When multi-platinum artist and producer Pharrell Williams is so anxious to get in touch with someone that he contacts their high school to try and track them down, you know that there is something special happening. Which is exactly what happened to singer-songwriter and YouTube sensation Alyssa Bernal. TeenSpot recently had the opportunity to chat with Alyssa about the Smoke & Mirrors tour as well as the only thing that really sucks about life on the road. Find out what she had to say in part one of our interview…
TeenSpot: You’ve been traveling with Lifehouse and Kris Allen on the “Smoke and Mirrors” tour. What has that experience been like?
Alyssa: I love the tour. Yeah, I didn’t think I would be having as much fun as I am. I’m having a blast (chuckles). I thought I would be deathly tired by now but I’m not at all. We actually get plenty of sleep on tour.
TS: So during the day, while you’re traveling, you have plenty of time to catch up on your rest and whatever else you need to do?
TS: You’ve been away for a couple of weeks. Now you’re back in Texas. Are you happy to be here for a couple of days?
A: It’s nice catching up with friends. Spent some time with my mom, did a little shopping. It’s been nice.
TS: Do you have a lot of friends and family going to the show tomorrow night in Dallas?
A: Oh yeah (chuckles). I’m really excited about this show. Yeah, a bunch of my friends and family are coming out. Really cool.
TS: What is your favorite thing about being on the road?
A: Favorite thing would be performing, for me it seems like the easiest part of the day, the most rewarding part of the day and everything else compared to that seems hard.
TS: Anything you despise?
A: (Laughs) Well I am the only girl on this tour. My drummer, he’s my brother, he takes care of me and stuff. The only thing I would complain about is that every time I go to use the restroom the seat is always up (laughs). Everyone looks around and I’m like dude, I’m like come on now. Nothing really, everyone is really cool. I’m really close to my band. We’re all like family.
TS: Lifehouse and Kris Allen, did you get a chance to get to know all those guys?
A: We’re buddies with Lifehouse. Kris is always running around, he’s a busy guy…he’s kind of shy too.
TS: Speaking of Lifehouse, you did a duet with Jason, “Hold Me Tight”, can you tell me about the inspiration or what motivated that song?
A: Well, it was actually a James Morrison song. When Martin Terefe produced that song he sat me down and said I should take a listen to this song it would be a really cool duet. I was like wow, I heard it and…I could totally see it as a duet. So I did my part. Recorded my piece and they were looking for a guy, for awhile, and they tried out different people…like two or three different people. My manager is friends with Jason Wade’s manager and he heard it and I guessed he loved it. He did his part. It was amazing. He turned it into a totally different song; it needed to be his voice on there.
TS: Happy with the results from your new EP?
A: Oh yeah. It’s gone a lot better then I expected. We’ve sold a lot more EPs than anyone expected. I’ve also had to grow a lot in a short amount of time on this tour. The first few shows, people would come up to me and say you’re great but show confidence. And then, the last few shows some people actually said the opposite so I’m really happy to hear that.
TS: That’s great. You know, you got your start on YouTube but it was a lot different for artists back in the day that had to go on tour and gain fans that way. Have you talked to any fans from your YouTube days?
A: Yeah, a few people have came up to me and said, ‘I’ve been following you since you were on YouTube’. I’m just like wow, thank you for being here thank you for following me. I realize that out of the whole tour I’m the newest…even my band has toured a little bit but this is all new to me. I just started performing in front of crowds and interacting with crowds. It’s all a new experience to me.
TS: Yeah and it sounds like you have done so well. A whole different experience from just singing and performing at home, in front of a camera and uploading it to YouTube…
A: Yeah, definitely.
TS: You also seem to really want to stay connected with your fans through sites like Facebook and Twitter?
A: Oh, yeah. I’ve also been making recap videos for every show; so far I’ve done every show. They seem to really appreciate that. I want to keep doing that. I want to let them know that I haven’t forgotten about them. They got me here.