To see everything Alicia has done go to http://www.AliciaSassano.com
Already, Alicia has swept the music scene with her passion and love for music. Aleesha was chosen as one of the 6 artists to perform her award winning song, "Love's a Boomerang." Six countries were chosen with thousands of applicants from around the world. And guess what, Alicia was chosen to represent the United States graciously being one of the 6 final contestants/countries. Aleesha performed at the legendary Viña del Mar Festival in Chile with an overwhelming response by the audience and the media. South America’s biggest and most renowned music festival which is as big as the Grammy's and Coachella takes place at the Quinta Vergara Amphitheater in Viña del Mar in front of a live audience of approximately 20,000 people. It is broadcast in 66 countries worldwide and reaches a TV viewer audience of about 100 Million. She opened for Sting, Pitbull, Calle 13 just to name a few. In Chile she also had press releases for Chilevision and Pepsi sponsoring the event. Aleesha was interviewed on many tv stations, newspapers, radio stations, and red carpet galla events in Chile. A&E televised the 3 day concert live. Radio stations across South America started to pick up the song for rotation. The song, “Love’s A Boomerang” was also recently featured in TV Series including “Smallville”, “Damages”, “Melrose Place” and “Baxter” as well as in feature films such as “I Hate Valentine’s Day” and “Killer Movie”. Aleesha has also had numerous songs on shows like ABC's "Greek," "Switched at Birth," "Young and the Restless," "Bold and the Beautiful," and even MTV's video game "Wheelman." Alicia was part of the first annual Univision Summer concert, LA's H2O music festival. Aleesha was picked my Univision and Chevron as part of the top 25 breakout artists of 2012 and placed as the top artist where she sang 5 songs and opened for Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion. Other acts followed after such as John Legend and Gym Class Heroes, Paulina Rubio, Ozomatli, and Paty Cantu. Alicia performed a complete 30 minute set with her own professional background dancers and music and was featured as a break out artist in the media for Univision. Alicia also opened for Mike Jones at Chapman University.
"Loves a Boomerang"
Who's Who at Vina del Mar
[+ Show ]
Who’s Who at Viña: interview with Aleesha Written by Ben Angel on March 1, 2011. Aleesha at perfor...Who’s Who at Viña: interview with Aleesha
Written by Ben Angel on March 1, 2011.
Aleesha at performing at the Viña del Mar festival
Aleesha at performing at the Viña del Mar festival
I Love Chile’s Valparaiso correspondent, Ben Angel, interviewed Aleesha, the United States’ entrant into the International Competition of the 52nd Viña del Mar music festival, along with her manager and writer of the song “Love’s a Boomerang”, Peter Roberts.
ILC: You listed the Beatles (early psychedelic music period) and Judy Garland as favorites on your website, but I hear more soulful influences in your music.
Aleesha: At age 13, I was given classical voice lessons, doing arias, and that changed my vocal range. In college, I got into blues, listening to artists like Ella Fitzgerald, and into genres I never naturally listened to like Pink Floyd or country music.
Music is not something I just consciously perform. Half the time I’m just singing without even thinking about it. Sometimes it can be annoying to people I am close to. But music has always been my passion. I’m never bored with it. I’m always interested in learning about new musical styles.
ILC: At age 5, what were your favorite acts? What records did your parents buy for you?
Aleesha: My parents didn’t buy me records of popular acts, but instead exposed me to opera, with artists such as Andrea Bocelli (Italian tenor, famous for his studio album “Sacred Arias”). When I was older – there used to be a record store where I lived called Wherehouse Music, and they used to have clearances on old albums. So I picked up on bands like The Mamas & The Papas and one-hit wonders from the 1960s and 1970s. I didn’t reach out into mainstream pop until I was in eighth grade, when friends introduced me to the music of Britney Spears. That was the first time I got into commercial pop.
ILC: And what about, say, at age 15? What music were you into?
Aleesha: In high school, I became heavily involved in sports – in soccer, I was actually scouted for the Olympics. I also had an acting part in the film “Bring It On” (listed as Alicia Michelle Sassano in the Internet Movie Database, cast as “Be Aggressive Girl”). In my sophomore year in high school, I had to withdraw from choir. I continued to take vocal lessons privately, but never really learned to read written music until college.
In college, I went through a lot of turmoil. It was a traumatic time in my life, and music saved me from the worst of these experiences and emotional hardships. If you are going to be a good musician, it’s unfair, but you must go through some bad experiences. How can you be soulful if you don’t go through some hardships?
ILC: You mention on your website that your grandfather Eugene Capuozzo is your biggest role model. How did your grandfather inspire your work as an artist?
Aleesha: My grandfather inspired my whole family. He woke everyone up with happy words: “Wake up, it’s a new day!” He never complained about anything. In any emotional crisis for me, he told me to be grateful for the things I have. He was always there for me. He always created warmth and love.
ILC: You also wrote on your website that you received a musical scholarship from Chapman University (a private university founded by the Christian Church – Disciples of Christ). Could you describe the criteria involved?
