PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

In the Spotlight: Alyssa Reid on her new Single and how she’s a Mental Health Supporter

Welcome to our Spotlight series where we connect you with talented and hard working individuals who are taking you behind the scenes of their creative journeys – in their own words. This month we are shining the spotlight on Alyssa Reid, a Canadian singer-songwriter who recently released her newest single “Roses” and launched an online fundraiser for The LifeLine Canada Foundation to support mental health.

“I didn’t choose to start writing music. It has been as second nature as laughing when you’re happy.

It’s always been just another type of expression. You get hurt, you cry, you process, you write, you heal, you move on. Rinse and repeat. That was how life was as a kid. Writing was my temper tantrum. The songs were shitty, but it started the process of healing and growing, and after all, that’s the important part. Fast forward to high school, and those emotions are now amplified tenfold. It’s okay…keep writing, keep healing, keep growing. I’m the awkward kid in school who walks around emanating a brooding darkness (thanks RBF) and who eats lunch alone in the music room so they have somewhere private to play piano. If I could’ve told myself back then that emotion was not something to be ashamed of and that it would fuel my creativity for an over a decade long career in music, it would’ve made that weight a little easier to carry.

Photos provided by Alyssa Reid

By the time my first single, “Alone Again” came out, I was in the homestretch of grade 11, spending my weekends pouring coffee at Tim Hortons. I felt like Hannah Montana. I would be knee deep in mud from rugby practice after school, sprinting home so my step-dad could drive me to my writing sessions in Toronto.

It was the dream, that was, until it actually started working. That insecure 17 year old felt like she had no business being on the radio, or touring across the UK with One Direction. It was everything I had ever wanted, and I didn’t feel like I deserved it. It felt like I was an actress in a movie, playing my dream role, but at any given moment, the director was going to yell “cut!” Those amazing years should have been the end of my career, after all, pop careers only last 2-3 years max.

Why would I get to be the exception? I don’t think I ever made the decision to step back from the artist side, and focus solely on writing. It was another one of those natural evolutions. While it’s been fun to write for others, there’s an important piece of the experience that you miss when you’re not the artist. That connection with the listeners.

There is nothing more healing than writing about your heartache, and then having someone in the crowd scream the lyrics back at you while you’re on stage. The cherry on the cake? Meeting them after to hear their story. Maybe that’s why I came back with the “ASHS” album and “Roses”. It will always be better to scream, together.”

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