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Music Stars Alina Fierra and Jeff Lewis: “Set aside time to nourish your body, mind, and soul. You are what you think, what you say, and what you eat; Work as hard as you can, but get some sleep”

Alina: Set aside time to nourish your body, mind, and soul. You are what you think, what you say, and what you eat. Stay guard at the gate of your mind and only allow entrance to positive thoughts. Speak only positive words about yourself and others. Eat only food that can give you life, not […]


Alina: Set aside time to nourish your body, mind, and soul. You are what you think, what you say, and what you eat. Stay guard at the gate of your mind and only allow entrance to positive thoughts. Speak only positive words about yourself and others. Eat only food that can give you life, not disease. Be kind. Be love. Be YOU.

Jeff: Try to pace yourself. Work as hard as you can, but get some sleep. Start every day fresh and with a big smile! Focus on quality and do it for the joy that music brings to our lives.


As part of my series featuring the rising stars in the music industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pop Star Alina Fierra and Jeff Lewis. Alina is an international, singer songwriter, dancer, choreographer, and live show producer. Alina is electrifying the industry with her exotic pop music. Her first band and album won “Best Band of the Year” at the LAMA (Los Angeles Music Awards) and opened for the ladies of the Supremes. Alina has also written and produced an array of comedy musicals and variety shows, like the Revolution Evolution Show, The Beyou Show, and Jazzare Show. Alina started the slow release of her first solo album, releasing one single a month for thirteen months. The album is recorded at Moonlight Studios with producer/trumpet player Jeff Lewis.

Jeff Lewis toured with The Jacksons, Johnny Guitar Watson, Lenny Williams, Tom Johnston, Bill Summers and Summers Heat and TIERRA, etc. Jeff Lewis then decided to branch out on his own as musician and established MOONLIGHT STUDIOS, Los Angeles, a music production service with David Vasquez. Their successful company has continued recording and producing for countless independent artists, to include Alina Fierra, whom he has collaborated by recording, mixing and mastering her album that won top honors at the L.A. Music Awards. Jeff has also been a recording and performing member of the legendary band from East Los Angeles, TIERRA, whose hit song in 1981 called “Together,” earned them “Best R&B Vocal Group” awards from both Billboard and Cashbox magazines. The band is still going strong today. In May will be in concert along WAR and KC and The Sunshine Band at the Greek Theater in LA.


Thank you so much for joining us Alina and Jeff! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Alina: When I was about four years old, my mother went through some tough times. Despite the fact that her parents were well-established, she was too proud to ask for help. So in the middle of a terrible winter on top of a mountain in Transylvania, she rented a tiny guest house without hot water or heat. Every night before going to bed, we would turn on the radio and dance until we got hot enough to jump under the bed covers. That is how I learned to dance and fell in love with music.

Jeff: As a member of The Lenny Williams Band, I watched legendary Motown producer Frank Wilson produce Lenny Williams’ album at Music Grinder studio in Los Angeles from start to finish. I watched engineer Dennis Moody at the mixing board when I was hired as a studio musician on that record. I watched as songwriters came in to Frank and Lenny to pitch their songs. I was inspired to be a music producer. I wanted to do it all.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?

Alina: Last year on my birthday, I went out with friends at the W in Hollywood and met a very distinguished and interesting gentlemen. I quickly realized that we both share a passion for music, so I told him that I was in the middle of recording my album and played an unfinished version of “Do It Now,” a song with a great, positive message, which is the first single that we have just released. He found the sound very interesting, so I explained that it was a modernized version of the Bo Diddley beat. Imagine my embarrassment for showing him such an unfinished version when I found out that his name was Gary Miller, a music producer that has worked with the most prestigious names in the music industry, including Cher and David Bowie and was the founder of Rock Against Trafficking. To my surprise he offered to help me with the song, but because I was already recording with Jeff Lewis I felt that it would be unfair. After releasing the music video, I sent Gary a link and he loved it. I am very pleased. It was very encouraging.

