Interview with Soulful Singer-Songwriter Alisa Velasquez

Last week I happened to review stunning feel good track ‘Hold me Close’ by RnB and Pop Singer-Songwriter ‘Alisa Velasquez’.

This week we managed to catch up with the American artist about her musical journey so far, her influences, projects and how the pandemic has affected her music making.

Read on below to find out more about this incredible artist:

YMX: Hey Aliza, thanks for sitting down with us. What would you say to all our readers new to your project? 

Alisa Velasquez: I would like to say hello! And thank you for taking the time to get to know me and hear my music & my story.

YMX: When did you know that music was something you wanted to pursue at an artistic level?

Alisa Velasquez: I have always loved music, seeing and hearing my Mother sing and having such a musical family really sparked my interest very early on in life, but as a kid my stage fright prevented me from actually pursuing anything. It all changed in 2015 when I sang into a microphone for the first time. I heard my voice on the playback and for first time I realised that I could potentially have a gift, and that people actually wanted to listen to me sing. It really opened my mind to all of the musical creativity and potential that I didn’t realise I had inside myself, and just like that the stage fright was gone! It gave me a new sense of confidence and unleashed a whole new level of creativity. Ever since that moment it’s been something I want to continue to do for the rest of my life.

YMX: You recently released ‘Hold me Close’. Can you tell us how that project came about? 

Alisa Velasquez: My current release ‘Hold Me Close’ is one of three songs that I released on Valentine’s Day this year. It has an upbeat Pop/R&B vibe that expresses the beauty and joy of being in love. I had a lot of inspiration for the song, considering that my boyfriend and I created it together! He made the beat for me and as soon as I heard it I knew it was something special. We wrote the hook together using our relationship as the inspiration, and I finished writing the lyrics by myself. Once I sang it to him he fell in love even more! We recorded, mixed and engineered the song together as a team from start to finish. It an awesome experience and I hope that the authentic love involved really translates to the listener.

YMX: What is the one thing you would like people to feel while listening to Hold me Close? 

Alisa Velasquez: The one thing I want people to feel while listening to ‘ Hold Me Close’ is LOVE. This song is about sharing precious moments with your significant other and thinking about them in a way that is positive, happy and loving. There is so much negative music out there pertaining to love and relationships, I think it is important to have a healthy dose of positivity and gratitude in our lives, so hopefully my music can do that for people!

YMX: How did the recent pandemic influence your creative process? is remote collaboration easy for you?

Alisa Velasquez: The pandemic surprisingly worked in my favour, musically. I have finally been able to invest the time into music in a way that I have never been able to before. I have always been so busy, trying to juggle multiple jobs, session work and real life struggles, it was hard to find time to write and really put the focus into my art. The pandemic has really given me the opportunity to work from home and do music full time. I’ve been able to invest the hours and effort needed to research and really get to know the industry as well as complete quality music that I can say that I am truly proud of, which is an accomplishment because we all know we are our own biggest critic. As for remote collaborations, I am actually in the midst of my first one, so I will let you know how it goes, so far so good! One thing that I have noticed so far is that it’s very important to keep consistent communication. It’s amazing because although it is remote, it feels like people are right there with you, even though they are across the globe. Technology is so fascinating!

YMX: Do you feel more confident writing music alone, or within a team?

Alisa Velasquez: I usually prefer writing music alone in the beginning stages because there is no pressure, and I can say random things or hit those experimental notes without an audience. But two (or more) heads are always better than one, so once I have established a solid idea, I like working with others and getting their creative input. I think it’s important to have people that we trust and respect artistically, because constructive criticism and honest feedback is the only way we can grow. Working with other artists can also bring about ideas that I would never have thought of on my own. It’s an amazing thing when two people’s visions come together and into one solid idea. In my opinion that’s one of the most beautiful things about making music!

YMX: Can you name the last gig you played? Would you consider doing a livestream concert? 

Alisa Velasquez: I have never done a live stream concert, but I would absolutely love to do it! I have been working on an acoustic set of ‘Hold Me Close’ and the other songs on the project that I would love to perform. It’s been way too long, the last time I performed live was at a local Brewing Company in my home state last summer. I am in an acoustic duo called Amy + Alisa with a good friend of mine, who is a wonderful singer and guitar player. Performing is always a blast, and I am missing it, but I’m not worried because I will be back up on stage in no time!

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?  

Alisa Velasquez: My plans for the future are to expand my knowledge about the industry, continue releasing music and keep on making connections! I have another collaboration with Hana Sushi coming out this summer, which will be the first single off an RnB project that is in the works. I’m also going to be performing with Amy + Alisa again starting next month, so I will be able to test out some of my new material with a live audience. I am also working on a remote project with some very talented people in LA that I will keep under wraps for now, but over all there are a lot of great things happening. I’m so excited to see what other opportunities the future brings, and I’m confident that as long as I keep the momentum going and push myself, I will continue to allow great opportunities to find their way into my life. 🙂

Well we can’t wait to hear more from you Alisa!

Listen to Hold Me Close by Alisa Velasquez and Hana Sushi Music