The Katy Perry of Country Music
Alyssa Jacey is presently house hunting and having her sixth album mastered in the same city: Nashville. Her CD release party for last year’s Here's to Change was hosted at the Belly Up. But she advises that fans looking forward to a release party for the new record (titled On the Spot) may have a much longer drive ahead of them if all goes according to plan. The album is loosely scheduled for release sometime next January or February, but the Rancho Santa Fe native hopes to be settled in to a new Nashville home before the end of this year. “I’ve looked at a bunch of places,” she emails, “and I have a bunch more to see Sunday.”
When asked, Jacey is hard pressed to describe her own musical style. An eclectic singer/songwriter, she seems not so much aligned with the country tradition. So why the move to Nashville, where country music is king? “This is not a simple question and there is certainly no simple answer.” She says that after four visits the place grew on her. “As I’ve gotten to know Nashville more, there have been countless moments where I’ve stopped and thought, why am I not living here? And without going into too much detail,” she says, “the amount of opportunity in Nashville compared to San Diego is like comparing the Titanic to a tug boat.”
Better even than New York or Los Angeles? Yes. Her answer trails in two directions: quality of life, and quality of music. “You can walk down the street to the nearest bar and there's not only a band playing, but it’s an awesome band. That's just how it is here. Everyone is so talented, and it's incredibly inspiring. And traffic?” she says. “What traffic?”
Nashville apparently likes her too. “I played live on TV here last week, and the host nicknamed me the Katy Perry of country music."
Jacey originally trained to be a dancer, a career choice that was derailed after a night at a karaoke bar. “My music career started as a joke. I was forced on to a karaoke stage in 2004 by friends who’d heard me singing to myself.” She was hooked; she sang karaoke for the rest of the year and in the process began to refine her craft. She taught herself to play guitar and later, drums. “I now have written over 250 original songs.” And after six albums and five tours, she’s ready for a change in scenery. But leaving home can be hard. What will she miss most about San Diego?
“Number one: my family. Number two: my family. Number three: probably my family. And, the weather.” Not to mention food. “The food,” she says, “is drastically and deliciously different in San Diego.” The immediate plan looking forward, she says, will be to settle in to whatever Nashville accommodations she can find. “I've virtually been on tour since summer, so I'll probably chill for three months.” And then it’s back on the road to support the coming release.
“You don't get the kinds of opportunities in San Diego as you could get in Nashville. I say ‘could’ get, because it doesn't happen for everyone. It's happening for me because I've learned not to let one single opportunity pass me by.” She hopes to inspire others with her story. “And, I'm an ox of a hard worker.”
More like this:
- Letter from Nashville: Alyssa Jacey on Southern cooking, personal improvement, and flying insects — April 30, 2012
- Alyssa Jacey Saying Goodbye San Diego, Hello Nashville — Jan. 2, 2012
- Another Voice Hopeful — Sept. 2, 2011
- Way Late — June 16, 2010
- No Country — Nov. 18, 2009