NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight: Singer/songwriter Asialena Bonitz
Every week of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, our free open mic and talent competition at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, we feature a quick Q&A with the latest audience vote winner, which was young singer/songwriter Asialena Bonitz on June 9.
The weekly winner receives $50 in cash that night. After 12 weeks of Got Talent, the 12 winners will face off against each other next Tuesday, June 23 in front of a panel of local celebrities who will determine the winner of the grand prize – a vacation package that includes $500 cash, three days and two nights in Cleveland, Ohio to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Brewing Company, tickets to a Cleveland Indians baseball game, and a free recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton when they return home.
We asked the 19-year-old Scranton resident about winning Week 12 with her acoustic versions of popular songs, including “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette with a loop pedal.
NEPA SCENE: What brought you here to this event?
ASIALENA BONITZ: I came to the event after heading about it personally from my friend Adam Bailey. He told me it was a great time, so I stopped by interested in hearing and seeing some talented acts.
NS: How long have you been practicing your music?
AB: I started singing since I could talk, but I started playing my first shows when I was 15.
NS: What interested you in music in the first place? How did you get started?
AB: I first started singing in a semiprofessional traveling singing choir under Marywood University at age 7-13. When I turned 14, my father bought me a guitar and really opened my mind up to music.
NS: Is this something that you’re pursuing as a career or is it just for fun?
AB: I attend Penn State University and I am studying civil engineering. Although music isn’t part of my curriculum, I know music will always be a part of my life.
NS: What was your immediate reaction or feeling when you won?
AB: My intention was to just have a great time and interact with more musicians when I came to the event. It was just a bonus winning.
NS: Why do you think you won the audience vote?
AB: I feel I won because I was able to open up to the audience, and my goal was to make sure that they were having as much fun as I was.
NS: How will you spend your $50 prize?
AB: I will probably put that $50 right back into my music, whether it be picking up some guitar strings or saving it for a new investment in music.
NS: Do you perform live in front of an audience regularly? Where can people see one of your performances next?
AB: I play out regularly with a drummer every weekend, as well as some shows during the week. I play at live music venues, pubs, and eateries all around Scranton, as well as the outskirts.
NS: Where can people find your music online?
AB: To check out more information on my music, visit my Facebook fan page for details and upcoming shows.