Jeff: When the power went off during The Jacksons show in Trinidad, West Indies in 1978, Jackie Jackson yelled to his brothers “FREEZE” . . . they held their dance positions for 10 minutes while the crew worked to restore power. The crowd loved it. I realized that that incident gave Michael Jackson the confidence to start off his Super Bowl show with a full minute of standing still. Who does that? Michael . . . because he knew it would work.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Alina: Setting into motion the slow release of my album with one single per month for 13 months is very exciting. We begane on May 22nd. with the release of “Do It Now,” featuring Jamaican rapper General Jah Mikey. The video was directed by Luc Nicknair, a director that has worked with prestigious artists, such as Tupac Shakur, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, and many others. On June 22nd, we are releasing “I Love The Way That You Love Me,” a first-time all-Snapchat Music Video featuring all my celebrity and non-celebrity friends. On July 22nd, we will be making history with “Been Thinking Of” directed by my good friend Andrei Sporea, CEO of Mafiotto Films. It is the story of two male rivals and how unbeknownst to them, they get hired to play themselves on my explosive music video. We hope you tune in and find out how an Arizona Sun Devils former player gets punked by an ex-lover (me, haha) in a first-time ever flashmob reality music video. Stay tuned!

Jeff: Alina Fierra’s project, my own solo project as well as Boyd Kosiyabong’s project, an old student, now the biggest songwriter/producer in Thailand.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Alina:

I had the honor of meeting James Gardener shortly after arriving in the United States when I was hired to play a fire dancer and blow eight feet of fire in the movie “Rockford Files”. I thought I am seeing double when I saw him on the set because Mr. Gardener had a stunt double. He was a very sweet and gracious man. Very fun to work with.

Few years later, my girlfriend started dating David Lee Roth and going to parties with him was definitely an interesting experience, to say the least. That’s when I got to meet Linda Perry from 4 Non Blondes and shared some wild stories. We were so young and barely legal.

Being an authentic Transylvanian, I was a finalist on the search for the new Elvira, but at that time, I did not have a green card yet and got disqualified. As a result, I was inspired to created a character called CONTESA VAMPIRA (the last descendent of Vlad the Impaler) and I look forward bringing it to life soon.

Jeff:

Michael Jackson: When his brothers first started their musical group, Michael was told that he was too young to sing and dance with his big brothers. So it became his burning desire to be good enough to sing and dance with his brothers. I think that worked out for him.

Dick Clark: I worked as a musician for his live shows for many years. One time during his company’s Christmas party, I had the opportunity to take a picture with Dick. The photographer said “Say Cheese,” and well, in my one picture with Dick Clark, there I am with my mouth all screwed up to say “cheese” and there is Dick with his perfect Dick Clark smile. My unshad a twin like looking stuntman that did all the dangerous work. spoken lesson from Mr. Clark . . . don’t ever say cheese, just go for a big smile.

Tom Johnston, founder, singer, songwriter and guitarist of The Doobie Brothers: I toured with Tom. Here is a guy who has written and performed some of the most classic rock songs of all time, who has influenced generations of rock musicians. Know who inspired Tom? Old classic black blues musicians and singers. Look beyond your favorite styles for inspiration. You can learn a lot.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Alina: Dr. Martin Luther King. Human rights are extremely important to me.

Jeff: Herb Alpert — as a trumpet player, he recorded his band, The Tijuana Brass, and could not get a record deal from any record company because he sounded too different. Out of frustration, he got together with Jerry Moss and they started A&M RECORDS. The rest is history. So pretend that the big record companies just do not exist. Do it yourself and don’t give up. DO IT NOW. 😉

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Alina: I feel that I am already bringing goodness to the world through my message of positivity reflected in my music but I have bigger plans for the future.

Jeff: In my own little way, every time and everywhere I perform, I try to do the following: give all my energy to the show, give the audience more than they paid for, put a big smile on their faces, make them feel like dancing and shouting, and bring joy to their lives. It is a small thing, but I try my best.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Alina: Between my band and this album, I have written and produced a few comedy musicals. A few years ago, I had a groundbreaking TV show idea that will give people a voice and an opportunity to flex their muscle by giving them the power of influence the shape of their present and future. I am hopeful that this album will provide me with enough fans and funds to be able to make this dream a reality.

