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The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

Spotlight: Interview with New York songwriter Alyssa Trahan

All, Featured Songwriters by Dennis Field on December 04, 2013


This month we are interviewing Alyssa Trahan who is another one of our talented songwriters on Frettie from Rochester, New York. In this interview we learn why she loves to be a part of the whole process of creating an album. From writing, producing and even creating marketing materials. Alyssa has experienced it all.

Q: Where do you call home?
Rochester, New York

Q: What is your setup for writing music?
I'll usually have a song "pop" in my head, and then I have to finish it, no matter where I am. I have written a lot of songs in my bedroom, but I also write a lot during class (usually a math or music class for some reason). I've also finished songs completely in my head with no guitar or piano nearby. As for writing the song down, I just write the lyrics in a notebook.

Q: How did you get started in songwriting?
I've written songs in my head for as long as I could remember, but I didn't start putting them to music until my dad taught me how to play guitar when I was 11 years old. Now I'm pretty much writing all of the time.

Q: What albums are you currently listening to?
I listen to all music, but my current favorites are "+" by Ed Sheeran and "Blown Away" by Carrie Underwood.

Q: How do you stay inspired?
I write about personal experiences and what I see happening around me. Songwriting helps me get through tough situations. Seeing and listening to the other artists around me keeps me inspired too.

Q: What is your biggest challenge as a songwriter?
One tough thing for me is keeping songs short (under 3:30). I always have so much to say and the song ends up being way too long, especially for radio play.

Q: What time of day do you prefer to write your music and where?
I would prefer to write when I'm sitting in my bedroom during the day, but I somehow always end up writing at the most inconvenient times, like in class or in the middle of the night.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a songwriter or musician?
My favorite moments are signing autographs, talking to my fans and seeing them dance and sing along to my songs. Also, I love performing in general, and each show provides a new memory.

Q: How do you maintain your professional growth?
I put everything into my music, and I perform every chance that I can get. Since social media is so big today, I do a lot online, like networking with other artists and updating my profiles often in order to stay current.

Q: What is your songwriting process?
Before I write a song, I'm usually emotional about something. Something either happened to me or someone I care about. Then, I just let the song write itself. What I mean is I don't think about what others would think or say, I just write for myself.

Q: Who are your top three favorite artists or songwriters?
I don't think I could choose just three! I really love Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Ariana Grande.

Q: If you could provide any advice to up and coming songwriters, what would it be?
Keep writing, and don't try to force a good song to happen. Just write from your heart.

Q: What are some of your accomplishments to date?
I've accomplished a lot so far. I've released my debut album, "Hi" which includes 12 original songs, 6 of which I produced myself. It is also professionally mastered and available on iTunes, Amazon, etc. In less than a year, I have gained over 1,500 Facebook likes, hundreds of Twitter followers and over 13,000 YouTube views. I have been the number 1 local artist on ReverbNation for a number of months straight. I've also performed at legendary places, in Rochester, NY and Nashville, TN. In addition to all of that, I have written over 50 songs. Some of which have been used for local business jingles.

Q: How do you think Frettie (An online songwriting community) will benefit the songwriting community.
I think it's great because songwriters can get feedback from other songwriters from across the world, which helps you grow as an artist. You also get to know others who enjoy the same things you do.

Q: What's next for you?
I'm currently busy writing, and working hard on new videos and songs. I'm also planning my next big release, which is going great so far! And I'm going to continue playing shows regularly.

Q: What online tools do you use today for songwriting?
I don't use many online tools for songwriting other than Frettie, but I am on multiple social media sites.

Q: Where else can readers find you online besides on Frettie?
I'm on almost every popular social media site: Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Myspace, YouTube, ReverbNation, Bandcamp and I have a website. I'm also on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc.

Q: Care to add anything else?
One of the things that I am really proud of is that I do everything myself. I play multiple instruments: guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, silver flute, irish flute, piccolo, penny whistle, alto saxophone and I sing. I also write all my own music and produce the majority of it myself using the industry standard Pro Tools. I also make all of my videos myself. I create most of my promotion material as well. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love working with other artists and musicians, but I love being able to bring what I hear and vision in my head to life by myself if I need to.


Thanks Alyssa for taking the time to answer these questions. We appreciate all of your support and looking forward to connecting with you more on Frettie.

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Interview conducted by The Frettie Team. If you are interested in being interviewed for our next “Songwriter Showcase”, feel free to reach out to us at info@frettie.com.


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