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If you have ever been in a band or pursued some type of solo music career, you know how hard it can be to make a name for yourself, and how frustrating and draining it is to build up an audience.

Avery McWhorter is a sophomore majoring in Industry Entertainment at the University of North Alabama. He is a musician of the Florence and Muscle Shoals area who performs under the pseudonym of Avery Yerlan. Avery’s music career began the same way as many other musicians did. His parents forced him to take piano lessons rather than letting him play sports, as he would have preferred.

In the 6th grade, Avery’s parents finally gave him the option to play sports. But Avery decided against it, and joined the band instead. The band is where Avery developed an appreciation for all different genres of music. But he really gained a lot of inspiration from, Jon Bellion, Lincoln Park, Kanye West, and Tech N9ine. He even released his first few songs at the age of 14.

Those songs are no longer available, but Avery started releasing music again in 2018 and has even collaborated with other local artists. He started using his “Yerlan” pseudonym.

Apart from his slowly growing solo career, Avery has also started a band with his good friend and fellow entertainment major, Gavin Van Dee Vender. Gavin is a solo artist as well and has also put out a few originally composed pieces of his own.

Gavin and Avery first met their freshman year in their Intro to Entertainment class. Gavin’s first impression of Avery was “Wow, he is not afraid to make his presence known.” Gavin shared some of his work with Avery and, since their musical styles were so similar, the two of them found a common interest in their love of music. They quickly became friends and, somewhere along the way, the two of them decided to start their own band. Avery does the vocals and Gavin plays the bass and/or the guitar.

Even though they haven’t known each other very long, and their band is still in its infant stages, they have already performed a few shows on campus at the University of North Alabama as well as a few house shows around the Florence and Muscle Shoals area. Avery and Gavin also filmed their first music video for their band with help from a local videography production, Late School Nights. They each described their experience as a fun and stressful experience.