Check out our interview with talented Actress and Singer-Songwriter Alisha Liston who just released her recent EP “Beautiful Illusion,” and hit single “Weeping Cloud.”
The melancholic yet inspiring new track is about giving yourself permission to feel worthy of love even when you’re overwhelmed and the things you’re dealing with are crushing. After all, nature itself shows us that clouds must rain when they get too heavy.
With all that’s going on in the world today, more than ever people need music that reminds them that there are people in this world that love them, even during their darkest days. Alisha tackles themes of mental health, self-esteem and believing in yourself in her beautiful and upbeat pop tracks.
Follow Alisha @alishaliston
Hi Alisha, please tell us a little about you?
Hi, I’m Alisha. I am 14 years old. I’m a singer, songwriter and circus artist. In August of 2021, I released my first EP called ‘Beautiful Illusion’, and just recently I released another new single titled, ‘Weeping Cloud.’
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Time traveling poet
How did you get started in the business?
I started singing since… forever. I’d walk up and down our stairs singing whatever material I could find. I sang so much that by the time I was four, my parents put me into singing lessons. They wanted to make sure I was learning good technique. For me, music has always been my outlet, and when I wasn’t singing I’d be listening to music. It was like the songwriters understood me. As I got older, I began songwriting and I really wanted to give to others what others’ music gave to me – a source of hope, comfort, and understanding.
How has this changed your life?
For me, songwriting and music has given me a voice. I have found comfort and understanding in lyrics and metaphors, and music allows me to connect with people that I wouldn’t normally be able to. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear from people whom I’ve never met before that have reached out to say that my song so-and-so really touched them. When you are going through something tough, it can feel very isolating and knowing that there is someone else out there that understands, even if you never meet them, can be really empowering.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I actually started in acting which is kind of a story of its own. While I always wanted to be a musician, my parents had a hard time finding a singing teacher that taught both singing and performance. So, one of their friends suggested having me work with Mary McDonough, a writer and actress known for her role as Erin Walton on The Waltons. It was her that opened the doors for me and really encouraged me and my parents to get me into acting. I can’t thank her enough. It gave me a ton of experience while in the background I continued working on music. I eventually got into songwriting classes and I released a few singles. But, I didn’t really make the leap into the music industry until 2020. Like everything else, Hollywood shutdown. The shutdown gave me time to focus more on my music and I started taking classes in music production. A few months into the pandemic, my grandmother passed away. Once again, music was there for me, and as I healed the experience really solidified a lot of things for me. It gave me clarity on who I am, my style and what I wanted to do with my artistry. I decided to take on the project of Beautiful Illusion as a way to talk to people in hopes to help them through similar experiences.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Ethereal, Eclectic & Emotional
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Some of my favorite artists have been Sophie Pecora, Grace VanderWaal, Nightbirde, and Cavetown. I also enjoy listening to jazz/altrock or electro-swing from artists like iDKHOW and Nero’s Day at Disneyland. And, I chose to make music in hopes to give to others what others’ music gave me – hope, inspiration, comfort, understanding and connection.
Do you play any instrument?
Yes! I play ukulele, piano, and guitar.
Do you ever get nervous?
Yes, definitely. It can be really nerve-wracking to talk about my emotions in my songs and be so vulnerable with an audience. Sometimes I don’t know how people will respond. But that said, if I can connect with even just one person and make them feel less alone, it’s definitely worthwhile.
Tell us about the new EP “Beautiful Illusion?”
Beautiful Illusion is a collection of songs about perseverance, growth and healing. They remind us that our struggles are an important part of our journey, and that it is okay to feel sad or hurt sometimes. It also reminds us that the struggles won’t last forever. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it in that moment; and, when you get there, which you will eventually do, you will have grown and become stronger.
The EP itself consists of six (6) songs, plus a bonus instrumental track. They are all very different in tempo and style. Some are acoustic ballads, whiles others are fast-paced dance beats. Together, they take you on an emotional journey of both the struggle and the hope of the beautiful illusion.
And about your new single “Weeping Cloud?”
Weeping Cloud is a melancholic song about giving yourself permission to feel worthy of love even when you are overwhelmed and when the things you’re having to deal with are crushing.
What’s the story behind the song?
