LIVINGSTON, NJ – During the summer, Livingston High School 2009 Alumna Brittany Dippold’s Band Pastele landed in the Top Five on VH1’s “Make A Band Famous.” VH1 and Universal Republic Records used social media in order to discover and promote a rising star.
The competition landed Pastele in fifth place, with the help of several celebrity mentors such as Travie McCoy, Bonnie McKee and Chris Daughtry. The event was streamed on Vh1.com for 24 hours so people could view and vote while each band worked on daily challenges. Pastele was eliminated after their top five performance, while one final band became a VH1 “You Outta Know” artist and signed a record deal with Universal Republic Records.
According to Pastele, Dippold collaborated with Carlo Colasacco from local band Someone Say Something to become Pastele and submitted their Instagram audition using the hashtags #MABF and #Pastele. Out of 3,000 bands, Pastele was chosen to be in the top 60 and eventually voted into the final 24 to be aired live.
“On June 11 we traveled to Brooklyn to compete for 24 hours straight with no sleep,” Dippold said. “The first round, 24 bands were narrowed down to 12 bands by performing 60 seconds of an original song and judged by celebrity judges Natasha Bedingfield, Adam Blackstone, Kurt Hugo Schneider and Robert Schwartzman.”
Blackstone, the celebrity musical director of artists like Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake, chose Pastele as his favorite band during the top 24, progressing them into the top 12.
Partnered with another band at random in a room full of 12 bands practicing at the same time, Pastele said this was the hardest part of the competition. To memorize lyrics and hear each other to make sure they were in sync with the other band was particularly challenging for Dippold and her bandmates, but their collaborative performance of “Torn,” by Natalie Imbruglia, advanced them to the top eight.
“This round, we had to stay up all night and write a song, after all the performing that day we were exhausted but our adrenaline kept us going,” Dippold said. “We wrote our original song ‘More Than Anything’ with the help of Bonnie Mckee.”
Dippold also said that McKee helped them write their original song from a whole new perspective that would allow them to relate to their fans. As a band, Pastele said they were made stronger with the professional help and the pressure of learning songs within an hour to be performed in front of a live audience. According to Dippold, even though Pastele didn’t win, the competition taught them how much they were truly capable of.
“I've been working on so much music for the past two years and have yet to release anything except [my single] ‘Art Attack,’ which was more so content to keep up in the midst of the project developing,” Dippold said. “So I’m really excited to finally put out the project and all this music we've been holding on to.”
After Someone Say Something parted ways, Colasacco became heavily involved with songwriting, as did Dippold, as a solo artist. When the opportunity of live shows presented itself, Dippold said she didn’t want to be a typical pop artist anymore and decided that collaborating with others also influenced by artists like P!nk, No Doubt and Bruno Mars would lead to success. Dippold said she quickly became close with Colasacco, Someone Say Something members Stephen and Marco, as well as newcomer Andy.
“It was really crazy how it all happened but I’m so happy that it did,” Dippold said. “We have really grown a lot in only one year.”
Dippold originally got into music when she was performing in talent shows throughout elementary school and went on to start a female pop group at age 12. At age 14, Dippold’s pop group Candy Coated Chaos was signed by Neutone Records and released their first single, which charted in Germany and played over the radio. At age 16, the group’s songs also debuted on MTV shows like “The Hills,” “Jersey Shore” and “The City.”
In the midst of attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Dippold said her writing became more cultured and art inspired. During her time in the city, Dippold’s lessons with Don Lawrence, who had students such as Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Mick Jagger and Bono, helped her figure out who she was and who she wanted to be.
“We have been steadily taking meetings and putting together a collection of music that will be released as singles and then an album,” Dippold said of Pastele’s future. “We have been presented with label opportunities and right now we are in the middle of choosing who we are going to go with and what’s about to be released.”
Dippold’s biggest hope is to be doing what she loves while supporting herself and her family. She also said what she wants is to be able to return the support her family gives her, and is grateful that her family understands that it is not an overnight success.
“Being an individual and writing a song should be a journey, not a render of someone else’s work,” Dippold said. “My goal is to inspire others with something different and hopefully millions will understand one day. It’s funny, I don’t like to call fans ‘fans’ because I think of them more as friends, so my goal is to have millions of friends.”
Livingston has one of the best school systems in New Jersey; it raises up Governors, Playwrights, Actors, Artists, Doctors, Lawyers…or to put it plainly… Superstars! But before they became successful grownups, they did extraordinary things as kids.
Read on to learn about the exceptional things our Livingston children are doing these days.
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