Interview with our ReverbNation Winner, Boston’s Alissa Musto!
1. Who are you as an artist?
I’m 23 years ago and growing up in a family of professional musicians, I’ve spent pretty much my entire life in the industry. I started performing at local venues on weekends when I was in high school. Between Berklee School of Music, the conservatories and New York City just a few hours away, there is no shortage of talent in Boston’s music scene. Cambridge is a super artist-friendly community and there are a ton of venues to hear original music on any given night.
2. What is your sign?
3. Favorite Quote?
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." This is the quote I try to live by in both my professional and personal life. Not everyone is going to get when I’m trying to do musically. Not everyone is going to stand for what I stand for. Not everyone is going to like my voice—my singing or what I have to say. Well, you can’t please everyone and trying to do so is a waste of time. Instead of entertaining the negativity, I try to just be the best I can be and do what I need to do.
4. Style of music?
My style as a songwriter is characterized by lyrical introspection, confessional songwriting, jazz and classical infused piano arrangements, and an understated performing style. As a lyricist, I focus on unique human experiences, emotion and self-realization and revelation.
5. Favorite influences?
My biggest musical inspirations include Billy Joel, Diana Krall, Bruce Springsteen, Regina Spektor and Ben Folds. I think I most accurately fit the mold of “singer-songwriter”, though I draw influences from a number of different genres.
6. Where is the industry going?
The music industry is going through some larges changes right now—not only what we’re listening to, but how we’re listening to it. I think in this age of instant gratification, pop music has lost authenticity. The process is too rushed and subsequently, these tunes don’t have longevity. We listen to music because of the emotions it evokes, and I think we’re going to see people shifting back over to authentic music that makes them feel.How is your music "your religion?"7. Religion attempts to answer the question “why am I here?” and for me, I know my music is my purpose.
7. Where is your music going?
Right now, the music I’m creating is stemming directly from raw emotion, my experiences and the stories of others. Everyday, we log onto social media and see perfect little manufactured, photoshopped versions of peoples’ lives. With my music, I’ m trying to say “hey, it’s ok if you don’t have it all figured out” and “it’s ok if you feel this way” and “it’s ok if everything isn’t perfect”. In my last EP, the tracks are mainly just piano and vocals with very little production; it’s very raw and very real. That’s the change I’m trying to put out there in music and society right now; it’s ok to be real.
8.What is the message of your music?
I avoid making a political or social statement with my music and here’s why; it is no secret that the last election ideologically tore apart our country. However, no matter what your beliefs are, music and art is what unites us. I would never want someone to feel like they can’t enjoy or are unwelcome to my music because their beliefs are different than mine. Of course, I have my own opinions—I actually went to school for government. Of course, I stand for something. However, my music isn’t the channel for pushing that message.
9. Best advice on industry?
Talent, Persistence, Creativity: A lot of people might think of talent and creativity as interchangeable, but no matter how strong your musical skills are, making it in the music industry requires using those skills in a unique way that hasn’t been done before. You’re going to be told “no” a lot in this business which makes persistence a prerequisite in this business as well.
10. Future of your music?
I hope I have the opportunity to travel more for my music in 2019. Spending a month in Europe in April (across 10 different countries) was truly a life-changing experience and made me really start thinking about where I want to be and what I want to do. There are so many opportunities to travel and simultaneously perform, and in addition to focusing more on my original material, I hope I’m able to spend a good part of 2019 exploring.
11. What is your legacy?
At the end of the day, I want my music remembered for saying something in a way that hasn’t been said before. I’ve been so honored by some of the praise I’ve gotten in response to my original projects; “a female Elton John”, “the next Debbie Harry”, “your generation’s Billy Joel”. It is incredible to be compared with some of my idols, however, my legacy is going to be the one and only Alissa Musto.
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