Jeff: For all humans to embrace our differences, to respect our differences, to celebrate our differences, and to enjoy our differences as bringing flavor to all our lives.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Alina: Set aside time to nourish your body, mind, and soul. You are what you think, what you say, and what you eat. Stay guard at the gate of your mind and only allow entrance to positive thoughts. Speak only positive words about yourself and others. Eat only food that can give you life, not disease. Be kind. Be love. Be YOU.

Jeff: Try to pace yourself. Work as hard as you can, but get some sleep. Start every day fresh and with a big smile! Focus on quality and do it for the joy that music brings to our lives.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Alina:

1. Don’t look for approval from anyone. You must be your number one fan. Keep following your heart and be a believer. My own mother didn’t think I could sing, but after my first big show she told me how happy she was that I didn’t listen to her and how proud she was. That was the first and last show she saw because she passed on less than a year after.

2. It is ok to look, sound, think and be different. That’s what makes the world beautiful and interesting. I used to be embarrassed to sing because my voice sounded so deep and unusual, but it turns out it is actually a great thing to be different and stand out.

3. If you don’t have the money, you better have the knowledge. Besides writing my own songs, I learn graphic design, web design, video editing, and also spent my life savings on this project. To be successful, it takes nothing but everything and a little more.

4. The only time you must not fail is the last time you try. As long as you are learning, you are winning. If quitting is an option then perhaps you shouldn’t even get started. Believe, passion, determination, ambition and strength are an absolute necessity for success. Before I tackle any goal, I set success in my mind and let nothing and no one distract me from it.

5. Marketing and promotion is just as important as having talent and writing a hit song. My first band and album BEYOU won an award at the Los Angeles Music Awards, but we had no knowledge on how to market and promote ourselves and very soon no one knew who we were.

6. You don’t need anyone to make your dreams come true. YOU have the power and there is no better time than NOW because NOW is all we have. If you have a passion, if you have a dream, like my song says, DO IT! DO IT NOW!

Jeff:

1. Learn to play piano.

2. Learn chord progressions. The first two things are very very helpful. In a band, it’s always the keyboard player who understands what’s going on musically. As a trumpet player, I only play one note at a time, just as a singer only sings one note at a time. But it’s the keyboard player and the guitar player who understand the chord progression underlying the whole thing that’s tying it all together. Having an understanding of all of that early on would have been very helpful.

3. Study Hit Song Structure. This is something I figured out for myself eventually and it is so important that it is one of the first things I would mention when I taught my producing class for UCLA Extension — but it would have helped me so much if I had learned song structure 10 years earlier.

4. When success taps you on the shoulder from behind, try not to ignore it! So much of the time I see people with a plan for success and they are only looking the direction of that plan. Often, opportunities for greater success come up in a different direction than where you are looking. Do not miss them just because your focus is somewhere else.

5. Put in countless hours doing what you truly love. It has been estimated that people who are exceptionally successful at what they do have put in at least 10,000 hours doing what they succeed at.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. 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 just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Jeff: Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers or Tito Jackson of The Jacksons. I have been out of touch with these guys for decades. I wanted to let both of them know how much I enjoyed performing with them and how much they influenced me.

Alina: The best selling female artist of all times, a marketing genius, the talented giant who inspired me all my life — the gorgeous and fabulous Queen of Pop — Miss Madonna. I remember watching her on TV when I was just a little girl and collapsing on the floor in tears, overwhelmed with so many emotions of admiration, hope, happiness, love, determination. In that moment I decided to let nothing stand in stand on my way of expression and happiness. I knew then, that music was my only refugee and source of true happiness.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Jeff: https://www.facebook.com/moonlightjeff

Alina: www.AlinaFierra.com * https://www.youtube.com/AlinaFierra * https://www.facebook.com/alina.fierra * https://www.facebook.com/AlinaFierraMusic *

Thank you for these great insights. This was very inspiring!

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