“Things are changing. The industry is realizing that the Lizzo’s and Yola’s and Brittany Howard’s of the world CAN be successful. There isn’t one “type” of woman. We are human. We are multi-faceted. We are different. We are women. And people will still want to buy our music.”
East Nashville indie alternative singer-songwriter Alyssa Joseph uses fear as a muse and finds power in expressing herself. Her new single “Sadboy” offers candid lyrics that promote emotional freedom, encourage vulnerability, and celebrate imperfection. Alyssa Joseph is NOT afraid to tell you how she feels. In fact, bad days inspire her commitment to growth and becoming a better person.
Alyssa’s strength and confidence originate from growing up surrounded by powerful women in her family. She advocates that all women are 100% capable of breaking through glass ceilings and stepping outside of stereotypes to become all that we are, and all that we deserve to be.
“I’ve watched the women in my life follow their dreams, fight cancer, advocate for underdogs, achieve their goals, pursue the unthinkable, and get through the goddamn day. It’s the big things just as much as the small ones. I’m proud to be a woman and know so many women who are breaking barriers and standing up for what they think is right.”
I had the amazing opportunity to interview Alyssa, and she’s full of light. I’d love for you to meet her.
Introduce yourself! Tell us what you do.
Hi! I’m Alyssa – I’m a singer/songwriter, existential millennial – just your resident vegan grungey sadgirl. I write songs about real sh*t and sometimes get to play them for people.
Describe your creative process. What excites you to create? What influences your sound? What has music taught you about yourself?
Collaboration definitely influences my sound and my moods. Other musicians and songwriters excite me to keep creating and inspire me to grow.
Music has taught me to express myself. It’s taught me to harness my emotions and create with them. Writing is my coping mechanism. When I need to express something, release something, or work stuff out, I write. It always leads me to a positive outcome from a bad day, shitty breakup, or depressive spell. Songs bring me out to the other side.
Describe your biggest dream(s).
I want my music to be sustainable – meaning I want to be able to financially survive (and hopefully even thrive) off of it. I want to be able to connect with my audience. On a personal note – I would love to have a family, own a small business, a greenhouse, garden, and a couple of goats at some point.
What is your relationship to fear? What is your relationship to music?
Fear to me is what’s behind a lot of what we deem “negative” emotions. It underlies the anxiety I experience. Fear of failure. Fear of loss. Fear of rejection. We all have fear, but it isn’t so scary when we talk about it, share it with friends, and bring light to it. It’s our shared experience.
The fear of failing led me to the fear of even trying. I was so scared that if I failed at music there would be nothing else that would make me happy or fulfill me. Once I realized that there was no other as fulfilling career I would enjoy as much as music, I felt I could fully pursue it. And then I moved to Nashville. 🙂
How do you choose to survive your bad days?
These days. There are a lot of bad days. I choose to survive because of the people I love. I know that the sun will rise in the morning, and a new day will come. One of my mantras is “everything is temporary,” and it’s so true. Bad days and uncomfy emotions will not last forever.
If you wrote a letter to yourself, what three things would you thank yourself for?
I would thank myself for choosing light over dark, committing to growth, and picking some of the best people in the world to surround myself with.
How have women in your life and/or in the industry inspired you?
My mom has always surrounded me with powerful women. I’m so thankful for that example because now I make sure to do the same. I’ve watched the women in my life follow their dreams, fight cancer, advocate for underdogs, achieve their goals, pursue the unthinkable, and get through the goddamn day. It’s the big things just as much as the small ones. I’m proud to be a woman and to know so many women who are breaking barriers and standing up for what they think is right.
We’re told we have to fit in boxes, and if you don’t, there isn’t a place for you. You can’t be a woman artist and also be plus-sized. You can’t be a woman artist and not be conventionally beautiful. You have to fit into that mold – that’s what we’re taught in society and media, by example. I’s just not true. Things are changing. The industry is realizing that the Lizzo’s and Yola’s and Brittany Howard’s of the world can be successful. There isn’t one “type” of woman. We are human. We are multi-faceted. We are different. We are women. And people will still want to buy our music.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
The best piece of advice I’ve received… was probably from my therapist. You don’t have to know how you’re going to do something – how you’re going to achieve your huge dreams. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have those dreams. Most people who’ve done magnificent things didn’t know how they were going to do them.
To someone just getting started – be genuine. People can sniff out inauthenticity. Be a good person, and hopefully, you’ll be a magnet for good people and good things.