In this Emerging Headliner interview powered by JBL, L.A-based, German-British pop singer-songwriter Arlissa talks about coming into her own with her forthcoming debut album The OPEN-HEARTED – her first full-length project since going independent.
The product of a German father and Louisiana-born “army kid” mother, Arlissa moved to London at six months old. At 15, she set foot in her first studio, though she would take the next few years of her life to perfect her artistry.
Label interest was there, as Arlissa signed to a major UK label on the spot at 19, though the fit wasn’t quite right. Arlissa fell victim to marketing machines, driving her in a different direction than she imagined.
In preparation for her forthcoming debut, Arlissa entered the studio and simply let her creativity flow, reflecting on her journey - positives and negatives. Here, she talks about writing The OPEN-HEARTED, embracing grief and heartache, letting go of her ego and why she’s done people-pleasing.
Which artists inspired you to want to make your own music one day?
One of the first people that I listened to that actually made me want to be a singer-songwriter was Linda Perry when she was in the 4 Non Blondes. I had never heard such a distinctive voice before and I had been told – and actually made fun of from a really young age – about my voice; people would always say it was really unrecognisable.
When I was younger, it wasn't a good thing! So when I heard that I went, ‘Oh, you can have an interesting voice and it can be a great thing.’ That was something that catapulted me into pursuing music.