Alyssa Reid’s Flaming Phoenix
By Katie Hartai
As enchanting as the mythical bird itself, Alyssa Reid’s new album Phoenix will surely set fire to the hearts of fans when released on November 27. It may also spark a pleasant surprise. With Juno and MMVA nominations under her belt, the 22-year-old singer songwriter is no stranger to Canada’s pop scene. Her hit single ‘Alone Again’ pushed its way up radio charts around the world and produced a #1 video on MuchMusic. Other popular songs Alyssa has released include 2011’s ‘The Game’, ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ (2014) and ‘Dangerous’ (2015).
Phoenix will showcase her music in a very new way. Alyssa has unplugged from the big pop production of her hit singles and has recorded the new album with simple arrangements of piano, guitar and voice.
“I am an extremely emotional person and find music to be the only way I can fully express myself,” she explains. “I find it very difficult to talk about things if there is something important that needs to be said, but it’s almost effortless to be able to write about how it makes me feel.”
At the end of the intimate acoustic album, Alyssa has recreated two songs in full-production. These pop bonus tracks were produced for radio purposes.
“I think it would have been easy to write another pop album with songs the radio would have liked to hear,” she explains. “It was definitely a risk to do an unplugged album and to show the more vulnerable side of me but it was an important thing to do to help translate how I have grown.”
Alyssa connects most with the title track, ‘Phoenix.’
“It is about something breaking you down to the point that you feel like you are at complete wits end and being reborn from that negative experience,” she explains. “It shows that something good does come of your pain.”
For a glimpse into the record, take a listen to Tomorrow – an unplugged song Alyssa claims to be “absolutely in love with.” She is not alone. The powerful lyrics resonate with anyone who have ever felt forgotten.
“We can’t wait for tomorrow, when there’s no light left to follow.
I’ll be the light that guides you home.
If you’re lost in the shadows,
and you’re losing the battle,
I’ll be the light that guides you home.”
Alyssa, ever modest, credits her label, Wax Records, for the artistic freedom she had in making Phoenix.
“I really wouldn’t even be talking about a third album if it weren’t for my label,” she says. “There was an exceptional group of people helping me, writing with me and plugging me in with others who helped me grow as an artist and song writer.” Alyssa expects to promote the new record with a tour in 2016. I slipped in a reminder to consider Ottawa in the planning process.