Prior to 2018, Avonlea cultivated a following on the Internet, but that was the year the singer/songwriter began an ambitious project that expanded her audience. That project was called 10 2 17, an EP designed to chronicle her coming of age from age ten to age 17. Released a track at a time beginning with "It Sucks," the EP showcased an electronic-pop singer/songwriter focused as much on dreamy, sultry moods as on confessions and melody.
Born Avonlea Martin in Santa Rosa, California on January 29, 2000, the singer/songwriter began playing music once her parents placed an upright piano in her childhood bedroom. Martin was only ten, but she soon began composing songs, teaching herself guitar and ukulele not long afterward. Martin's first step into the public came in 2014 when she took home the first prize in the teen category of the International Songwriter's Competition, which included a scholarship to a five-week program at Berklee. The following year, she was a featured performer at two different events for West Coast Songwriters, which then led to an appearance at that year's holiday show for the Narada Michael Walden Foundation.
Martin's first big break arrived in 2016, when she made it to the Judge Cuts round on the 11th season of America's Got Talent. Although she didn't make it through to the next round, it helped elevate her to the national stage, and soon her YouTube channel began acquiring thousands of followers, as did her Instagram. She shortened her stage name to Avonlea and began guesting on albums by other artists, including singing "Kylie Jenner" on Sina's 2016 album, Chi Might.
For her next big move, Avonlea refashioned herself as an EDM-influenced singer/songwriter, adopting some elements of Lana Del Rey and Lorde for "It Sucks," a digital single released early in 2018. "It Sucks" was the first song from her coming-of-age EP 10 2 17, followed quickly that year by "Cars and Boys" and "Again." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine