Thank goodness for thin apartment walls. Otherwise Liah Alonso might still be singing for herself.
“Before i had any idea that I wanted to pursue a career in music, I lived in Brooklyn and would sing while in my bathtub as a way to relax after school,” says Liah Alonso, a singer-songwriter who splits time between NYC and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. “A neighbor heard me through the walls. You have such a beautiful voice, she told me. I’m going to introduce you to a producer friend of mine.”
“I had always been musically-oriented. I remember singing at the piano with my grandfather when I was very young. I played the piano, cello, and trombone growing up and would make up songs to pass time when I was alone. But I didn’t play an instrument at the time my neighbor heard me,” Liah remembers.
Vinnie, the producer friend, put guitar harmonies to her songs, got a band together, and before long Liah and her band, Whispering Muse, were playing at CBGB’s and at others spots around the city.
Eventually, Liah began to take guitar lessons. “It got to the point where I knew how I wanted the songs to sound,” she says. “I needed to have the ability to take the songs where I wanted them to go.”
It’s hard to categorize Liah’s music as fitting into one category, though she identifies with the Gypsy Cowgirl moniker, a name she got when she was passing through New Orleans on tour and found a leather bracelet with those words. “I finally had a name for how I had felt my whole life. My parents were Mexican and Spanish. We never lived in one place for very long, bouncing around between the US and Mexico City. That’s the gypsy part. And I always loved and rode horses. That’s the cowgirl part.”
While she acknowledges that “cowgirl” implies a country influence, Liah describes herself more as a musical anthropologist. “I like to explore different styles of music and then do a project based on that influence. I combine rock and latin influences as well as musical theater and pop.”
The different styles are evident in her music. “Matches, Sticks, and Gasoline” is a country-tinged protest song that reflects her activist bent. “Box of Light” is pop-influenced, but with a social message about being too connected to our phones.
Liah’s upcoming album is called “Light To The Universe.” It’s a collaboration with international dance producer DJ Taz Rashid that takes the messages of yoga and other spiritual traditions and puts them into a pop dance space. “My mission with music is to tell the truth and to inspire us all to overcome sadness and obstacles,” Liah explains. “Light To The Universe wants to bring light to the dark dance floors that are often filled with negative messages. We want to empower people with encouraging messages that also make them dance.”
The first single, also called “Light to the Universe,” is a club/dance mix that was released on Liah’s YouTube channel. www.youtube.com/user/liahalonso
Friends can also catch Liah playing live each Sunday night at 7 p.m. EST at: https://www.facebook.com/liahalonso/live
“Honestly,” Liah says. “I don’t love to live stream. There’s not the same energy as playing a concert to a room full of people. Before coronavirus I would gig in San Miguel two or three nights a week and then go to the US and tour for a week or two. Obviously, my touring schedule is on hold, but live streaming allows me to reach different audiences. I’ve had people watching from around the world. So there are plus sides. I’m just trying to do something good in the world with music and art.”
Liah uses her weekly live stream platform to raise money to feed her neighbors in need in Mexico. Half of her proceeds go to feeding the people and animals hit hardest by the covid pandemic. To learn more or donate: email@example.com