Paige Alyssa Hegwood is back — in St. Louis and in music. After spending approximately two years in Los Angeles and doing some soul searching, the singer-songwriter, who goes by Paige Alyssa, is expressing that growth both musically and individually.
Through up-tempo pop and vibrant vocals, Alyssa is releasing music on their own terms. Their just-released single, “What’s the Move,” features mixing and mastering by Shock City’s Sam Maul.
On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Alyssa joined host Sarah Fenske to talk about their time in Los Angeles, how they overcame artistic struggles and the new music they have in store.
The singer-songwriter explained that the move to California helped them realize some important things.
“When I went out there, I had really specific expectations for myself,” Alyssa said. “I basically had to go through this process of getting back to my core and figuring out like what I wanted as a musician and as a person and what I valued.
“When it got to a point where I was making decisions based off of ‘success’ — what it's supposed to look like in the world, and not based off of myself as a musician or my character — that's when I started making the adjustment.”
Being home helped them understand why they do what they do, they said, and not have fame and fortune as their main motivation.
For those new to Paige Alyssa, they describe their sound as along the lines of Bruno Mars, Lizzo and Janelle Monae. But their influences are wideranging — from playing drums at their family’s Baptist church to studying jazz at Webster University to catching 1980s pop on the radio as a kid.
“I'm a really big fan of unique chord progressions and harmonic progressions, and really fun and bright melodies,” Alyssa said. “And I feel like both those styles in music: older synth pop, new jack swing and jazz, they kind of have all those things in common. So I think it's really cool how I'm able to tie all that in with all the other things that I'm influenced by to create my sound.”
Today listeners can stream “What’s the Move.” The song explores the complexities of getting mixed signals from a crush. Dedicated fans will recognize the tune, as it appeared as a hidden track on Alyssa’s 2018 album “Worth It.” But the song has changed with the artist’s growth.
“Now that time has passed and I've done a little bit of reworking on the track, it's more so a reintroduction of myself to my own music,” Alyssa explained. “And also a reintroduction of my music back to my fan base and being able to collaborate with folks and approach this release a little bit differently than I have in the past.”
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.
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