I first saw Alyssia Dieringer at the microphone in a classic tea-house open-mic setting. It was all very hip and cool and she was hypnotizing. Alyssia's voice has a smokey/sexy float-off-the-Earth richness and her lyrics speak to that romantic part of your heart that hurts when you touch it.
She has a wide smile, a groovy attitude, and an unapologetic personality. Alyssia is a true artistic inspiration. At just 20 years of age (21 in a few days) this musician expresses her sexuality and humanity all over Houston in the form of Bluesy Jazzy songs.
She is in a band called texuture: Yellow and is constantly experimenting with solo work. She hopes to one day release her own album. In honor of her upcoming birthday and her success as a local treasure, Alyssia will be celebrating her 21st birthday by performing at Warehouse Live Houston on December 8th.
I wanted to get in touch with her about the woman behind the wind pipes in this delightful interview.
Q & A with Alyssia Dieringer
What do you do?
I manipulate space to create sounds.
What is your writing process like?
Every song comes with a different process. Some times the songs just write themselves, and all I have to do is sing it out. Other times I create a story and play to the feelings I think the main character would have, but it starts with guitar every time.
Where do you get inspiration for your songs?
I am constantly inspired by other artists to keep pursuing music as a career, but the content of my music is almost always inspired by love. I'm really good at processing my thoughts on politics and morals (at least I think I am) but I'm terrible at processing romantic emotions. I use song writing and playing guitar to kind of help me figure out what I'm feeling about someone or a situation.
What do you think separates your writing from the writing of men?
I'm not sure. I don't like to think of men as less emotional, but that's the stereotype, right? My songs are all very passionate.
Describe your heritage/ethnicity/race/family structure:
I am half Mexican, a fourth Black, and a fourth White, to keep it simple. I don't know my black side of the family, but my mother raised me on soul/r&b/motown. My Mexican side of the family is very traditional, and I'm not, so we bump heads some times. I've never really had the same privileges as my white family because my skin is brown. People don't see me as a white person, but that's the family I know best.
What impact do you feel your gender and ethnicity have on your songwriting?
I'm pretty fluid with gender, and any social construct. I think that fluidity transfers to my music. I would like to integrate more music from my roots, but as of right now my ethnicity doesn't influence my song writing very much.
Do you feel that your sexual orientation affects your music or career? How so?
Yes, absolutely. I hardly ever write songs about men. There aren't a lot of love songs sung by women about women. I want to provide that for all the other gay/bi women in the world! Career wise, I'm not sure how my sexual orientation would come into effect outside of it being one of the first things someone would say about me.
"Have you heard of Alyssia?"
"Yeah, she's gay, right?"
What is your message to LGBTQI and women/women of color that write/perform?
Keep doing you. When everything else seems to be against you, stay true to whoever it is you are. We are humans. We cannot continue to allow people to define us by our sex, gender, sexual orientation, and skin color. We cannot continue to allow the media to control what's sexy/attractive. Let's push the lines on everything. Let's force people to think and to feel. We have power and it's time to use it.
I love Alyssia and want you to see more of her. Here are her upcoming shows: