Can you share your career-to-date bio?
My name is Alyssa Trahan and I am a country singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. I grew up in East Rochester, NY where I started out playing in coffee shops and bars. I made the move to Nashville, TN in 2016 where I fully immersed myself in the music scene in town and after two years, signed my first publishing deal with Dan Hodges Music. I play over 100 shows a year and have opened for names such as Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood, Jana Kramer, Lee Ann Womack, Josh Turner and many more. I’ve also performed at several pro sporting events!
My style is modern country with traditional country instrumentation and modern pop production. I consider myself a songwriter first, so lyrics and stories are very important to me. A common theme in my music is empowerment, especially in my song “Because I Am a Girl”, which has been streamed over 140K times on Spotify and sparked the event “Girls On The Rise”, which featured several upcoming female artists in Nashville and raised over $1,000 for Girls On The Run of Middle Tennessee.
Where did you grow up and how does it influence the music you write?
I grew up in a tiny town called East Rochester, NY. It definitely influences my music in a lot of ways. For one, there are a lot of country music fans in upstate/western NY. People are often surprised to hear that, but it’s true! There was also a great music scene in the area, and getting my start in coffee shops and bars definitely helped me shape my sound and figure out who I was as an artist.
Signing a publishing deal with Dan Hodges Music — what songs have you written that have been recorded by another artist?
I’ve had a few cuts so far! I wrote “Fire & Gasoline”, “Castles” and “Kinda Sorta Might Maybe” by Jadyn Rylee, “Runaway” by Justin Biltonen (3 Doors Down) and also have a few I can’t mention since they are yet to be released!
What is it like, in comparison, to hear the song sung by a different artist versus recording your own?
It’s weird and cool at the same time! Writing a song is a very personal thing, and hearing someone else put their own spin on it is really cool. It’s also really fun to hear a song taken in a different direction than an initial demo or how you heard it in your head when you wrote it. Every artist is different, so one song can sound like a million different songs.
Saw you have a degree in audio engineering, but are mostly self-taught in music production. Do you fully produce all your own songs?
I have been a producer on every song I’ve released, and have released several that were solo produced, but I am currently working with a producer and absolutely love it. It’s great to work with someone that gets you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to be better!
Which other artists have you produced?
I have my own demo business, so I produce a ton of demos for other artists and writers in Nashville. A lot of these are used for pitching to major label artists and publishing companies. Some artists I’ve produced for in the past are Kent Maxson, Mira Goto, and right now I’m working with a new artist on their debut single.
What is the backstory to your song “Because I Am A Girl”?
This is one of those songs that I didn’t really plan or mean to write. I wrote it when I was feeling really down about the business and some things I had seen/experienced. I was working in my studio and couldn’t focus, so I sat down and started playing my guitar. In about 30 minutes, this song was written. The lyrics just poured out of me and I didn’t edit or hold anything I wanted to say back because honestly, I never planned on releasing it. I figured no one would like it, but I sent it to my team and everyone loved it.
We eventually decided to take another song I had planned on releasing and putting it on the back burner so this song could be the next single. We did a “rush-release” with it, so in just a few weeks time, the song was written, recorded and released. It’s crazy to think there was ever a time I thought about keeping it to myself because it turned out to be the biggest song of my career thus far!
How did the song become the inspiration for the Girls on the Rise event?
My good friend and producer, Craig Wilson (who produced the song), and I were talking about what we could do to take the song to the next level. He had the initial idea to get a charity involved, then we brainstormed a ton did everything we could to make it happen. We knew the message of the song would resonate with girls of all ages, so we reached out to Girls On The Run and they were all in. After that, we asked some of our friends and favorite artists in town if they’d be a part of it, and the response we got was overwhelmingly positive. I think it all came down to the fact that so many other women (and men) felt the same way I did when I wrote the song and getting to come together to raise awareness for the issue and help an incredible charity organization was truly special.
What role does Girls on the Run play in this movement?
