Van Pelt embraces original material - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Van Pelt embraces original material

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WORCESTER, Mass. -

It's sound check time for South Kingstown's Erika Van Pelt, and as crowds filed into Mechanics Hall in Worcester last week, Erika and I meet backstage to talk about the big show.

"It's really cool. I was so excited to be a part of this show and when I found out who was on the bill, I was totally ecstatic," Van Pelt said.

Fellow "American Idol" alum Chris Daughtry was the headliner, but folks in attendance were excited to see Van Pelt.

"I have heard of her and I think she has an amazing voice, and I'm so excited to see her tonight," said Heather Horning of Worcester.

It's a family affair for Team Van Pelt. Erika's siblings, parents and friends are at every show to market her brand and contribute their complete support.

"It's uber-important. It's my sister. I've known her my whole life and I just want to see her succeed and whatever I can do to make that happen, I'm going to do it," said Collin Van Pelt, the singer's brother.

It's a new Van Pelt we're beginning to see flourish on stage. An artist who is proud of her original music and is opening up about her inspirations for the first time.

"A lot of these songs I've written are very heartfelt. They came from really pressing times in my life where I was going through some serious emotional turmoil and now singing it for people is probably the biggest thing that's happened to me as an artist," Van Pelt said.

Brendan Burke, a Van Pelt fan, said his favorite song of hers is "Hurricane."

"It just gives me a good feeling," he said.

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