Penny Bored rocks Denton with debut EP What If? As If!

Two musicians on stage; one playing guitar, one singing and holding a teddy bear

Penny Bored delivered a lively performance for their EP release at Andy’s Bar in Denton. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Last Saturday, Denton buzzed with excitement as Penny Bored, the brainchild of frontperson Faith Alesia, celebrated the release of their debut EP What If? As If! at Andy’s Bar.

“I grew up in the pop-punk scene but also listened to artists like Hillary Duff, Avril Lavigne, and Michelle Branch, a lot of early 2000s pop-rock,” Alesia said.

This mix of influences lays the foundation for Penny Bored’s distinctive sound, a fusion of pop-punk and nostalgic pop-rock that can be found in Penny Bored’s sound.

The lineup marquee at Andy’s Bar for Penny Bored’s EP release. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A singer on stage

Penny Bored’s new EP What If? As If! is inspired by early 2000’s pop punk and pop rock. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Alesia hails from Wichita Falls but has made Denton their artistic home. At 27 years old, Faith brings a unique perspective to the music industry as a non-binary artist.

“When I started Penny Bored, I wasn’t really out as non-binary at the time,” they shared. “Something about Penny Bored has upped my confidence. I feel like a completely different person. I think pursuing Penny Bored is what helped me feel more comfortable coming out.”

A crowd of people singing

Penny Bored fans singing to Penny Bored songs at Andy’s Bar. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A full band on stage

The Penny Bored full band includes Yash Chulki on guitar, Faith Alesia on vocals, Michael Velasquez on bass and Ryan Sword on drums (not pictured). Photo: Jessica Waffles

Alesia is determined to create a safe space and a supportive community for non-binary artists and listeners alike. They encourage everyone to embrace their true selves.

“Identifying as non-binary is what I’m more comfortable with, makes me happy. Encourage everyone else to do the same. Life’s short; we should just do what we’re comfortable with and what we’re happy with,” Alesia said.

a guitarist on stage

Yash Chulki on stage as part of Penny Bored. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A penny board on stage

A penny board on stage at Andy’s Bar. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Collaborating with songwriter Jojo Centineo in Los Angeles has played a significant role in shaping Penny Bored’s sound.

Alesia described their collaboration with Jojo, saying, “We wrote one song together, and I knew immediately I wanted to start writing with him. He just gets it; he understands the vibe. He’s taught me so much and has been a great mentor.”

What If? As If! was recorded at Centineo’s studio in LA.

A singer on stage

Faith Alesia on stage as the leader of Penny Bored. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A full band on stage

Penny Bored. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Alesia’s background in photography and videography has also contributed to their artistic aesthetic and branding.

They’ve directed and edited their music videos, creating a DIY aesthetic that encapsulates their vision. Collaborating with friends has been a crucial part of Penny Bored’s journey, turning each project into a labor of love.

In the three years since its inception, Penny Bored has released 7 music videos on their Youtube Channel, including one for their song “Karma,” which has already received over 20,000 plays on Spotify.

A singer on stage holding a teddy bear

Faith Alesia’s youthful exuberance on stage carries quintessential Y2K vibes. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A singer dancing in a circle of people

Faith Alesia performed their last song in the middle of the crowd at Andy’s Bar. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Alesia and their twin have meticulously crafted the brand of Penny Bored, aiming to evoke a burst of nostalgia and positivity.

They elaborated on the brand’s essence, saying, “I just want a burst of nostalgia when people enter the Penny Bored world. Colorful, fun, happy, good vibes, like early 2000s carrying around a CD player with stickers all over it, or like Radio Disney.”

A singer in the middle of a crowd

Faith Alesia aka Penny Bored. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A singer smiling in a crowd

The EP release celebration of What If? As If! was full of smiles. Photo: Jessica Waffles

As for upcoming shows, Penny Bored has something exciting in the pipeline for Dallas, set to be announced soon, with plans for December.

The band is highly active on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, encouraging fans to stay updated on their musical journey.

A teddy bear

Penny Bored’s teddy bear on stage. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A merch table

Penny Bored’s merch booth is an experience for fans to interact with the band’s Y2K aesthetic. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Alesia had a closing message for the audience: “Do what makes you happy. Follow your dreams.”

They emphasized their own journey of self-discovery, from a violinist with no prior band experience to a confident non-binary artist making waves in the music industry. “If there’s something you want to do, go for it,” they urged.

Physical copies of the new EP What If? As If! were available at Penny Bored’s merchandise booth. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A fan taking a selfie in a mirror that says Penny Bored

Fans were encouraged to take a selfie with the Penny Bored mirror and tag the band on social media to receive free merch. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Plush keychains

Plush keychains, beads and chains are part of Y2K fashion at the Penny Bored show. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A merch table with stickers and shorts

Some merch items available from Penny Bored. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A person playing a claw game with bouncy balls

A playful interactive claw game at the Penny Bored merch booth. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 

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