Behind "Burn Book" by Brianne Petrone

Art knows no limits. 

Twenty year old independent artist AVE shares cautionary tales in the release of her debut album Burn Book, operating under a completely virtual environment. 

“It was the night that I had to submit the album for distribution and I remember face palming,” said AVE with a smile. “I cried to my team and told them I didn’t know if I could do this.” 

AVE explained that each individual track on Burn Book was mixed and mastered by her Producer, James Kennedy, in Nashville, Tennessee while she was at her New York home recording virtually. Released on November 1st, 2020, AVE said the album was entirely constructed within six weeks. 

“I turned the worst year of my life into creating art that people loved, that’s so cool.” said AVE, grinning. 

AVE expressed her gratitude towards COVID for challenging her to think differently to create something out of nothing. 

“It is the writer's job to document life: to notice, ask questions, put it all down, and then give the details shape and meaning,” said Erica Cavanagh, a creativing writing professor at James Madison University. “When the world changes so abruptly, as it began to do last March, the world became new again.” 

AVE shared her main goal with this album was to prove to herself that she could be vulnerable, even in the face of fear and a restrictive environment. She admitted her many contemplations to pull the plug. 

“I listen to a lot of music and I know what good quality music sounds like,” said AVE. “I was really nervous that me recording in my bedroom on a $100 mic wasn’t going to cut it.” 

The songs on Burn Book are said by AVE to cover the past three years of her life, years that she describes as a test of her resilience. 

“Music like AVE’s really makes me feel something during these times of loneliness and sadness,” said Grace Feuchter, a junior at James Madison University. “Similar to Taylor Swift, she has a wonderful ability to tell a story through song.” 

AVE explained how her team held virtual meetings, exchanged endless email chains, texts, and Zooms to bring the album to fruition. 

“Each one of us had knowledge the others didn’t,” said AVE. “We worked together really collaboratively to create a product that I’m happy with, which was my biggest concern.” 

AVE’s debut album highlights social issues such as the #MeTooMovement and domestic abuse. 

“My biggest piece of advice to current aspiring artists is to experience things in a different way, to be open and mindful,” said AVE. “I promise inspiration will hit.” 


Erica Cavanagh 

Grace Feuchter