Alisha Westerman
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Alisha Westerman

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Band Folk Acoustic

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"Hand Over Your Heart - Alisha Westerman"

Meet the multifaceted Alisha Westerman. She has been a solo act for years, but recently she has created a few new projects. Her father, Llewellyn Westerman, is a musician-turned-sailor who resides in the Virgin Islands. He has been a major influence on the Alisha’s laid back, whimsical, Indie, Caribbean, “be-careful-because-hurricanes-do-haunt-the-islands” style. Her vocals have been featured on tracks by Steve Aoki, 60 Watt Kid, 2Mex and Ikey Owens of the Mars Volta. Alisha and her sisters (pictured above) have a band called Mellow Mood, named after the Bob Marley song. In the past year she has moved from Long Beach to Brooklyn and has kept busy by working with a few new friends: Jim Schwartz from Innaway, Evan Prazner from The Shivers, and she recorded “Hand Over Your Heart” with Thomas Shelley.

As if that wasn’t enough work for three people, Alisha also writes poetry that she reads pretty regularly at poetry and spoken word festivals around the country. She has a plethora of youtube videos shot in cafe’s, her bedroom, her car – pretty much wherever. My fantastic picks:

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Discography

2007 Mellow Mood
Label: None

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Bio

Alisha Westerman was born in 1979 on the Caribbean island of St. Croix, and is the sole child of her parents, who met on St. Croix in the 70's. Her father, Llewellyn Westerman, is a Calypsonian known for performing the unique genre of Country and West Indian.

Alisha started with piano lessons in 1985 and picked up the guitar in 1991, learning her favorite songs by The Beatles, The Cranberries and Cat Stephens. In 1998 began writing original songs but kept them mostly to herself. She began performing her originals to an audience in 2001. The guitar has become her sole method of composing.

In 2004, she and two of her sisters, Nikki and Ninah, began performing as Mellow Mood. Their signature sound is tightly interlocking harmonies. They were inspired by the I-Threes, the Carter Sisters, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and AIR. You can see some of their homemade videos at www.youtube.com/alishawesterman

In 2005, Alisha met the legendary late Shane Gooding, a singer/songwriter/musician who taught her to be fiercely critical and deeply appreciative of music. They performed together in venues in Long Beach and Orange County. Shane’s quick and shocking passing from cancer in 2007 compelled her to leave California seek out a creative future in New York.

Before she left the west coast, she recorded the album Mellow Mood, which featured originals composed between 2004 and 2007, and recorded over a period of a couple of weeks the summer of 2007 in Silverlake. It's partly a breakup album and partly a chronicle of grief, and very much a declaration of philosophies and ideals held by Alisha and her sisters. Alisha performed all vocal and guitar tracks live and simultaneously, one take at a time. The tightly interlocking backing harmonies sung by her sisters were also recorded live and simultaneously, onto one track. Bass, organ and percussion was then recorded by Davin Givhan (a talented songwriter and musician), who also mixed the album. The exception is the track Be For, recorded and mixed in Long Beach in 2007 by Jim Schwartz of Innaway and Gang Violets.

On her way to New York she began composing for her next album, Yo, Baby, Yo. The tracks will be in chronological order, and follow a story arc of her departure from California, to navigating New York, then fleeing the city and returning home to the tropics. The title track is about finding herself in the middle of one of the world's most famous cities, shocked and bewitched, dealing with a devastating loss and a profound shift in her life.

An avid reader and linguistics buff, Alisha composes using wordplay and contemporary and archaic slang- favoring words and phrases with multiple meanings.

She has a B.A. in Literature from UC Santa Barbara, and has won several scholarships and fellowships for her poetry, including two LA Times Scholarships and an Idyllwild poetry fellowship. Her music is currently featured in numerous projects by the Paz Turner Creative Group- an NYC-based production company, directing & producing promotional model videos, known as a Video Go See™. She has sung on projects for Steve Aoki, 60 Watt Kid, Shane Gooding, 2Mex, Ikey Owens, Foreign Capitals and Misha, with whom she performed at SXSW 2009. She has a forthcoming music video for "Bone" filmed and produced by Paz Turner Creative Group.