Bellefonte grad strikes it big

Pauline Alterio, Photo Editor

 From the halls of Bellefonte to the set of Ellen, Joey Valence has traveled far. The 2017 BAHS graduate hit it big in 2021, partnering with State College alumni Braedan Lugue to create songs “Underground Sound” and “Double Jump,” which each went viral and amassed over six million combined streams. The duo’s journey to the national stage, however, was far from glamorous.          

“We [Joey and Braedan] were just goofing off. We made the music in our bedrooms, trying to make each other laugh,” Joey said. “I myself started making music when I was 12, after I moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania and had no friends to express myself with.”

Joey and Braedan met in their freshman year of college, connecting over music and entering numerous talent competitions, one of which awarded the two a $10,000 prize. Joey credits his success, however, to his parents’ support.

“Growing up my Dad always played hip-hop, and my Mom has been promoting and supporting me since my music was terrible. When I told them that I would spend time pursuing it [music], both supported me entirely,” he said.

And it seems Joey was right about his parents’ support. The two landed Joey and Braedan time on The Ellen Show, where they put on an electric performance of their Beastie Boys-esque hit “Double Jump.” Braedan and Joey spoke afterwards of their success and journey.

 “When ‘Double Jump’ became popular, I realized that there’s actually a big audience for this. I realized there was potential for this, real potential,” Joey said. “But there’s still a long way to go.”

The future, though, seems particularly bright. Since their Ellen Show performance, Braedan and Joey have released song “READY SET,” and announced an appearance at Texas music festival “So What?!” which will be held this coming Memorial Day in front of  thousands.

Still, Joey and Braedan remain humble, only saying music has created an outlet to define and mature themselves.

“It’s changed [our] entire lives. It’s 100% the reason that [we] became the people we are today,” Joey said. “Still, at the end of the day, it’s just about two kids making music.”