Influencer, model, actress, and musician. Ava Breeze is a vibrant girl from northern New Jersey who hops from New York and Los Angeles in pursuit of something different. Fairly new to the music scene, Ava released her first single “Girls of Summer” in July of this year. On Thanksgiving Day, she followed with her second single, “Floor is Lava.” Simultaneously, she wrapped up filming a web series where she plays one of the title characters, Judith, in “Irreverend.” And recently added the finishing touches to her next single, “Young Love,” and “Who Are You,” the first of which should be released soon.
At 14 years old, Ava has experienced more than most people have by the time they’re 35. Besides writing music and acting, she runs a charity called Ava’s Advocacy Army; the goal of which is to raise awareness for children with special needs. She is the definition of what it means to “hustle.”
Ava Breeze might be the busiest high school sophomore I have ever met, but you wouldn’t know it. She is wonderfully humble, her smile is kind and infectious. She must be on her way to the next thing, as she Zoom’s with me from the passenger seat of a car. Her mother, Heather, is driving. “I’m sorry for the lighting!” she laughs, going on to apologize for being in the car. It’s not a problem, it is the future after all. Heather is also her official momager and the guiding light in Ava’s life.
“I literally call my mom my best friend,” Ava laughs, “We’re tight knit!” Together they host ‘carchella,’ an exclusive kind of car-karaoke fest that sounds like a great time. Ava Breeze has explored a variety of paths, and was the face of the Feeding America Campaign, an organization renowned for fighting hunger and one of her most treasured projects. But it was after exiting the stage of her first performance that Ava knew music was her calling.
“I was so nervous before my first live performance,” she admits, “[after] I was like, ‘I could really do this!’ It’s definitely one of those things that you have to experience to know how you feel about it.” Exhilarated, Ava felt like a new human being and realized how much she loved music and performing. For her, there’s nothing like creating music and watching it come to life on stage. It doesn’t hurt that music has always been a large part of Ava’s life. While she cites artists like Aurora and Billie Eilish as inspiration, she also credits her mother’s fully stocked musical library for feeding her artistry (#relatable). Through her mother, Ava found solace in artists like Enya and Tori Amos whose work she has tried to emulate with modern finesse.
Even something Ava hears playing over the radio contributes to her creative wavelengths. She dissects sounds, then attempts to create them in her own work. “It’s a constant learning process, just playing with different sounds that I hear and seeing how I can implement them.”
When writing a song, Ava focuses on the lyrical aspect first. Sometimes the inspiration strikes at odd times, like at two in the morning or while washing her hair. Usually, she is a fan of the results and works on adding rhythm before creating backing tracks with her producer, Thomas Dodd. It is her mother who is the first to hear Ava’s words. After creating a song in its most basic format, Ava runs into her mother’s bedroom—beaming with excitement and asking, “Do you like this!? Remember that song we listened to!?”
Having that kind of support is integral to any kind of success. “We bond over music,” Ava adds. It is her mother’s background in music that helps Ava navigate what can be a tough, intimidating industry. “Even if my mother isn’t teaching me the structural part [of music], she’s teaching me tips that only a seasoned professional would know.”
Ava is kind, warm, and welcoming—as they say, it is in the eyes. But there is something else there, a tear that is often etched into “old souls” and invisible to those who are blind to such experiences that make their mark. Her single, “Girls of Summer,” is a melodramatic, alluring tune that harkens back to the early days of Lana Del Rey. The track was mixed and produced by Dodd, who also provided the harp, with Brooks Smith on keyboards.
“Floor is Lava” dropped on Thanksgiving Day of this year. This time, Ava worked with Josh Marsh, another young, emerging talent that has worked with Ava in the past. Marsh and Ava work beautifully together, creating music across thousands of miles via file sharing. The single has, as suggested by its title, a childish innocence mixed with eeriness, the kind that makes you feel as if you’re on the outside looking in.
“The song is a poignant track about bullying,” Ava comments, “But it presents itself as more of a relationship.” The main relationship, Ava says, is the relationship she has with herself. “It’s about the self-growth that you come across as you’re facing these obstacles, like [with] bullying and how you can overcome it.”
‘Don’t step on the cracks,’ and ‘red light, green light, back and forth,’ are some of the childhood games referenced in Ava’s second single. For Ava, the experiences referenced in “Floor is Lava,” began in early childhood and are tethered to her own trials with bullying. While these games were being played, Ava was the one being left out on the playground—or rather outside of it. With “Floor is Lava,” Ava attempts to incorporate these experiences and emotions in a symbolic way.
As she speaks, I can see a small shadow play over her face. A shadow that I have seen before, that is grown from pain. I have been, seen, and felt what Ava is feeling now. I tell her this and a small smile returns in comradery after I add that one day, she will be more than okay…even if those shadows return now and then. “It stays with you for sure,” Ava whispers, referencing the traumas of bullying.
My personal favorite line from “Floor is Lava” is ‘I’m left empty/left without a symphony,’ and Ava almost bounces in her seat. It means the world to her when people love and resonate with her music. That particular line, she says, refers to what life would be like without music. Not just for her, but for everyone. “Music is the light of most people’s lives; it’s helped them get through so much. Without that symphony, without that melody, they’re left empty. [I think] that translates through the song.”
Ava Breeze knows what she feels is true, and the music she writes is compelling and honest. This is something she strives for in everything that she does. I ask if there’s anything else, and Ava turns towards the window, staring out into the world that passes in a blur of foliage and gray-blue sky. She is lost in contemplation, biting her lip as she scans her thoughts.
“I guess…I’m just glad that people can enjoy the music I make. It doesn’t truly take effect [on] how good it is until other people are affected, moved by it.” She smiles, and when she does you know it’s real. Just like the words she sings. I’m eager to see where her path takes her. Wherever Ava ends up, you know it’s going to be somewhere worthwhile.
Find Thomas Dodd at thomasdodd.com.