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WITF Music: Tht Grl

  • Joe Ulrich

Janessa Suguitan explains how she and Ally Phenicie became Tht Grl.

“I moved here from California and I wanted to start a band. I started going to open mics and I was just at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center and I would go every Wednesday until finally Ally and this girl Ariel came up to me and said that I had a great voice and loved my songs and they wanted to do music together.”

The current lineup of Tht Grl consists of Janessa and Ally though it’s been as large as a six piece. While Janessa takes the lead with songwriting, the process is a collaborative one. Ally explains, “It depends on the song. But she does a lot of the lyric writing and I do a lot of the harmonies and vocal construction, things like that. Mainly it starts with her a lot of times and she’ll bring an idea to us and be like, ‘Hey, how can we rearrange this or make this into a group project?'”

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“I’ve always been the type of writer that can’t write from anything I don’t know,” Janessa says. “So if I don’t know about something I cannot write about it. But if I’m in a mood, and it could just be one sad thing and I can turn that into ten different songs from ten different perspectives, but I would get into my moods and I would come to them and say, ‘I need you to help with this.'”

Their music is extremely personal, extremely intimate. And it’s that intimacy that really speaks to their listeners.

“We’ve had grown men walk up to us,” Ally says, “and bawl in front of us at a show just saying, ‘This really impacted me. I’ve been going through a lot. I just got out of a divorce and you really helped me get through this.’ And that’s really what we do this for.”

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