Aleesha: At the Hollywood Bowl, they held auditions. At the audition, you had to read music as well as have a good ear. For me it was like on Drumline, where the main character gets into the university and they find out he doesn’t read music. I trained with a lot of different singers, and my range in the morning is around a high F.
ILC: “Love’s a Boomerang” is a much different song from your other four works that you have on your website. It seemed more a high-energy song as opposed to a more sensual work. Would you use this song in performance again?
Aleesha: I think I performed the best I ever had with this song. The vocals were right on. I love the song. I think it’s soulful and I am a high-energy person.
I love soulful slow songs as you can show off your voice. But I also love high energy. In the United States, people love to get up and dance. “Love’s A Boomerang” is a very catchy, retro and fun song and I still think it was a great choice for this festival.
In general, my experience on stage at this Festival was priceless. Nobody else in the competition did a retro act. And part of the point of the Festival, as I understand it, is to introduce different things to the audience. There wasn’t another jazzy soulful retro song in the contest. If you love and appreciate music, you must love and appreciate it when a song is different.
ILC: Your second performance was rated lower than expected. Was there any answer why from the judges? And are there any lessons that you’ve learned from this competition?
Aleesha: I’m totally fine with my performance. I came here to do the best I could, and to have fun. I’m happy with the experience I had. I didn’t come here to win. I came to show Chile my music. And we had only positive reactions and positive feedback to my music. But besides that, it was an honor to be at such a wonderful festival in a beautiful place like this. It is already a big accomplishment to have been invited to perform here.
We also met so many warm and nice people here, everybody was extremely helpful and we made many new friends. People seem very genuine here. I love that.
Peter: It hurts a little to get such ratings, but the judging was unfair. High ratings on the first night, and then low ratings on the second when the act was performed better on the second night. The organizers could make improvements to the voting – first, make the vote numbers available immediately, the way you see it at other competitions like at Eurovision.
ILC: Would you come back?
Aleesha: I’d come back. I came here to take my music to Chile. I wish everyone well. All I wanted to do here was my best.
ILC: You had a saying on your website that “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity”. Is that applicable here?
Aleesha: I can’t think of how I would have done anything different. To me the saying is about opportunities for something that someone might not be prepared for. An Olympic athlete, if not prepared, won’t run at that person’s best. Our luck in the performance was not from lack of preparation, and not really from lack of opportunities.
As to the other artists, I feel there were great aspects of every performance. Not everyone is going to like you, so you must like yourself.
Though, looking at things now, it would have been a good thing for the Festival if we had won. It would have caused the U.S. press to pay more attention, to recognize the relevancy of Latin American music (in the United States). A U.S. artist in the finals could have helped with that.
ILC: I wanted to review some of your family background and explore what effect it would have had on your performance. You were the second of four girls – any effects?
Aleesha: I am different from my sisters. I am more intense, a more emotional person. I am definitely different. I think most artists are more emotional. But being in a big family – that has allowed me to reflect on what it means to be successful. On life, morals, ethics, I would be much different if I did not have this. Being from a big family has taught me how to be a good person, how to live these values every day.
ILC: You were born prematurely – any effects?
Aleesha: Yes, I was born 2-1/2 months early. I was in the incubator for one month, which is extraordinarily short for such an early birth. I have always been a fire. I’ve always had intensity in my music. Our music (simply put) has balls (“huevos”) in it.
ILC: List for me your three greatest blessings in your life.
Aleesha: The first blessing, I would say, is God. God is the first blessing in my life. I’ve never been one to push my beliefs, but my belief in God helps me to stay positive, be a good person, and be happy.
The second blessing – my family has been a blessing.
The third blessing – Peter Roberts. He has made everything possible for me. I wouldn’t be here without him.
ILC: List for me your three greatest traumas or setbacks.
Aleesha: The first trauma, I won’t say. That’s personal
The second trauma, this is more self-inflicted. I’m a perfectionist. At times I’m my own worst enemy. Sometimes you should simply keep the positive around you.
The third trauma is that I’ve had bad hurtful experiences with guys. But if I didn’t have them, how could I sing about them now? My hurtful experiences with guys have taught me a lot. When you can be happy with yourself, then you can be happy. If you can be happy, you can be successful. Perhaps one of the reasons why people get hooked on drugs is because they don’t have happiness. Happiness can’t be bought.
ILC: What are your future plans?
Allesha: We have an album coming out; it should be out soon. Lots of artists have been performing for years without coming to something like this. I’ve had an amazing lot of shows. And this performance, I went out there and I killed it. I’m very proud of that.
ILC: Anything that I’ve not covered that I should.
Aleesha: Not really. We do have our singles available online.
More information about Aleesha and her music is available online at: www.aleesha-music.com
Los Angeles Artist Lineup
Performance in front of 20,000 ppl
Vina del Mar representing the United States
H2O music festival
I move my hips to the music
set is 30 min (can be longer or shorter if necessary)
can include either full concert with backup dancers that I have or I do unplugged acoustic.
Love's a boomerang