time she realized that music was her calling, Harvey says she just always had that dream.

    “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t dream of being a rock star or on Broadway. Of course, when you’re young, you don’t realize you don’t have to be Whitney Houston big to be a singer. I still would love to be in a big show on Broadway, but that would mean moving to New York, so I’m not sure that’s for me,” she said.

    When Harvey first began singing in the area, her first gig was at the now-closed 40 East — and it soon became a weekly thing.

    “Stephen Maenpaa was managing and dubbed me ‘The Sound of Downtown,’ because it’s a little jazz, a little blues. I love it. I love this town, and when I do solo or duo gigs, it leans toward a more sophisticated sound, jazz and blues predominantly. So, I like to think it fits, but it’s definitely an honor,” she said.

    Harvey also has a passion for local music and is an advocate for the artists who perform it. She is the producer of the Rising Creek Music Series, which has become a showcase for local talent, and says it’s so important to support local musicians because of the hard work they put in.

    “You have to really love it, and not everyone understands just how much work it takes. The musicians in Statesboro are a kind of family, and I’m naturally the ‘mom-friend’ anyway! I wish I’d had someone when I was starting and younger to encourage me and help me get my footing,” she said.

    Harvey says it’s important to support these musicians also because too many times, “the musician is an afterthought.”

                “We don’t get paid for the amount of work we put in. Many are busy working full-time jobs in addition to following our dreams of sharing music with the world. I am in a unique position to be

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