Musician and Hoboken resident Jay Della Valle is well-known for his confident personality – pictured on his MySpace page wearing a white suit, pink shoes, and thick mustache. But, don’t be fooled by his rock star persona, Della Valle will be stripped down, playing an acoustic set at the Goldhawk on Oct. 15 and again on Nov. 20.
With two albums to date, Della Valle is well on his way in the pop-rock music scene, now promoting his new E.P., Hot Breathe, due out in April.
“I love [to play] the Goldhawk,” Della Valle said, “because I can experiment with new ideas, with songs that I don’t normally play.”
In previous performances at the Goldhawk, Della Valle has been accompanied by a pianist and even a cellist.
“After the busy rock n’ roll stuff,” Della Valle continued, “when everything is about your voice, it’s raw; and, people can really feel that [emotion], appreciate that you can be that vulnerable. It’s pure truth – lyrics and a couple chords.”
Growing up in a musical household, Della Valle always loved to sing. He wrote his first song at the age of 13, but it wasn’t until after singing in a school talent show, that he knew he wanted to pursue a career in music.
“You go out on a limb,” Della Valle said about performing for the first time, “then you go a little further and further.”
With a budding on-stage confidence, Della Valle found himself opening up for some of his favorite Ska bands like The Toasters and The Pie Tasters.
After graduation, Della Valle attended the Gallatin School at NYU, receiving a degree in film in 2001. He began his acting career shortly after, performing in off Broadway plays and independent films.
After the events of 9/11 and the passing of his grandfather, “something clicked” Della Valle said, and he couldn’t stop writing new music. He formed a band and got on the road.
Once on tour, Della Valle decided to create a documentary, which would follow the lives of men under 30 who were challenged to wear a mustache for an entire month. The film called, “The Glorious Mustache Challenge,” was finally finished in 2007.
“I got really excited about [the idea]; it was all I could talk about,” Della Valle said.
The film landed him in the New York Times, on the cover of AM New York, and even live on the air during The Today Show, Good Morning America, and of course, Geraldo. Della Valle is now a chairman of the American Mustache Institute.
With the surprising success of the film, Della Valle again set out with his band, to promote the documentary along with his music. Next spring, Della Valle will be headlining a mustache-themed festival called, ‘Stache Bash 2008, in St. Louis.
Della Valle has brought his refreshingly melodic pop-rock sound to Hoboken before. He’s played the Whiskey numerous times and even opened for Jesse Malin, at Maxwell’s on May 30. He will be playing the M.E.A.N.Y. Fest Showcase at Kenny’s Castaway’s in New York City on Oct. 10.
“[I’ve been] wearing my heart on my sleeve, trying to be as honest as possible,” Della Valle said, “not taking myself too seriously, and striving to make music that is a reflection of who I am and how I experience my life.”
With the documentary behind him, Della Valle wants to create “modern theme music” – a soundtrack to the listener’s life.
Trying to convey a confidence that perhaps only an under 30 mustache wearer can truly understand, Della Valle said, “[his music] is like when you walk out of your house, and you know something good is going to happen today – like you’re ready to take on the world.”
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