Warwick Valley Middle School seventh grader Paisley Felker is a fan of 1970s rock and roll. She has her father Paul to thank for that and for her interest in singing.
“I just grew up around people who were really into music, like my dad,” Paisley said. “He introduced me to different musicians and different bands, and we just liked to sing together. He loves Led Zeppelin, he loves Bad Company, and for soloists he really likes Marvin Gay.”
Daughter, like father
When he was younger, Paul Felker played in bands such as Raven Wood, Pipeline and Troubled Soul that toured and recorded their own music.
“Paisley has an ear for what is good in all genres of music,” Felker said. “Her open mind and appreciation of the greats makes her a good student of the art of singing. We share a love for music and frequently talk about and sing music together.”
Paisley is currently a member of the eighth-grade chorus and the WVMS Ukulele Club. She also practices singing and playing the guitar (an instrument her father taught her to play) at home.
‘An incredible voice’
“I am lucky to hear Paisley sing weekly in chorus and contribute to the school’s Ukulele Club, but it’s very possible we might hear her on the radio one day,” said music teacher Shane Peters. “Paisley has an incredible voice and is such an asset to the school’s music program.
“Not only does Paisley actively participate in the school’s music program, but she also enjoys exploring new music outside of school,” Peters added. “Her taste in music covers a wide range of artists from Joni Mitchell to modern day Mitski - she’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to great music to listen to!”
A little bit of pop and a little bit of rock
Paisley describes her musical style as a little bit of pop and a little bit of rock. Singers Paisley admires include Robert Plant, Phoebe Bridgers, Mitski, Harry Styles, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.
“I like indie rock and I like to sing rock songs,” Paisley said. “For solo artists I really like to sing Phoebe Bridgers songs and Mitski songs. I try my best to sing Led Zeppelin, but it’s very hard to.”
Paisley likes singing because it’s a way to express herself through music. She enjoys chorus because she gets to sing almost every day and to see her friends. Eventually, she would like to get a record deal and be a performer.
A teacher’s encouragement
“I’ve never really been recognized as a singer, so I appreciate that Mr. Peters nominated me and is encouraging me to do this as a profession later in life,” Paisley said.
Outside of music, Paisley has earned a spot on the High Honor Roll for the first three marking periods. She also competes in sprints and the shot put on the modified track and field team.