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L.A. Beat

Alyssa McQuaid excited to be a role model with debut CD

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Up and coming Lethbridge country singer Alyssa McQuaid, who is becoming a well known face at a variety of Lethbridge venues and events has just dropped her debut EP, “Stay Beautiful.”Alyssa McQuaid
The five song EP, including four original songs and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” was recorded in a day at Audities Studio in Calgary.
“It was a lot of fun. It was the first time I’d ever done that before. The guys there were very helpful,” McQuaid said, has a gig on Friday, Sept. 25 at the Mocha Cabana. She also plays a lot of weddings, anniversaries and YWCA functions. She also played regularly at the Cotton Blossom Lounge.

“It’s just me and my guitar (on the CD)— my baby,” she said adding she’d like to form a band one day.
“I’m really proud of of this CD. When I finished it, I took it to my mom and we both got all excited about it,” McQuaid enthused, adding while she enjoys contemporary county artists like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert as much as she does the music of the Beatles and Foo Fighters, songs which tell a story are the songs which appeal to her the most. Everything she sings, both original and covers have special significance to her.
“I’m a storyteller,” she said adding she draws songwriting inspiration from her life and the lives of people she knows. The 20-year-old has a vast repertoire of songs she can play.

““Perfect’ (the last song on her EP) is the first song I ever wrote. I wrote it about myself because you have to love yourself before you can care for somebody else,” said McQuaid, who has been singing since she was 10 and playing guitar since she was 14. She is currently working with Brian Farrell, a vocal coach in Calgary who has worked with the likes of Paul Brandt and Kaylan Porter and Sarah McLachlan
“I find I have lots and lots and lots of beginnings for songs, but there’s not quite as many songs I’ve finished,” she said adding she’d also like to complete a full length CD. For now she is selling the CDs to friends, family members and  at her gigs. Of the 50 she burned, she only has 15 left. She is also working on a tour in and around Southern Alberta and maybe even in Hamilton, Ontario.
“I’m Getting by” is based on a girl she used to work with whose fiance had a heart attack and crashed into a semi on the Deerfoot Trail.
“My heart broke for her,” McQuaid said adding “Who I Am” is a thank you to all of her friends and family who have supported her over the years.
“I have so may  people in my life who have supported me. I couldn’t do what I do without them,” she said adding she enjoys trying to be a role model for her three younger brothers, all of whom are also into music as well as young fans who come up to her and even ask for her autographs.
“I get a lot of little kids who look up to me. They love my singing and they’re so sincere when they ask for an autograph, I want to be a good role model for them. That’s what I want to do,” she said adding she can’t picture herself doing anything other than playing music.


— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 September 2009 15:51 )  
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