I am starting the day by speaking with Jerrica Alyssa…
as she tells me about her track, Those Cherry Lips, and what inspired it. I ask when music came into her life and who she is inspired by; whether there might be more material arriving down the line; if the Nashville-based artist has plans to come to the U.K. at all – she reveals three albums that mean a lot to her.
Alyssa tells me about the scene in her home of Vancouver and explains when music arrived in her life; which rising artists we need to get involved with; if there are going to be any gigs coming along – she ends the interview by selecting a rather good song.
Hi, Jerrica. How are you? How has your week been?
Awesome. My new single dropped today!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Jerrica Alyssa; born and raised Vancouver, B.C. I just moved to Nashville! I must admit, the musical community here totally feels like home!
Three things you might find interesting about me: I started as a Polynesian touring dancer at a very young age; I’m a conservatory-trained pianist and as a singer/songwriter I feel most comfortable straddling the worlds of Pop/R&B/Soul.
Can you reveal the story behind your latest single, Those Cherry Lips?
The story behind Those Cherry Lips is about the beautiful, gentle and sensuous connection between two lovers. More than a love song, it comes from a feminine sensitivity about two lovers meeting with passion. The lush color of those cherry lips describes the mesmerizing nature of someone’s beautiful lips when they speak and kiss.
Do you think there will be more material coming next year? Are you always working on new ideas?
Absolutely! I’m so excited to share many of my new songs - the next one drops in November. We are also putting the finishing touches on a new live performance video and a lyric video for Those Cherry Lips coming in the next two weeks.
Can you recall when music arrived in your life? Were there particular artists who inspired you?
As a young child, I remember my home being filled with music playing all the time. When my parents would play classic Pop & R&B records by legends like Michael Jackson, I’d always put on a show to sing and dance for my family. This was the beginning of my musical journey: exhausting my family with my singing, piano and dance. Music has always been the center of my life, now expressed through my own music.
Some of my biggest inspirations include my musical idols Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga. In my eyes, they are fierce, passionate and dedicated. I’ve grown up listening to their powerful music and watched them take on the world non-apologetically and with purpose. As an artist, I am in awe of their achievements in songwriting; playing the keys, singing and performing. Their work has inspired me from a young age to work my ass off; to push myself to better my craft every day. They give me confidence and love to strive to be the best version of myself as a woman.
As a Vancouver native; how do the people inspire you? Is there a strong scene there at the moment?
I still intend to travel back and forth doing co-writes with my musical friends there. I already miss the seafood and the ocean of my hometown
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I hope my next few songs and videos help people to get to know me better!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
This last year, my first recording session in a Nashville studio with incredible players blew my mind!
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Songs in A Minor by Alicia Keys
Off the Wall by Michael Jackson
Raise! by Earth, Wind & Fire
Each one of these albums represents a turning point for me, as a kid, in my musical journey.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I can’t lie: I support artists that write, live and breathe their own music.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Just get out of your own way and do you. With love and confidence, be exactly who you need to be. Always remember your self-worth.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Right now; I’m finishing my new songs so I will be not be touring the rest of 2018. However, before year’s end, I will be playing a few dates in Nashville to test new songs. I’ll keep you posted.
Do you think you’ll come to the U.K. and play next year?
I would love to!
How important is it being on the stage and playing your music to the people?
I live to perform. I’ve been a performer since I was a kid. The interaction with the audience means everything to me. The thing is; I’m so excited because I will now get to connect with the audience with my own music.
IN THIS PHOTO: Sampha
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
You’ll find me in dance class getting physical!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano by Sampha
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