By LEAH ASTORE
Twenty-eight year old guitar goddess and singer-songwriter Orianthi has played alongside some of the biggest guitar legends of our time from Steve Vai to Carlos Santana and has become an idol in her own right.
From her music to her message, Orianthi has shown what passion and determination can do.
At six-years-old Orianthi began playing music in her home of Adelaide, Australia, with a view to someday become a recording artist in the United States. She received her first guitar soon after and began learning songs by Vai, Santana, and Jimi Hendrix. By the time she was 15, Orianthi began her career as a professional guitarist and caught the attention of both of her idols, Vai and Santana.
“The hardest thing is just keeping at it and not giving up,” she said. “You can travel the world and do it for a living if you really work your butt off.”
After playing with Carrie Underwood at the Grammy Awards in 2009, she gained the attention of Michael Jackson for the King of Pop’s ill-fated “This Is It” tour. Yet, the fall of 2009, brought her biggest success when her debut single “According to You” off of her second solo album Believe received major air time in the United States and worldwide.
Now Orianthi is saying “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” as she tours the United States with Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson.
Since 2011, Orianthi has played guitar alongside Cooper while balancing her own solo career as a singer-songwriter. Performing to audiences of 5,000 to 6,000 people a night, Orianthi, Cooper, and Manson aim to shock and entertain and feed off of their audiences’ energy.
“Every night it’s like a big party on stage,” she said. “We’re just having a lot of fun out here.”
The shows incorporate shocking and dramatic props like guillotines and plenty of fake blood.
“Working with Alice is just so great because he is a really cool person apart from being an amazing performer,” Orianthi said. “I’ve learned a lot from being out on tour with him.”
Besides touring with Cooper, Orianthi has played sporadic solo concerts for her newest solo album Heaven in This Hell, which was released in March 2013. From August to October, she will perform solo shows for Heaven In This Hell before she rejoins Cooper on his tour. Next year, she said she plans to fit in a series of international shows in Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
For Heaven In This Hell Orianthi went to Nashville to record with musician, songwriter, and producer Dave Stewart who was formerly part of the disbanded Eurythmics. After meeting him at a show two years ago and “jamming out” with him, she knew she wanted to mirror the same vibe of Stewart’s albums in her music. The collaboration, she said, happened really naturally.
Unlike her other albums, Heaven In This Hell is more hard rock oriented while combining riff-heavy songs with country and blues. Her song “Filthy Blues” and the title track “Heaven In This Hell” are a perfect example of this. Yet other tracks like “If You Were Here With Me” convey softness amidst the albums’ grittier overtones.
“It’s the kind of music I want to put out there,” Orianthi said of Heaven In This Hell. “It’s a record I’m really proud of.”
At this stage in her career, Orianthi has much to be proud of, as she has proved herself as a multi-faceted artist playing alongside musicians of several different genres from country to pop to hard rock. Next, she would like to expand her musical repertoire even further by combining heavy guitar with more electronic based musicians.
“I really like Lady Gaga’s voice. I think it would be really cool to do something with her or Usher and do something really different than what I’ve done before,” she said.
Amidst her worldwide success as a recording artist, Orianthi stays true to her message and hopes to continue to inspire both guys and girls to pick up guitars and follow their passions like she did.
“If you want to be a musician – you want your music heard out there, it’s just about putting yourself out there and taking risks and performing to as many people as you can.”