In many ways Alyssa Reid is like any red blooded 17 year-old Canadian teenager. She recently graduated from her Brampton, Ontario high school where she was a dedicated player on the girl’s rugby team (much to her music label’s chagrin). Until recently, she poured coffee part time at a local Tim Hortons to scrape together enough cash to buy her first car. The Edmonton Alberta native’s life however has been anything but conventional. With her family frequently picking up and moving around Alberta and ultimately migrating to Ontario, Alyssa has found herself having to repeatedly adapt to her new surroundings. Being frequently uprooted from friends and neighbors and having to regularly make new friends, adapt to new schools with their own unique culture and politics and adjust to new teachers, finding a sense of stability was difficult for Alyssa growing up. Through it all, her music has been a constant source that she could rely on to see her through the rough patches.
The thing that sets Alyssa Reid apart from most artists is her relentless pursuit of her muse. “Music is my entire world” she admits, “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my life”. From as far back as her memory serves, Alyssa has been writing and singing. She wrote her first song at the age of 7, and at the age of 9 started taking vocal lessons. From this early age she has continued to work long and hard to develop her incredibly powerful voice into what has today become a singular vocal style. The self-taught musician writes on both the guitar and piano both of which she’s skillfully mastered over the past few years. This pursuit of her craft has taken her down a long and winding path. From winning scholarships at Performing Arts schools in LA and NY, to an eclectic list of gigs that include everything from a performance at the Miss Drag Queen International pageant, to a boxing match, a performance on a cruise ship, a stint on a nationally televised talent competition, a half time performance at the Mississauga Ice Dogs and hundreds of other various and sundry performances, all of which were grist for the mill in her quest to perfect her talent. From the very beginning of Alyssa’s drive to take every possible opportunity to hone her writing, playing and singing chops has seasoned this 17 year-old songstress well beyond her years and prepared her to step out onto the main stage.
In the fall of 2009, in a somewhat ironic twist of fate, Alyssa was discovered by her record label through a YouTube performance. She posted of her own interpretation of the Justin Bieber hit “One Less Lonely Girl”, written from a girls perspective and re-titled “One More Lonely Boy”. This cleverly reworked song had already attracted close to 200,000 YouTube hits and resulted in her signing with Wax Records. As has been highly touted in the media, Justin Beiber himself was also discovered via Youtube.
Working with a varied collection of producers; Dave Thomson (Lights), Da Heala (Massari, Belly, Danny Fernandes), Jeff “Diesel” Dalziel (Edwin, Melissa O’Neil) and Jamie Appleby (Jesse Labelle), Alyssa has been busy putting the finishing touches on a dozen self-penned sides and collaborations for her forthcoming album due out late Spring 2011. The songs on the album run the gambit from club raves to R&B inflected joints and soulful ballads each of which stand on their own as bold individual statements and together, as a testimony of who Alyssa Reid is as an artist.
The lead off single “Alone Again” co-written by Alyssa, is a fresh take on the 1987 #1 hit single “Alone” by female rockers Heart. This 2011 interpolation takes the monster rock ballad hook of the well-known song and threads it into newly woven musical fabric that is infused with a hip-hop sensibility, modern beats and relevant lyrics, while maintaining the raw emotional vulnerability of the original version. The result instantly connects with listeners as witnessed by its meteoric rise up the Canadian airplay and singles sales charts.
The follow up single “The Game” is a rebuttal to “Alone Again”. Both singles are connected by a similar musical and lyrical reference point but are opposite sides of the same coin. Where “Alone Again” explores emotional vulnerability “The Game” is a celebration of individuality and self-confidence, boldly asserting; “everyone who knows me, knows that I stand alone, it’s all part of the game”.
In the self-penned “Burned” Alyssa bares her soul in an intimate portrayal of a relationship betrayed. The sparse performance sounds as if it was being played as personal catharsis for the performer herself rather than for an audience and shows an astonishing maturity that belies the artist’s seemingly young age.
The slow jam R&B groove of “Without You” and soaring balladry of “Talk Me Down” along with the rest of the tracks on the album, show the diversity, depth and breadth of Alyssa’s talent. Based on the strength of this first outing by this 17 year-old artist, it’s plain to see that Alyssa Reid is fast becoming a musical force to be reckoned with.
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