Today we are chatting with Alyssa Joseph, who just last week released the second single, Somewhere Else, from her upcoming album. Alyssa is balancing college with the upcoming release of her album, and we aren’t afraid to say it – we are seriously impressed. Not only is she genuine, friendly, and dedicated- this girls pipes will knock your socks off. Another thing we can not get over is the soul that Alyssa injects into her music- sit back and listen to Somewhere Else, and we promise you that you will be transported in your mind to an exact moment in your life.
Tell us about how your passion for music started.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I can’t quite pinpoint a “start date.” It’s just always been a passion of mine. I started piano lessons when I was eight years old. At ten, I began playing the flute. I was 14 when I picked up my first guitar. That moment completely changed my musical life. Guitar was the first instrument that I took up completely on my own. No one gave me the idea. No one signed me up for lessons. I saw it. I liked it. I wanted to learn. So, I taught myself how to play guitar. This portable instrument that could accompany my singing would also aid my songwriting and inspire me to communicate through music.
As a college student, how do you balance your schoolwork and budding career?
It all comes down to passion, time-management, supportive friends, and a good nights sleep (or coffee). I am a junior at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and my major is Music Industry. So, I study the business-side of music. My music career is an entirely different entity – one that I don’t discuss or practice in school. It has been difficult for me to keep them separate because I feel like I’m living two different lives that are so intertwined. I go to class all day and then am in the recording studio all night and then wake up and repeat.
You mentioned that you have two siblings, one that has special needs, how has this impacted you?
I am the middle child. I have an older brother, Mitchell, and a younger brother named Jason. Mitchell has a rare genetic disease called Familial Dysautonomia. It is the dysfunction of the autonomic and sensory nervous systems. That basically means that a lot of the things that we take for granted, Mitchell can’t do/doesn’t have. So, he can’t produce tears; he doesn’t feel pain or temperature; he can’t regulate blood pressure.
Because of my brother, I know firsthand the impact that music has on people. My brother’s physical health is very connected to his mental/emotional health, and music plays such a large role in that. If he’s really sick, my family and I sing his favorite songs to help him find happiness and feel better. Mitchell has driven me even more towards music.
What message do you hope to convey through your music?
Every song that I write comes from a different place. Each one is written at a different time in my life when I am going through different things. My message changes and my songs evolve. The same song can have three different meanings to me at different points.
I would love to use music as a platform to send positive messages to people and let them know that they are not alone – that they are loved. Messages of acceptance, passion, and motivation. I want to be someone who people can relate to. The ultimate goal is for listeners to feel something when they hear my music, because when I play it, I feel and live through so many emotions.
What advice do you have for other twenty-somethings that are chasing their dreams?
Do what you love and stay committed. You won’t ever regret doing something. You will always regret what you didn’t even try. Stay passionate and driven and know that you CAN get what you want in life. You only have a few years on this earth. Make them count. And please don’t let other people tell you that you aren’t good enough or you can’t do something. Make that negativity the reason you’re motivated to succeed.
What is your go to dance move when you are on stage?
To be quite honest, it has proven quite difficult to dance, play guitar, and sing on stage all at the same time. I can do two of those things simultaneously, but definitely not three. Also, I’m pretty clumsy, so that doesn’t help the equation. If I get really daring during my live performance, I might stomp my foot. Probably my right foot.
Who are some of your favorite musicians and why?
Oh. I love musicians! My favorite songwriters of all time would have to be Andy Hull (from Manchester Orchestra) and Conor Oberst (from Bright Eyes). If we are talking about my absolute favorite musicians though, it would have to be those local musicians that I see at open mic nights. The ones who are so pure and raw and real. They get up and perform week after week to share their new original songs or unique covers. They collaborate with other locals and they play their hearts out. The ones that rush from their jobs to make it in time for sign-ups. Those are my favorite musicians. They’re the ones who inspire me.
If we emptied your purse right now, what would we find?
My wallet (with no money in it), some gum, my key ring, my phone named Ross, guitar picks, lip balm, and that’s pretty much it. Maybe a pair of headphones. With these small things, I could conquer the world (or at least feel like I can).
On any given Saturday afternoon, what can we find you doing?
Well, if I am not sleeping, I could be out with friends, cleaning my room/apartment, writing a song or baking something! Realistically, I am probably just working on the album release. So boring things like writing e-mails, having meetings, brainstorming ideas, or having a photo/video shoot. Right now, I am currently studying abroad in Scotland, so I may be doing something a bit more exciting like going to a pub or visiting the Edinburgh Castle!
What is a challenge that you are working through right now, and how can other twenty-somethings relate?
Life presents us with so many challenges. I would say that the biggest one right now in my life is the battle of needing to have a plan yet wanting to live in the moment. I am in a constant state of conflict. The idea that we need to know who and what we want to be in life from a young age has been instilled in our minds since youth. We need to declare a college major and obtain a job in that field after graduation and build our lives up from there. It makes sense. We want to be successful, but passion sneaks in. We want to be spontaneous and live in and for the moment. For me, there is a continuous back and forth between my brain and my heart. So far, my resolution has been a compromise. We’ll see where that takes me.
For everything Alyssa Joseph visit her on her website www.alyssajoseph.com
To learn more about her videography visit www.alyssakaufmanfilms.com