We are SharpTurnAhead..an up and coming singing and performing duo. Our names are Kyle and Benjamin Sharp, and we are 15 year old twins.
We are originally from Austin, Texas, where we lived until the Summer of 2009. During that Summer, our family (mom, dad and 2 dogs) moved from Austin to Laguna Beach, California. That move, unknown to the family at the time, may have been the spark to a promising musical future.
From an early age, probably as young as two years old, it was obvious to everyone around us that we were born with pure passion for music and performance in our souls. We would spend endless hours watching (memorizing) various concert videos, including James Taylor, The Eagles, Sheryl Crow and Shania Twain. As early as 2 years old, Kyle had a guitar strapped on, and would strum along with the music, and Benjamin would belt out the vocals.
When we were six, Kyle decided it was time to focus on drums. So Mom and Dad bought a full size, performance quality set, from a garage sale and Kyle was off and drumming. All total, Kyle spent roughly one year pounding away on the drums, but that was a pivotal year for us, as performance opportunities started to present themselves. Our first opportunity to entertain a crowd was at a small Vietnamese restaurant/coffee shop in Austin called Triumph Café. On Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant had live music, and one band in particular set the stage for us to dive head on into our music.
While watching Brian McLeod and his jazz band perform, we were completely absorbed, nearly frozen, with Benjamin focusing on every word and Kyle focusing/studying the guitars, the jazz snare and high hat. Brian took note of our complete focus on his band, and offered us boys an opportunity to play with him and his band during their break.
That was it…that was the moment that may have defined our future. A simple opportunity to sit behind an instrument and a microphone, and perform in front of people who weren’t related to us. Brian’s band was blown away, the 15 or so people watching us were blown away, and the rest is (maybe) history!
At the age of seven, Kyle jumped back into guitar lessons, and this time it was forever. Kyle learned from an amazing guitar teacher in Austin named Paul Clancy. Paul quickly noticed his raw talent and passion and gave Kyle the early confidence he would need to blossom as a performer. Can’t thank you enough, Paul, for inspiring me and for watering me at an early age.
Just after turning nine, our Dad was given an opportunity to relocate with his employer to Southern California. That decision was not an easy one for our family..leaving Austin and everything we knew and loved about life…our friends, family, familiar places, Paul, the Texas Longhorns, etc. It was only fitting for us to give one final performance at Triumph Café, for friends and family who knew and loved us, in our final days leading up to our move away from Austin. It was a special night for the whole family and for the many friends who loved and cared for us. Your love and support is what carried our family through those difficult final weeks living among you and provided us with the strength for our family to embark on our new journey.
In spite of the obvious challenges ahead of us, rebuilding our lives in a new city, we met the challenge head on and we have prospered beyond our imagination.
Settling in Laguna Beach, and entering fourth grade as the new kids in the area, was a scary time for us. We had no friends here. But, we had our parents’ love and support, we had each other, and we had our music.
Soon after entering fourth grade, our talents and love for music were noticed by a long time Laguna Beach resident, teacher and musician. Beth Sand put her musical arms around both of us and helped us establish our new local identities. Beth also owns the local guitar shop and music school, so she introduced Kyle to the guitar instructors there, and Kyle eventually found the right instructor in Randy Rusk. Randy picked up where Paul Clancy left off, recognizing Kyle’s natural gift, and he has made a significant impact on Kyle’s guitar playing and love of performing. Randy, in turn, introduced us to an amazing vocal coach, Lynn Semelsberger, and with Lynn’s help and guidance, we have been able to develop our vocals more than maybe even we would have expected.
Since moving to Laguna Beach in June of 2009, our focus on our music and performing together has grown steadily.
From 2009 through early 2011, we had a few opportunities to showcase our talents in front of large crowds. Kyle, with guitar in hand, led our fourth grade choir in singing “Take me out to the ballgame” on the baseball field at the Angel’s stadium in Anaheim. We also performed locally in our fourth and fifth grade talent shows, singing “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “Mud Football” by Jack Johnson. During the Spring of 2010, we also had the opportunity to perform a 45 minute set at the Sawdust Festival venue in Laguna Beach.
At the beginning of 2011, after being the lead vocalist for Kyle for many years, Benjamin decided it was time to learn an instrument and start playing with Kyle rather than just singing with him. Benjamin took his first piano lesson from Laila Scharf in January 2011, and Laila’s personalized approach to Benjamin’s needs has quickly developed Benjamin into a very capable performer. Benjamin’s natural abilities and growth have been no less impressive than Kyle’s natural abilities with the guitar.
After only a few short months of piano lessons, having just turned 11, we were given an opportunity to play a two set, 75 minute gig, at a pizza restaurant called Mandy’s Pizza in Ladera Ranch. That night, we played to roughly 60 or 70 guests. Our sets included roughly 20 covers of songs from Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, OneRepublic, Coldplay, The Beatles, The Eagles, Credence and Graham Nash, among others.
Since that night at Mandy’s, in May of 2011, we have been adding songs to our song list as frequently as we can (now totaling 100+ songs) and we’ve been growing as a musical duo.
In February of 2012, after just turning 12 years old, we performed our first local gig in Laguna Beach. We played a two set night, again with roughly 20 songs, at a restaurant/pub called Hennessey’s…a very popular local hangout. This night was played to a nearly standing room only crowd of approximately 90 to 100 guests. The response from the crowd watching us perform was at times amazement, but at all times, was pure joy. It was that night, when we realized….maybe we are supposed to be musicians…for real!
Since May of 2012, when we played our first official show as “Sharp Turn Ahead”, we have now played more than 110 live shows and more than 300 hours of live music, stretching from San Diego to L.A., as well as a show in Las Vegas and at the House of Blues in Dallas.
In 2012, at the age of 12, we released our first original song, titled “California Ain’t That Far”. The song tells our story, about the feelings and emotions we experienced when moving to California from Austin four years ago. This is not your everyday “teen pop” song..this is pure singer/songwriter music, written and played from our hearts.
We released our debut EP, also titled “Just For You” in April of 2014, and released a followup single in November 2014 called “Back to Summer.”
Music is our thing…and it has been since as far back as we can remember. We are twins…we are best friends…we are a musical duo…and we are arriving soon.
Get ready music fans….there is a “Sharp Turn Ahead”.