Timpview High School’s Neveah Valdizan, who just completed her freshman year, has been playing piano since she was 6 years old. With some of her family members involved in the music industry, her overall interest in music advanced as she began to grow older.
She began making her own music about two years ago, and that is when she started thinking about making an album. Based on current music trends, young artists, and more, she started getting to work.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, and after having a conversation with her father, Valdizan said she had a realization about pursuing what she was most interested in. With schools shut down, later moving into hybrid schedules, she had the time to pursue her passion for music.
That’s when she saw the potential to make an album completely on her own.
With the piano skills in hand, Valdizan was left wondering how she could record and edit her music. She did as many young people are doing these days and turned to her trusted iPhone.
The Apple app GarageBand became her tool, giving her a digital space to record and edit her music. She would play her songs on the piano, record them live, and then mess with them on the editing app. She characterized it as a very flexible and accessible process, allowing her to do more with what she has available.
“I didn’t think I would be able to do it because it just sounded really complicated,” Valdizan said. “Yeah, I did produce it on my phone. It actually came out pretty great.”
When asked about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the album, Valdizan said that she probably would not have made the album if she had to attend school in person. The flexibility with her homework and school deadlines allowed her to devote more time to the musical project. She said it allowed her time to realize what she wanted to do most.
As for the inspiration behind her songs, Valdizan pointed to songs from other young artists that she listens to while enjoying the stories that those artists tell through their songs. She said that those stories were channeled into her songs, but with her own perspective.
Topics included school, friends and life as a teenager expressed vaguely so that many teenagers could relate to them.
“It’s not necessarily a specific experience but it is more of a nostalgic feeling or reminiscent of an idea,” Valdizan said. “It has a lot to do with teenage life, childhood, and that was what I surrounded my songs with.”
The hardest part of the project was that she was doing it all on her own. Normally artists have designated producers, people helping them write songs, and others who mix and master records. Valdizan said that help from her dad and uncle was key as she tried to make the album one step at a time.
While some songs may not have worked out the way she had hoped, she said it was a learning process. Once she got the hang of it and grasped the whole process, Valdizan said that she was surprised at how simple it was once it all clicked.
When she released the album, Valdizan said she only got support from people she shared her music with.
As well as receiving support from her friends and teachers at Timpview High School, Valdizan was also recently named as the school’s rising star.
“I think that was so cool because no one really gave their time to be rude,” Valdizan said. “When I told everyone about it they were just surprised. I kind of felt a little bit insecure but I also felt surprised because a lot of the people that heard about it never knew.”
On top of listening to her music, and making it, Valdizan is currently listening to artists like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo in the pop genre. She pointed to some of their songs gaining popularity on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, adding that if they can do it then she can too.
Valdizan plans to continue making music, while considering a second album, with hopes to become a better musician and performer.
“It’s something that proved to me that if I really want to do something, then I can do it,” Valdizan said of her debut album.
The album, “Sticky Notes,” can be found on Valdizan’s Instagram page, @neveahvaldizan, or at superseedforever.wixsite.com/neveah.