The Young Something is fronted by Alex Bonyata (17) and Bella Beyer (15) who are based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They started performing and songwriting together when they met at the Grammy Museum’s Music Revolution Project during the summer of 2015. Since then they have expanded to a full band, adding two members: Ben Buffington on bass/keys and 2015 Grammy Alumni Trey McHugh on drums. Now with two EPs under their belt they have been busy performing in Nashville, Austin, Arkansas, and all over Florida. They have been featured on WMNF Radio multiple times and appeared in the Tampa Bay Times. Recently they recorded their premier EP as The Young Something in Nashville and will be releasing it later this summer. Live appearances have included opening and playing in support of Foreigner, Andy Grammer, Toby Keith, and Sister Hazel.
Reviews of Alex & Bella (performing as AB+Positive):
Review: Tropical Heatwave ditches the Cuban Club, keeps things eclectic in Ybor City:
“As always at Heatwave, some of the best performances were the ones you might not’ve seen coming… And at Cigar City Cider and Mead’s early-evening ‘teen showcase’ stage, young acts like Francesca and AB+ displayed pop songwriting and performance chops well beyond their years, offering hope WMNF needn’t fret about filling out its Heatwave schedule a decade from now.”
— Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times
Rockabilly Ruckus – A Tribute to Sun Records:
“This teenage folksy duo followed the keep it simple method. On acoustic guitar, Alex Bonyata sounds like a veteran player who’s grown up on the mean streets of soul. On vocals was Bella Beyer, with a stage presence and a voice well beyond her years. Her voice – tender, breathy and a tad sultry, reminded me of a young combination of Jewel and Sarah McLachlan. My favorite moment of their set was their rendition of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire”. Normally a fast tempo and– upbeat song, they gave it their own spin turning it into a sweet melody that left me impressed.”
In tribute to Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, 6 Tampa Bay musicians do ‘My Way’ their way:
“Alex Bonyata studies music at the Music Industry Recording Arts program at St. Petersburg College. My Way was released 30 years before his birth. He’s 15.
While he appreciates the story of the song, it’s the melody that drew him in, from the dramatic swells and ebbs of its arrangement to the minor-key accidentals that build tension in each measure. He heard in My Way a song that suited the eclectic style of himself and his vocal partner, 13-year-old Bella Beyer. The challenge was drawing it out.
“With a whole band, you can knock it out pretty easily: Let’s do a funk cover. Let’s do a reggae cover,” Alex says. “But with just an acoustic guitar and vocals, it’s not as obvious.”
Alex and Bella, who perform together as AB+, tried a few different arrangements. A bossa nova version. A mandolin version. A Hendrix-style version with lots of distorted guitars.
They settled on an upbeat folk arrangement: Alex plucking each verse finger style, Bella warbling the lyrics with a vintage, soulful lilt. When the song hits the chorus, it speeds up, almost like bluegrass.
“It’s sort of the same setup as a lot of punk songs — you have a quiet, driving verse, and then it gets loud for the chorus,” Alex says.
Punk. Soul. Bluegrass. It was all there in My Way all along.
— Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times
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