Grindin' x Alyssa Bernal
Grindin' x Alyssa Bernal
One of the YouTube pioneers that have been discovered via YouTube is Alyssa Bernal. A former Pharrell’s Star Trak signee released already her debut album in 2011 ‘Love Hangover’ with producer Martin Terefe and almost six years later, she’s ready now for her second studio album for 2017. Grindin sat down with the singer to talk about her new projects, working with Pharrell and her new single.
How did you start getting into making music and when did you first start producing and did you ever take music/production lessons/classes?
I grew up in a musically inclined family so music has been in my bones for as long as I can remember. I started (writing and recording) music when I was about 17 and didn't take my first vocal lesson till I was about 21. The vocal lessons were compliments of my label at the time to get me ready for my first tour.
How does your music creative process look like and how do you structure your beat/melody?
Whenever a producer sends me a beat that I like, I just try to feel it out for a little bit before lyrics and melodies start pouring out. I guess the words and melody come hand in hand, and the concept of the song will just follow after. My writing process has been super independent lately cause I found I don't limit myself as much when I'm working alone.
What genres really influenced your music?
In 7th grade, I was mad obsessed with stuff like Joss Stone and Corinne Bailey Rae. Soulful flower child shxt, haha. I always wanted to strive to be an artist that fit somewhere in between those two styles.
What advice could you give to a person that tries to get into Music, where do I start?
I always encourage people to try to utilize every social media platform. I had good luck with that in the past and I know everyone's story is different, but you just never know who is watching. So, utilize all your platforms, and try to practice persistency and consistency.
Do you have inspirations for certain pieces or writing in general?
Writing from real life inspires me greatly. It's just always more genuine and makes for a good story.
What is your process to do a collaboration with another artist?
Basically as if I was writing alone, except having another brain in the room to bounce ideas off of. Vibe is everything. It helps if I know the artist before hand, but there's something cool about writing a song with a perfect stranger.
What instruments do you play besides your Ukulele and Guitar?
Ukulele and guitar are the only instruments I know how to play! I really want to learn how to play piano though.
What's the biggest lesson (production, music, or just life in general) that you've learned from another producer as a result of collaborating with them?
I grew up really shy to begin with, so collaborating with other artists and producers was always kind of intimidating for me. I was always too shy to share an idea. But then I learned that I'm a really talented songwriter and that any idea is never a bad one. So I just learned to embrace my artistry and do what feels right in a writing process.
What are some standout memorable Studio Sessions?
One time I was Co-Writing with Pharrell, and he told me that I reminded him of Beyoncé, because we have a lot of similar shy tendencies. It made my life.
Oh that’s super dope! How was it working with Pharrell and did he ever produced or written any tracks for you besides that one snippet you’ve previewed on YouTube?
Working with Pharrell was awesome. He always had a way with words that would instill passion and confidence in you. I still try to apply his advice today. We worked on a couple of unreleased tracks for fun. We never got to release them but perhaps I'll have to bring them out for the world soon!
Oh we would love to hear ‘em! Any tips on keeping organized and having an efficient workflow?
I have a white board that I write all my goals on. It helps to wake up everyday and see a to-do list. Getting to cross out each goal one by one is rewarding and keeps you on your grind!
How do you stay inspired when you have a writer's block (if you have them)?
When I get writers block, I try not to force it. It helps me to take a break, maybe get a bite to eat, then come back and listen to the song from the beginning! Sometimes you just need to give your ears a break.
What is your favorite track of yours and why?
I think my favorite released track of mine would have to be "Lit", off my new EP SLIP. I just love the fun direction of the song and the message it conveys. It was also the first time I had ever opened up in my songwriting and touched on some serious shit.
If you had the money, power, and influence to get anything built in your community what would it be?”
Probably a no-kill shelter. I'm a huge animal love!
Self promotion is one of the biggest weakness, any tips?
I'd say just try to stay relevant, without selling out? I just had to find a routine that worked for me and that I was comfortable with. Whatever you think your fans will catch on to and will enjoy. So I guess, get to know what your fans expect from you and deliver.
What’s the weirdest comment you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
It was along the lines of "I would drag my balls through glass in the desert heat just to hear you fart in walkie talkie" or something creepy like that. Hahaha. I didn't know whether to be flattered or worried.
Haha that’s pretty scary! What are your goals for your career?
To travel and play sold out shows across the world.
Do you think the social media and the fact that making music is accessible these has made music decline?
What was the last picture you took with your phone?
A picture in my Halloween costume! (a witch)
If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you want to have seen?
UFOs or signs of alien life! I'm such a nerd when it comes to that kind of stuff.
Yes! I love that stuff too! What Is the longest you have gone without sleeping?
Hmm I was up from 11am to 3:30pm the next day this past weekend actually! Gotta love Halloween week lol.
If you could bring any person to life, who would it be?
Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with?
Uh, easy! Evan Petersssssss
What is your most treasured possession?
My mic and my camera. Sorry, that was two.
What’s your Favorite food/drink?
Sushi and water lol.
What do you do during your down time?
Hang out with friends, eat plenty of food, watch scary movies, and shop!
If you could retire tomorrow what would you do?
Retire from music? Probably travel the world!
Name the most terrifying moment of your life so far.
I wont mention my first most terrifying moment but my second most terrifying moment was the time my taxi driver ran a red light and got T boned by an oncoming vehicle! My head hit the glass and I got a concussion! That was pretty scary. Now I freak out when my uber drivers speed up before a red light!
Damn, that’s pretty horrifying, anything we should keep our eye open for?
My second single (which I have yet to announce) and my 2nd album dropping early next year!
We can’t wait to hear that! What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your music?
Thanks so much for riding with me throughout this entire journey! I'm constantly changing and the real ones are the ones who support all these changes. I'm taking on! You are so important. Prayer hands.
There you have it folks, the lovely Alyssa Bernal.
Be sure to keep with what Alyssa's up to, by following her social media below.