The event had two main goals. First, raise awareness of the issues and showcase incredible females in the music industry. Second, raise money for the amazing people at Girls On The Run so they can continue to help girls succeed in life the way they do. We actually had the very first girl from the Girls On The Run program speak at the event, and it was amazing to see how big of an impact the organization had on her life! They were also a big part in the brainstorming process from the very beginning which was awesome, and I performed at their annual 5K a couple of weeks before the event. It’s been incredible to see just how many girls they are helping and how big of a difference they are making. All the girls coming out of this program are bright, empowered and determined. I can’t wait to see how they change the world one day.
Where do you see it going from here?
We are currently in talks about having another Girls On The Rise event, and possibly making it a recurring thing! The first time doing it was so much fun and an even bigger success than we hoped for, so we’d love to do it again!
What songs would be on your “Because I Am A Girl” playlist?
“Girl” by Maren Morris, “This One’s For The Girls” by Martina McBride, “Girl Goin Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde, “Every Girl In This Town” by Trisha Yearwood, “Miss Me More” by Kelsea Ballerini, “Buy My Own Drinks” by Runaway June, “Female” by Keith Urban, “Worth It” by Danielle Bradbery, “Sad Girls” by Jillian Jacqueline, “Fight Like A Girl” by Kalie Shorr, and “Road Less Traveled” by Lauren Alaina, and “Sister” by Mickey Guyton!
Would “Sister” by Mickey Guyton be one?
Yes! I put it on my list before I even saw this question! It’s such an amazing song and she has one of the best voices in the industry!
I love playing instruments on my songs because it lets the listener get a feel for how I originally wrote the song. Adding production and other instrumentation is so much fun, but there’s nothing like stripping a song down to what it originally was.
I read you play 12+ instruments — which are they?
I do! Guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, silver flute, Irish flute, piccolo, penny whistle, alto saxophone, harmonica, dobro/slide guitar, and a little bass! And anytime I need an instrument on a new project I’m working on, I try to teach myself and see if I can get good enough to record whatever part I need. That’s actually how I learned to play most of those instruments. For example, when I still lived in NY, I needed mandolin on a song and I didn’t know anyone that played it. So, I got a cheap one and taught myself off of chord charts and video lessons!
Also saw Breedlove Guitars endorsed you — which guitar of theirs is your favorite to play on stage?
I love all their guitars, but my favorite is the Oregon Concert Rogue. It’s a limited edition so it’s one of their less common models, but I just love the color. It’s a gorgeous teal/blue. I love that it’s so unique, and it sounds beautiful both acoustically and plugged in.
You’ve opened for the Charlie Daniels Band, Rodney Atkins, Josh Turner, Chase Rice, Midland, Dylan Scott, Eric Paslay, Lee Greenwood, High Valley, Jana Kramer, Runaway June, and Joe Nichols to name a few. Who is your dream duet partner?
And, of course, about to drop a new single “Blue Fire” — what is the backstory to this song?
Yes! I got the idea for this song when I was at a restaurant in Nashville. I could see the flames on the stove, and they were bright blue. I started thinking back to high school chemistry and how blue fire is hotter than red fire. Then I just had the idea pop in my head that you could twist that and use it as a metaphor for a relationship. I brought the idea to my good friend and co-writer, Mark Narmore, and we wrote the song in just a couple of hours! When we went into the studio to record it, we wanted it to be cool and edgy so it was different than the typical love song.
What instruments do you play on it?
I played acoustic guitar on this song as well as all the vocals. I also produced a whole demo prior to the recording session that the live band used as a guide. It featured guitars, loops, bass, and synth. I did all the post-production work as well, like editing and comping.
How would you say your music has evolved from your first single to the latest?
I would say my music is getting more mature, more honest and I’m getting more and more comfortable being outside of my comfort zone. I used to be afraid of ruffling feathers or doing something people might not like. Now, I make the music I would want to listen to and go with my gut. Beautiful things happen when you’re not afraid of what other people might think.
Your jewelry line “Grace by Alyssa” — where do you get the ideas for the pieces you create?
I get a lot of the ideas from music, specifically guitar picks, which is something I use literally every day. I also wanted to have pieces that were suitable for both everyday wear and special occasions! My style is simple and I love to layer things, so that’s what we based the line on!
What else would you like fans to know about you?
I am so excited about this new single and hope everyone likes it! I’ve grown a lot in the past year especially and am excited to show everyone what I’ve worked so hard on for so long!