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Meet Erinn Alissa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erinn Alissa.

Erinn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in Upstate NY with a mom who loved music, esp country music, even though it actually took me a long time to admit that I liked country music too. As a proper girl growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, my idol was Debbie Gibson. I got a keyboard at age seven and a mic and I started to write lyrics just like Debbie had. I loved to sing and would perform Lost in your Eyes for anyone who would listen. Unfortunately, I didn’t really learn how to play keys, but I did love to write lyrics.

I also loved dancing and acting (I had started dance at age three), and I initially followed the path of musical theatre. I performed professionally on national tours and at regional Equity theaters, performing in such shows as 42nd Street, A Chorus Line (Maggie Winslow), and Singin’ in the Rain (Kathy Seldon). However, I quickly learned that being on the road isn’t as glamorous as it sounds! I was struggling with major self-image and eating issues, and the death of my mom that had occurred while I was in college which I hadn’t fully grieved, all caught up with me. I found myself dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression that affected my career and life. I couldn’t continue to live the way I was, so I ended up walking away from music and performing for quite a while to do a lot of spiritual growth and healing. Along my journey, I got my master’s degree in spiritual psychology from University of Santa Monica, and a project for that program led me to pick up a guitar and start learning.

Once my connection to music was activated again, I couldn’t ignore it. I started writing like crazy, and songs just started to pour out. It has felt so perfect and natural because that was how I had expressed myself musically all those years ago as a little girl. Certainly hasn’t been without its challenges, but there is something so beautiful and healing about writing and singing my own stories and songs.

I currently have a band here in Los Angeles, Erinn Alissa and the Low Volume Band, where we perform often, and I do lots of acoustic gigs in town and around other areas of California. I was a finalist in the American Songwriter national songwriting competition, and I’ve had a few songs placed in independent films. I’m currently working towards getting more music licensed for film and TV, and also on finishing my first official EP. The first release off the EP, Just Another, has been played on radio stations in Canada and the UK, and my first music video will also be released in the next couple of months.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Throughout my life, I have dealt with a lot of challenges. Losing my mom when I was 19, who I was extremely close to, and body image and eating issues all affected my first career in musical theatre. These days, while I am so much happier in my skin and in my life, I still have a pretty strong critic that I have to work with, and ultimately have compassion for. I think many performers have a pretty strong self-critical voice… it’s what pushes us to improve and work hard. I’ve found for myself tho, that when it starts interfering with the joy of it and my expression, I have to really be aware to not let it run the show. It’s a constant balance for me.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
As an independent musician, I get to express myself musically however, it comes out of me. I create and play music that is a cross-genre blend of country, pop, folk, and a little “singer/songwriter.” I am grateful that in this time in music, not fitting into one box is more and more accepted. Unless I’m specifically writing a song for a specific project, I just allow what is inside to come out, and I think that’s special that I can allow that.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Oh, I’ve had many mentors over the years!! First, one that comes to my mind is my dance teacher from growing up, Debra Pigliavento. With my songwriting, my mentor Philip Cody has been a big help as well as cheerleader for me over the years. My bandmates, who not only are willing to play all my songs and rehearse every week, but love to, and are some of my biggest fans and cheerleaders. I’m very grateful to have them. Also, my producer Max Allyn who recommended me to you for this article 🙂 . And last but not least, my sister and my boyfriend who are always supporting me and rooting for me.

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy Foley

    November 8, 2019 at 01:12

    Erinn, your mom would be so so proud of you!!

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