Former member of Atlanta-known vocal/dance act “Step It Up 5,” Vanessa Graniero now embarks on her solo career as a promising young singer/songwriter. The eighteen-year-old artist is conspicuously mature and uniquely contemplative, turning the most engaging themes of her young life into song ideas for all to experience along with her. She and her writing partner, producer and singer/songwriter Erik Grant Bennett, spent some long and special days exploring the often autobiographical storylines that would become the eventual backdrops for the songs they would create. The result is a collection of songs that not only manage to maintain their commercial relevance and modern edge, but also offer a celebration of the human spirit through sincere and evocative storytelling. But Vanessa wasn’t born with her debut CD in hand – it’s been a journey getting here.
Vanessa Graniero grew up as part of a family that is well traveled, deeply spiritual, and wildly creative. This atmosphere proved to be a “perfect storm,” for a young talent, inducing in her imagination, humor, and wisdom beyond her years. To build on these cornerstones, Vanessa began to get involved in the arts early, doing everything from singing, acting, and dancing to modeling and writing, and most stops in between. A product of the home-school method of education, she was able to capitalize on some more interesting and diverse classes and areas of study than those usually offered in public schools. She participated in many musicals, creative writing projects and other situations designed to stimulate thinking, awareness, and understanding, favoring innovation over information. As for her education in the arts, Vanessa was trained by the best dance and voice instructors, including Stephanie Quinn of Quinn Entertainment, who truly laid the groundwork for Vanessa’s confidence in performing. She is currently an acting student at the renowned yourACT and has landed at Pulse Performing Arts Center in Suwanee, Georgia, where she has found a strenuous and fulfilling learning environment. She remains a student at Pulse PAC, where she studies advanced music theory, piano, voice, ensemble singing, various styles of dance, and more. She loves being challenged and continuing to arm herself with valuable tools, and Pulse has not disappointed on either front. Said “Constantly” producer, Erik Grant Bennett, “V.G. is no quitter! She hangs in until she gets it right and nothing I said or did – and I was hard on her at times – made her walk away. I knew she had the pipes, but now I know she has the stomach for this industry too.”
Having already accumulated a lengthy resume that includes such accomplishments as performing with the Atlanta Symphony’s Chorus, starring in local productions of shows like “Movin’ Out” and “Little Women,” participating in TV and film projects, and winning top awards at competitions like Kids Artistic Revue and Access Broadway, Vanessa was ready for the next step. But the next step had managed to evade her for several years, that is until the timing and circumstances synchronized, setting into motion the events and relationships that would culminate a few years later in the release of her freshman effort, entitled “Constantly,” named for the penultimate track on the disc, which is essentially a sung letter to God, expressing gratitude for being the only steadfast and unchanging force in her life. While not every song outwardly reflects her commitment to an active relationship with God (this is not your garden-variety Christian record by any stretch), there is a pervasive tone of spirituality and self-reflection that is both inspiring and enlightening. Vanessa is a fan of Rock & Roll, Jazz, and R&B and had no desire to climb aboard the somewhat predictable train that is today’s Christian Contemporary or “Praise” genre. To the contrary, she wanted to write songs not about being at church necessarily or the ceremonious rituals that typically accompany religion, but more about getting in touch with the part of us that is God and embracing goodness on a larger scale. The outcome is a combination of rain and thunder – the delicate whisper of a dove and the powerful roar of a mighty lion. Not lacking in clever hooks or memorable moments, the body of work presented can be enjoyed by the passive listener, but will be appreciated profoundly by true lovers of music and those thirsty for shimmering beauty in a cynical age.
Vanessa Graniero has made the most of her first eighteen years, reaching out across barriers of culture, race, and religion and learning early in life that as human beings, we have more in common than differences. But perhaps most encouraging as she takes these next crucial steps into adulthood and into a career of making music is her endless humility and insatiable desire to both improve her craft and illuminate her life. She pretends nothing. She feigns no power or knowledge, and she disallows her ego to interfere with her growth. She is not simple, but she is honest – not transparent, yet open. And oh yeah…almost forgot – the girl can sing. And she’s ready for you to embark on the rest of the journey with her, sharing each triumph and disappointment as it comes, knowing all the while that music is more than a job – like love, it is something to be given and received…constantly.