Growing up in Farmingdale, Jessica Carvo remembers dragging her mother past the on Main Street, begging for music lessons. The now 23-year old singer went from performing in productions at Farmingdale's public schools to singing professionally in front of large crowds and fans with the Italian-American group Bell'Aria.
As an adolescent, Carvo's family was heavily involved in sports not music. But she credits her grandmother for introducing her to films that peeked her interest in singing. "Music was something I couldn't get enough of but I didn't have a different upbringing than any other kids in Farmingdale in regards to music," Carvo said.
Carvo began taking piano and signing lessons at age eight for only a few months until middle school, when she started performing in musicals at . At , Carvo continued to perform and she participated in every play until she graduated in 2005.
But her musical career took an upbrupt hault when Carvo noticed something was wrong with her voice during her college career at the University of Delaware in the Fall of 2009. A doctor uncovered two cysts that were in her throat and warned her that surgery could potentially result in the loss of her singing voice. Carvo took the chance and her surgery was successful.
"No one could find what it was, but I knew something was wrong. It wasn't a direct affect of vocal abuse," Carvo said.
During her recovery period, Carvo took to songwriting to make up for her inability to sing. "I was getting frustrated with my own physical limitations so I started writing while I was recovering," she said.
Soon after her recovery, Carvo discovered a post online looking for Italian-American musicians. Despite being her second audition after surgery, thousands of submissions from other singers and after what Carvo called "the longest audition of her life," she was accepted into the group, Bell'Aria as a singer. Carvo signed on with EMI/Manhattan Records in February of 2010 and hasn't stopped working since.
Aurora Pheiffer, adminsitrative assistant at Bell'Aria's record label said that she thinks Carvo fits well in the group.
"She never tries to steal the spotlight, that's what I like most about her," she said. "She made the songs her own and she is a team player. She's genuine and dedicated. She is just a great musician," she said.
Bell'Aria's debut album Little Italy is now for sale at bellariamusic.com and the group is currently planning their spring tour. "It's a family-friendly act and I think it will be an enjoyable experience for everyone," Carvo said.
Carvo's own songs, which she said have no specific genre, can be viewed on her YouTube page (youtube.com/jessiecarvo). "It's foke inspired. It also has pop and jazz sounds. It's not mainstream," she said. Carvo doesn't have a solo album yet, but she plans to start recording this summer.
Pheiffer believes that Carvo can be a successful solo artist. "I feel like she is very talented. I think she can go in a lot of directions," she said. Carvo's college friend, Sue Wicker also believes that she has potential. "I think she is a hard worker. She can sing, she's been doing music for so long. and soon she will get her big break."
As for advice for aspiring singers, Carvo believes that lessons are priority. "Training is important. Listen to a lot of other music and support your peers," she said. "Trust your instincts and don't let the critic be bigger than the creator. Let go of your year and just keep doing it. Performing and music is for you to have fun but you also need to give yourself to it."