Sophomore Ella Mosco has the sort of voice that can silence a crowded room. Among the rare few who have seen her perform, this sort of praise for the singer-songwriter has become quite common. All the while, she has maintained an elegant humility. “In the last few days, or after I perform, everyone is so nice about it; it makes my heart melt,” Mosco said. The praise is not undeserved, as the talented vocalist has put in a lot of practice to get to this point.
“I used to busk on the shuttle train,” Mosco said, describing her time spent performing with a friend on the popular subway line between Times Square and Grand Central in Manhattan. “It was weird, two people that were very clearly from the suburbs, just getting on the train, it was like ‘What are we doing?’” Mosco said.
In the end, it turned out to be an overwhelmingly positive experience for Mosco. “We were never really harassed or anything, we got to know the conductors, like we were the people that played on their train all the time,” she said. The subway performances were like their own world for Mosco and her friend. “There was this one kid that played two buckets. We would sing with him sometimes, and we would get offers from people who gave us their phone numbers and asked if we wanted to collaborate sometime—but we never did,” Mosco said.
Outside of performing on the train, Mosco was very active in local musical activities. “It was Westchester [County], though, so there weren’t a lot of things to be involved in,” she added.
Since then, Mosco has continued to sing and perform at Geneseo, usually playing covers for friends and peers. While she has admitted to having written some original work, she is still hesitant to perform that material. She has even put her music online, sharing videos and audio for everyone to hear.
“When it’s a cover, when it’s someone else’s words, its different than your own thoughts and [from] performing something that’s like your own diary,” she said.
Mosco, along with her coffee shop-brand ukulele and vocals, has expressed interest in branching out. She has begun writing poetry in her time at Geneseo and expects to debut as the vocalist in a girl-punk band with Geneseo classmates at some point later in the semester. The project appears to be a serious one, as the band has already secured a gig at the newly renovated Riviera on Center Street.
The project is called Valley Sounds, and will include local familiars Soft Cough and Red Kettle. “It should be fun,” Mosco said, comparing the group’s goals to those of another newly formed Geneseo band Maybe Mayonnaise. If these comparisons hold true, they signal a whole new, jam-heavy sound for Mosco and a strict departure from previous acoustic performances.