The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Artist Spotlight: Elena Duffy ‘24 finds her voice

Elena Duffy ’24 is currently working on a new EP. (Photo courtesy of Elena Duffy ’24)

You may have heard of Elena Duffy ’24 as the girl who sang onstage with country singer Zach Bryan this past summer. Or perhaps you know her as a member of the treble voices a capella group Cadence. However, there is more to Duffy than meets the eye – or the ear.

“I’ve always loved music and I used to be really shy and not confident about it,” Duffy said. “But I’ve liked singing and liked a capella and everything and liked hearing opinions just from random people or my friends … I’ve realized that like, okay, maybe actually I can be good at it.”

Duffy has been singing her whole life and she began to write her own songs at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. After partnering up with a close friend of hers, Nick Gabriel, the two released an EDM song called “Til It’s Over.”

“We were like, ‘Alright, let’s make songs together,'” Duffy said. “So, we came up with songs, more EDM, because that’s what he does. But then I’ve been working on writing music. So, we’ve been going into some recording studios, starting to record everything and he’s producing it.”

During a break from recording new music with Gabriel, Duffy went to a Zach Bryan concert with a few of her close friends, including Jenna Blandina ‘25 and her brother, Ian Duffy ‘24.

“I had seen videos of [Zach Bryan] pulling people up on stage before,” Elena Duffy said. “So I just thought about it and was like, ‘I might be close enough. What if we made a sign and asked to sing with him?’ It could work.”

“We had talked on the drive [to the concert],” Ian Duffy said. “[I said], ‘Oh, you’re never gonna get on the stage. It’s not going to work.’”

Fortunately for Elena Duffy, it did work. With encouragement from the crowd around her, her sign caught Bryan’s attention and she was soon escorted to the stage to sing “Dawns,” a song originally featuring Maggie Rogers.

Nick Gabriel

“I turned around and there were 13,000 people just watching them,” Ian Duffy said. “Yeah, I was so shocked. I was tearing up, just completely [had] chills for an hour, two hours after the show. It didn’t even feel real until the next day. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.”

After singing with Bryan, Elena Duffy felt a renewed sense of confidence in her musical abilities and decided to head back into the studio to record new music.

“I’d started [recording] and then kind of stopped and then after the whole Zach Bryan thing, I got back into it,” Elena Duffy said. “I was like, ‘Wait, maybe I can actually do something with this.’”

Recently, Duffy has once again partnered with Gabriel. One of her newer songs she plans to release soon is called “If I Wonder.”

“I’m just waiting for [Gabriel] to finish producing it,” Elena Duffy said. “This can be something for him, too. So, once he finishes that … I want to release it.”

Additionally, Elena Duffy plans to have an EP out by the end of the year and help other friends of hers who also want to create music.

“There’s a lot of people around her who want to help her succeed, but she also wants to help our friends who also want to go that same route,” Ian Duffy said.

“I want to write more and continue pursuing it,” Elena Duffy said. “And if something happens from it, then that’ll be great. It’s just something I love.”

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About the Contributor
Kristen Vincent
Kristen Vincent, Assistant Culture Editor

Kristen Vincent ‘26 is an English Major and a Government and Law Minor. Aside from writing and editing for the newspaper, she is an EXCEL scholar, Writing Associate, LEO, and Secretary of the English Club. When she is not critiquing the latest biopic about a musician with a legendary past, she can be found working on her latest poem or rustling through the bargain bin at your local record store.

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