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Pic by Ashley Gellman

INTERVIEW: Alyssa Joseph

Hi Alyssa, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Good! I’m currently in a really great part of my life – feeling very confident and capable. I feel like I have finally become that chick I’ve always wanted to be, and that’s a really cool spot to be in 🙂

I’m also SO excited about this single release on Friday, July 12th. It’ll be my first song released with the band, rather than just me and my guitar!

We’re also having a single release show the next night – Saturday, July 13th – at this really cool art gallery in Philly called Imaginary Clouds Collective. My great friends Tommy Williams and Rachel Andie – two super talented songwriters and musicians – are going to be playing the show as well. AND my incredible graphic designer, Barbara Rocas, and amazing photographer, Ashley Gellman, are also going to be showing work at the show! It’s going to be a night filled with music, art, and friends!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “leaning”?

Yes! It’s called “leaning,” and it’s really like a picture of my life post-grad. On the journey of education there was always a path leading to a destination. Well, then I reached that destination of finally graduating college, and I had this “now what?” moment, which was terrifying.

All throughout my life I kept on the path. I did what they said. I went to college. I took out the tens of thousands of dollars of student loans all with the assurance that “everyone graduates college with debt – you’ll figure it out!” but then I was stuck when I graduate college… with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. And the intent of pursuing this path as a musician.

Those two things don’t go well together – wanting to be an adult and have independence after these life milestones and having crippling debt with mountains of resentment towards this dumb system. I was in this existential life crisis with no options and all the options. So, I moved back in with my parents and leaned on them. And I leaned on my friends. And I leaned on my music. And then, “leaning” was born!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I felt a lot of pressure. I felt pressure from my peers. From my parents’ friends. From myself. “I’m an adult now! I should be an independent adult! I shouldn’t be living at home with my parents. I shouldn’t be working two retail jobs that I’m overqualified for. I shouldn’t be back living in the town I grew up in. it was hard for me to accept that that was where I was at. And that it was okay to be there.

“Leaning” was how I coped with all of that pressure. And accepted the spot that I was at in my life. And I hopefully will help other people feel like it’s okay if they’re in that spot too.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Sadly, not at this time. I would love to, but I’m completely an independent artist, and I have to choose my priorities. Right now recording new music is the priority.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was very cathartic. It was also cool. The verses I wrote all in about an hour. Then a week or so passed and I was driving home in silence after working a long shift. All of a sudden this melody and lyrics hit me, and I ended up writing the whole bridge section while I was driving, singing it into my phone so I could remember it. When I got home and ran to my guitar and finished it.

The recording process was awesome as well. We recorded all the basic tracks live, meaning that we played them at the same time together. We were all isolated in separate rooms, but we could all see each other still, so we could still capture the magic of playing together. After that, we had a few sessions to record lead vocals and guitar overdubs. It was a fun track to finally get down.

What role does Philadelphia play in your music?

Philly is where I made a lot of my connections. I went to Drexel and was in their music industry program. A lot of the people I work with on music I met through that program and during my time there.

How has Daughter and Big Thief influenced your writing?

I look up to these songwriters and musicians so much. Seeing these women express themselves so vulnerably made me feel like I could do it too. And maybe people would relate and even care about what I have to say.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

You can expect new material! There just isn’t a release date yet. We’re finishing up the recording process now. It’s been tough working around schedules. It’s been tough coming up with a budget. BUT it’s happening!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Not yet! I’m really allowing room for this process to happen and not putting pressure on myself for dates or deadlines yet.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! And with a band! We’re headed out on a northeastern tour at the end of august/beginning of September. We’ll be traveling up to Portland, ME and then making our way back down to Jersey. Catch us in your city!

What else is happening next in Alyssa Joseph’s world?

I have a really big move happening. I’ll be moving down to Nashville at the end of July! I actually mention wanting to move there in the song. I’ve wanted to make it happen since I graduated college, and now I feel like I am finally ready to do it successfully!

I’m not sure what this next chapter will hold, but I’m so excited to continue the adventure 🙂

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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