I’m not sure there is really a specific story behind the song. Weeping Cloud is a lot of stories rolled up into one. But, I remember seeing this single, isolated cloud in the sky after a rain storm. I called it Lonely Cloud because it was all by itself. And, it just reminded me of how people can feel when they are overwhelmed by stuff. So, I wanted to write a song to let people know that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. We all do. I wanted people to know that no matter what they are going through there are people that care and love them even though they may not feel like it at the time.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
For me, the rewarding part about my work is when people share with me how my music has helped them. That kind of thing absolutely makes my day and motivates me a ton. It’s nice to hear when someone understands.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
For me, the biggest thing I’ve learned has been perseverance. In life we definitely all have our highs and our lows, and it’s ok to feel hurt and overwhelmed. The important thing is that you don’t let it control you or lose hope. Those feelings of being hurt and overwhelmed won’t last forever, and once you get through it, you’re going to be really happy and proud that you did.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Oh wow. There’s quite a bit I’d say to my younger self …. I’d start with that I love you and I’m proud of you. I promise that if you keep going it will all work out and we will be ok.
How would your best friend describe you?
Welp! I quite literally called up my best friend for this one and here’s what she said, “I would describe you as ambitious, wonderful, kind, good-hearted and smart.” Sooo yeah! I have to say I really love my friends, and I’m really grateful for them and proud of them too.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Oooooo ok ok … so we definitely need a really dramatic title. I love the symbolism of swords so I could title it after the song “Beautiful Soldier…” I’ve also been messing around with the title “Path of Thorns and Roses”, which alludes to a journey. And, I like “Dearest, Sunshine” which is actually something I’ve been working on. It’s a half song, half letter to my younger self that I may release, so if I had a memoir that could be a cool idea. Lots of options!
What’s next for Alisha Liston in 2022?
This year, I’m planning to continue creating new music and performing live. I will be releasing some as singles that will lead up to a new album that I am planning to release next year, in 2023.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Italian food is amazing. I love pasta.
And your favorite dessert?
Chocolate milkshakes. Yes, I’m lactose intolerant, and yes they are totally worth it.
How would you explain your fashion style?
“A 1830s time traveler took a trip to the 21st century and got a few pieces from the Renaissance Faire with a dash of pop culture.”
What is your own definition of happiness?
For me, I find happiness in helping other people. I feel so much joy when someone tells me something I did helped them feel better or made their day.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Sophie Pecora. She’s another teen music artist. She is an amazing songwriter. I love her music and she has been such an inspiration to me.
What would be the dream vacation, and who would you go with?
I would love to go to the Acropolis in Greece or see the castles in Scotland. The architecture and the landscape look so beautiful in pictures, and I just think it would be really cool to see in person. I’d probably go with a small group of close friends and family.
Best advice ever given?
I think the best advice I’ve ever been given, especially in the music industry, is to have a purpose and let that be your guide. I remember when I was just starting out, I loved music, but I really didn’t have a direction for my artistry. I had a passion for singing and songwriting, but I didn’t know who I wanted to be as an artist and where I wanted to go with it. As I started working with different people, I found myself getting steered in a lot of different directions, some that I clicked with and others I didn’t. It wasn’t until I understood what I wanted my artistry to be about, what I wanted people to take away from my songs and how I wanted them to feel when they heard my music, did things really start clicking.
Do you support any charity?
Yes! I support a lot of different charities like Khloe Kares, StandUp for Kids, Ronald McDonald House, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, Families Together of Orange County, Alzheimer’s Orange County, and the Norooz Clinic Foundation.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
In five years, I really hope to continue doing what I am doing today, and that is creating new music, performing and helping others where I can along the way.
Favorite song? Why?
At the moment I’m listening to Cavetown a lot. Home and Banana Bread have been stuck in my head. I love the lyrics and its super sweet and means a lot to me.
What do you think of Social Media?
Generally speaking, I think social media can be a great tool, but it can also have its downside. For example, I think social media is great for enabling creative people to share their work! I’ve learned so much from other people’s content. I’ve also met a lot of really sweet and supportive people through social media. Sometimes though, social media can be tough. For example, if you see your friends at a party you didn’t get invited to. Something like that can be hurtful without anyone meaning it to be.
Where we can follow you?
You can listen to my music under “Alisha Liston” on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc). Music videos can be found on YouTube via my channel, “Alisha Liston”. I am on Instagram and Tiktok at @alishaliston. And, I keep an email list that you can subscribe to for the latest information on new releases and other happenings. That’s available via my website AlishaListonMusic.com.
Book: City of Ember
Quote: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart” – Helen Keller
Tv Series: Owl House & Amphibia
Favorite Food: Pasta
Travel Destination: Greece (the Acropolis)