Go with the flow!! Life is all about opportunities, turns and change. If we can go with the flow, it makes life so much easier. It helps us stay patient which is definitely key being in the music business. No exact story, but many times this has been the case, where if I had certain expectations, it went the opposite way. Don’t expect, don’t assume and go with the flow!
As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Alyssa Scott.
Singer/Songwriter Alyssa Scott is an independent Country/Pop artist that reflects dreamy vibes, storyteller lyrics, and a country/bohemian style. She moved to Minneapolis, MN, from Fargo, ND, where Alyssa received a degree in Vocal Performance from McNally Smith College of Music. After years of performing with cover bands, recording, and being a Burning Hills Singer in the Medora Musical in Medora, ND, Alyssa moved to Nashville to kick start her solo career. She has fronted some of the top stages in Nashville, from Alley Taps to The Row, Belcourt Taps, Johnny Cash’s Saloon, Nash House Saloon, Nudies, Tootsies and many more. Alyssa has recorded with Nashville producers Greg Strizek, Joel Jorgensen, and George Alexander showcasing her abilities in the studio. She now has four singles on all streaming platforms and three singles on Spotify that have now reached over 100,000 streams each which has been grown organically and is currently working on more music to be released throughout 2021.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I am originally from Fargo, ND and grew up part time in Gully, MN from age 6. I grew up loving music and carrying around my little radio with a mic. I grew up listening to different kinds of music, anything from Pat Benatar to Shania to Christina Aguilera. I was always involved in music whether it be from school choir, state competitions, symphony, musicals to madrigal singers, music was always my passion from a young age. I ended up going to college at UND in Grand Forks ND for Music Therapy, but quickly realized I just needed to be on stage. I moved to Minneapolis, MN where I got a Lead Singer role in a country band. From there I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop doing that. I now live in Nashville, TN as a recording artist. I love being on stage and can find me most nights out singing in Nashville.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Early on! Actually, at age 8 I used to go to this restaurant/bar called the Crowbar in Sabin, MN. I would sing the song “Picture” with the cook. It was hard to get me off stage. Even at home though, I was always singing/humming something. I would set up my stuffed animals in a concert setting and perform for them. It’s easy to say that I was meant to perform from a young age.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I knew I always wanted to be a singer/performer, so honestly I’m thankful that my family was supportive right away. I was always involved in music from Choir, to acapella groups, to writing music at home. I knew country music came from Music City, therefore I needed to move to Nashville. My dad actually brought me to Nashville in my teens and I had the opportunity to perform at the Bluebird Cafe and record a song at the Ryman…from there I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to live in Nashville, write and be a recording artist. It all kind of led into each other. God gave me the gift of music and I just continued to use it no matter what.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One cool thing that I think makes Nashville itself really a neat place to live and perform is that once I had a show at Tootsies downtown. It was a four hour show where you meet people from all around the world. You run around with a tip jug and hope that you can get some good requests from people as well as meet new fans. As I was walking around I was moving along the bar person to person. There was this one dude that kind of hit me funny in my mind like “ I think I know this person” but said my spiel and moved on. Then I left and looked back and had to ask…I asked, “Are you Chris Young?” He smiled and said “yeaaa, just hanging.” I didn’t want to bother him much, so I went back and performed. He stuck around the whole show and then put 100 dollars in the bucket on his way out. That was a really neat moment.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I made many when starting out! Hah! I love to embarrass myself. I would make weird mistakes of completely forgetting the lyrics to a bunch of songs, or not singing the right rhythms and that would throw the band off. They would laugh, but then at the end of the show be like ok, Alyssa you got to clean that up. I worked on it though and now I hardly miss a beat 🙂
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Getting WILD off on its feet was a huge accomplishment for me. It took a lot of time and creative effort. So now it’s been really fun to get a couple other songs that I have been in the studio with off on their feet. I will have my next single coming out this summer 🙂 Stay tuned for that date! So, recording and working on some more music videos. It’s been a lot of fun.
Another cool project I’ve had the pleasure of working on is I got asked to be the vocalist for Michelle Rockinghorse Greatest Hits Album. So, I’ll be recording that at the end of July. Pretty neat!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I love that y’all are interested in this. Me too! It’s SO important to have diversity everywhere we look in the media. From music to film, we are influenced by what we hear and watch. We need diversity because that is literally what makes up our world. We need to see ALL achieving success in their areas, and this means ALL kinds doing it ALL. I believe if our society really embraces diversity and sees diversity amongst the media, we will ALL be more accepting of each other.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- I wish someone would have told me that you should move to Nashville right out of high school. I wish now I would’ve waited on going to college right away. Nothing against school, but as a musician I learned more from doing it in the real world than I ever did getting my degree in Vocal Performance. Get out and do it!
- I think my family always made me feel like everyone was going to really like me no matter what, but it was a smack in the face when not EVERYONE liked my music and that is a part of it. We find our true fans and who really enjoy our music, but that takes time and finding your right audience. I was really hurt once when this lady sent me a hate message about my music, but I had to be like, Alyssa, not everyone is going to like all your art. But we keep creating and quickly realize how we grow a really great loyal audience. Find your crowd.
- I wish someone would’ve told me that people are going to judge no matter what. But if people are judging you, just know that it’s probably because they want to be able to do what you do, or they see a part of themselves in you. Again, I’ve received comments about anything from my outfit to my hair, to my confidence. You name it. We are all growing, learning and finding ourselves. Don’t judge and don’t take it to heart.
- I wish someone would’ve told me to make friends with all you meet. I feel like we know this, but for real, make friends and connections with everyone because we don’t know when we are going to meet our next important opportunity. I had met this guy in the music business that I definitely went against my number 4 (don’t judge) but did judge in thinking that he probably wasn’t anyone that would get me any further. Went on to find out he was in charge of a music direction of a company and then got hired in directing a musical group. You never know!
- Go with the flow!! Life is all about opportunities, turns and change. If we can go with the flow, it makes life so much easier. It helps us stay patient which is definitely key being in the music business. No exact story, but many times this has been the case, where if I had certain expectations, it went the opposite way. Don’t expect, don’t assume and go with the flow!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Find enjoyment in what you do! There was a moment when I started getting too caught up in the “if I do this, then this should happen” or started pushing myself to the point my voice was going. I needed to take a step back and think to myself why I started this. I LOVE music and LOVE writing. That is what it all comes down to. Keep the enjoyment, keep the love of music and then everything else is easier.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My movement is to inspire the wildest big dreams. I feel like people have so many ideas and thoughts about what they would do if they had the guts or the money, and I feel like we (all of us) lose out on hearing about these ideas because people give up on them before they even come to fruition. I would create a space that encourages the wildest dreams as well as a game plan to make those a reality. I want to help make those dreams happen!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom and dad were always very supportive, but my mom really helped me get where I am. She helped me whether it be financially and emotionally. I always need the “lift” in spirits! It can be a cold world if you let it, but it can be a beautiful ride with the right people. My dad and mom have both helped me emotionally stay strong through the journey.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite lines I heard from Eric Whitacre was something along the lines of Comfortability never goes away, but I get really good at being uncomfortable. This is very true for my life. Every time I get over a new hurdle, I think to myself YESS I did it! That becomes the old uncomfortable experience, but then to grow we must continue to go through uncomfortable situations and experiences. SO, I took a note from Eric Whitacre, I got really good at being uncomfortable.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.
I would love to have breakfast with Martina McBride. She has always been one of my idols. She is an incredible vocalist but also seems like a really genuine person. I would love to talk to her about her music and her experience in the business. So yes, tag Martina 😉
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!