Raised in Anaheim, California, just a stone’s throw from Disneyland, Alissa Griffith began writing songs at 11 years old. When she was 21, she decided to make the move across the country to Nashville, inspired by a growing community of great songwriters. Her music attempts to bridge the gap between country and pop, as evident on her newest single, “Unfold”.
I got the chance to talk with her about how she’d describe her music without genre names, the story behind “Unfold”, what she’s currently nerding out about and so much more! Check it out!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I started singing as a wee child. By the time I was 11, I was in a band and writing songs, performing and recording!
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I can’t recall a specific moment. I was enamored by singers and music from the time i was probably four. Obsessed. I’d say it was later on in my journey when I had to really ask myself if I wanted to fight for what I’d always wanted, which is a career as a professional singer/songwriter. When I was young, I didn’t really know I was choosing it. It was just all wanted to do, and all I did.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. Your sound would typically be classified as country, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
I would say honest, emotional and soulful. I really try to bare my soul in my lyrics and when I sing because I think vulnerability and honesty is what people connect with.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
Stevie Nicks, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Faith Hill, Tom Petty
Let’s talk about your new single, “Unfold.” What’s the story behind this song?
The story is exactly what you hear. It’s about the first moments of crushing on someone. Giving up on having an opinion about why you feel a certain way, and just letting it all happen and UNFOLD!
What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically? Did it come pretty easily when you started writing it or was it something that took you a long time and you had to keep coming back to it?
It came pretty easily! My co-writer Michael Whitworth had the guitar lick idea that you hear at the beginning, and I just kind of riffed around that. Once we agreed to the title being “Unfold,” we let it just happen. It was a fun afternoon in Nashville!
Were there any major changes made to “Unfold” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
It definitely sonically sounds bigger than our original demo/work tape. It was very sparse at first, and the players my producer, Dan Fernandez, brought in to play on it just gave it a whole new life.
I know you also got to shoot a music video for this song. What was that experience like? Was that your first time shooting an “official” music video?
I LOVED making the video!!! It was wild and fast! My girl Nico Guilis killed it as a director and Director Of Photography. We had fun and I would do it a hundred times over!
Yes – it was my first time filming an “official” video. I made a vertical video with my friend Ken Lin for “Glasses” for Spotify earlier this year, but this one for “Unfold” was my first, first.
What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
I would love to be consistently touring nationally and internationally. I would also love some of these songs to be on your radio or just mega streamed. I’d love to be playing shows and y’all singing my songs with me!
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I’m nerding out over 50s, 60s, 70s icons. I am obsessed with the glamour in the golden age of cinema, the costumes – it’s all so beautiful and romantic.