By Shem Rivera, March 16, 2021
Through her musical talent, Alyssa Walker, a fourth-year sociology student minoring in music, strives to encourage others to use music as a method to help understand their feelings.
Walker aims to share her experiences with anxiety through her music for others to relate to. After struggling with her mental health, Walker turned to music as a way to escape reality. Writing lyrics about her emotions has helped her cope with the challenges.
“I want my music to have a positive impact on people,” Walker said. “The first song I ever wrote was called ‘No One.’ It was about my anxiety disorder, how no one can understand me and why I started songwriting in the first place.”
One of her favorite compositions is called “Anxiety,” released in 2018. The song personifies anxiety and expresses her feelings in having to face it every day.
The song was well-received by her fans with numerous comments showering praise on the high-quality production and the raw emotion she displayed. The track showcased her songwriting ability and was complemented with her comforting vocals.
“A lot of people can connect with this song — whether it’s anxiety, another mental illness or if you are just going through a rough time in your life,” she said.
Walkers’ musical journey began when her grandmother bought her first guitar and taught her how to play when she was 6 years old. Her singing ability was self-taught while growing, but it developed when she joined a choir in high school in San Diego and briefly received lessons after entering college. She began writing music when she was 13 and began performing professionally at 15.
She performed her first her first open mic at a restaurant called Company Pub & Kitchen through one of her family friends. The owner of the restaurant offered Walker her first paid gig there and introduced her to other people to perform in the San Diego Area. One of her favorite places she performed at was at the San Diego Fair.
When she first started performing, she was nervous, but the adrenaline gave her a rush like nothing else.
“I love performing so much, said Walker. “It allows me to share my music and hopefully influence an audience in a positive way. Nothing is better than having an engaging audience and knowing you are helping people have a good time!”
Although her main musical style is pop country, Walker does not consider herself to play just one genre since each of her songs has a different taste to it. One of her inspirations is Taylor Swift, and she strives to be like the singer while maintaining her own unique sound.
“Taylor Swift is an amazing songwriter,” Walker said. “Growing up, she was someone who I found super relatable because of her song lyrics and how they connected to me. Even now, many of her songs still apply to me as an adult.”
Unfortunately, Walker has not performed live for over a year due to the pandemic and deeply misses it. Before the pandemic, she performed at least once a week. While performing, she had to balance other obligations as well.
“Doing school and being part of sorority was something I had to manage,” Walker said. “With gigging, it was not too bad since it was only a few hours a week and it was basically my job, but I loved doing it. Being able to get paid to do something that I enjoyed made it easier.”
With the decrease in gigs, she is experiencing a creative slump because she has not been able to perform or write much within the past year. Nonetheless, Walker shared how she overcame these moments before by listening to other artists’ music or messing around with her guitar until something sparks her.
Despite her slump, she is working on releasing a new song by summer. Although she has been working on the new production for nearly a year, the release was delayed until the pandemic settled down. After graduating in spring, Walker hopes to continue working toward her music career.
“Hopefully, I can start writing songs again and post more musical content after I graduate,” Walker said. “I want to continue to create music that inspires others and has a positive impact on them.”
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