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Show Preview, Q&A with Alyssa Simmons, Hatchey's, Friday, Nov 28

Alyssa Simmons is a local singer with determination and a work ethic bound to take her music to big places. She’s been featured on local and national TV shows and performed with artists from Peter, Paul & Mary to Ted Nugent. A few weeks ago I saw Alyssa perform an acoustic set that displayed her knack for covering a wide range of music with a versatile voice that put a new spin on several songs. This Friday night (that’s Black Friday for you shoppers) at Hatchey's it’s her coming out party for her new album “Now or Never” to show off her own brand of old school rock’n’roll with a modern edge. In between promoting and preparing for the show Alyssa spent some time filling me in on her love for singing and Detroit.

MCB: What’s the first album you bought with your own money?
AS: Ace of Base "I Saw The Sign" .... I think I was 8 & bought it with my piggy bank money.

MCB: When did you start singing?
AS: I've sang my whole life, but started taking voice lessons at 9 years old. I was lucky to have a supportive family who traveled constantly for auditions, competitions & showcases when I was young. An early story would be when I got to perform at the Apollo Theatre in NYC as 'Showtime Kid' at 12 years old.

MCB:  Who do people tell you that you like?
AS: Pee Wee Herman, I get a lot. ;) ...... No but really I usually hear from people that my voice is soulful w/ a rock edge. I've heard Joss Stone, Grace Potter & more. Ironically my songwriting has been compared to P!NK, which is a huge compliment to me because she's one of my favorite artists.

MCB: What can people expect from your new release "Now Or Never"?
AS: A musical monster, lots of guitar driven songs w/ poppy melodies & years worth of stories.

MCB: What is your favorite song from it and why that one?
AS: Each one is special to me, but 'This Is War' stands out above the rest. It's dark, bold & incredibly uplifting. At times we all can be our own worst enemies, belittling who we are & what we can do. I wrote this song for myself which started w/ the chorus line "This Is War & I'm Boxing my Shadow" from there the story escalated to a new place & exploded on paper. It's about picking yourself up no matter how down & out you are, realizing that you're not alone & pushing forward. It's a song I'm proud to have written.

MCB: Favorite local venue and why?
AS: Love St. Andrews & Fillmore. Always have seen great shows there.

MCB: What’s one another local band you think people should see?
AS: There are so many great artists in this city. So much underground talent everywhere you go. I couldn't possibly list just one & leave out the rest.

MCB: What do you like most and least about Detroit?
AS: I love that it is network of creative people, it's a close knit scene here.

MCB: What makes singing worth it for you?
AS: How it makes you feel inside, it lifts your soul. Singing is everything to me, it always has been & I have a feeling it always will be.

MCB: Most embarrassing moment so far….
AS: I have many, but I'll stick with this one where I was singing on stage & a person in the audience held up a hand written sign that told me my fly was down. Pretty embarrassing way to find out, super self- conscious now. Haha!

MCB: You will know the band is successful when…..
AS: Used to say TRL or MTV, sadly those shows are long gone. A girl can dream! But I'd really just say when an audience starts singing my songs, the lyrics I wrote... that in itself is high point for me.

MCB: Where’s the best place for people to go hear more from you?
AS: and coming soon

Alyssa Simmons photo by Mikel OD/MPAD Media