By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Atlanta-based, trans recording artist, Alissah, is already well-known in the community as a member of the legendary House Of Brooks. Peach spoke to the talented performer about her role in celebrating Pride globally, her artistic background, and her new tongue in cheek track, ‘Daddy.’
First off, give us a quick introduction of yourself. Who is the talented Alissah?
I’m a Latin Trans recording artist based out of Atlanta. I first moved to Atlanta in 2010 after living in Panama City Beach for eight years. I relocated to Atlanta because of the oil spill in the gulf at the time. I was already established with the legendary House Of Brooks, so getting into this already hard to conquer scene was a breeze, and also being talented kinda helped. Since 2010 I’ve made drag performing my full-time job. Just in these last ten years, I’ve managed to keep a consistent presence in the LGBTQ+ community. My intentions were always to entertain first and educate second. Being a Latin trans woman, I feel it’s important to keep my presence visible, and my voice heard in the American scene. I’m one of the few Latin trans women, who have kept a consistent presence, and I’m humbled by that.
In these times of a pandemic, you are releasing your new, hot track, ‘Daddy,’ and you participated major Global Pride event on June 27. First up, tell us about your involvement with the Global Pride virtual event.
The opportunity was presented to me by my best friend, Kat Graham (actress, recording artist). Alessio Filippelli handled the magic to get me on. It’s a huge opportunity because it’s a global event. Pride has always been a huge part of my being, so to have a virtual pride and to be involved in the first is a major honor. During these hard times, we have to acknowledge all the queens who stepped up and took to their virtual pages to continue to entertain their community. These are the true reasons we can get through these times and still feel the presence of unity. During global Pride, I performed my new song, ‘Daddy,’ for the first time ever.
Now, let’s hear about ‘Daddy.’ What inspired you to do this Daddy fantasy universe?
The song was inspired by the iconic scene in one of my favorite childhood movies, “Kindergarten Cop.” “Who is your Daddy? And what does he do?” I was driving down 85 and just fell into a daydream of what my Daddy (if I had one of course) would be like. What kinds of things he would buy me or trips he would take me on. So that is what sparked the song. The hook is usually the first part of the song that comes to me. “Daddy pays the bills, Daddy Daddy pays the rent.” I wanted this song to be fun but also a hyper fantasy. Most trans women struggle with always being treated as a fantasy, fetish, or secret, so I wanted to have the song be an extension of trans women having the power in these scenarios. The song was produced by Ryan Snow of BSE and was co-written by Ashley Breathe and Nicole Wallace. Two amazing trans women whom I wanted to involve based on their strong views and positive energy.
You are known for your explosive tracks and gag-worthy lyrics. Where you always musically talented?
I’ve always had the talent bug. Like most dramatic kids, I would put on plays and dance at home for my family. When I arrived in high school, I mainly gravitated towards the theatre, where I trained and became heavily involved throughout my high school career. I would always play with music producing programs and would compose and have my sister sing along. My passion has always been clear and present.
What are some of the challenges you have experienced within the music scene?
I started my music career back in 2015 in the all-trans girl group, “The Secret Girls.” From that experience, I started to feel the pressures of the music scene. Constantly being judged by my image, weight, sound, etc. It’s a vicious world. I’ve had to train myself not to look at comments or to let others’ opinions become my reality. Most people just don’t understand that it’s not an artists’ job to live up to what they expect. We just create and are. And that’s the beautiful part about making music that you can escape into any world you want.
What are your thoughts on the BLM movement?
The BLM movement is the beginning of a new world. Changing the world is never easy, but we, as human beings, have to acknowledge that no race is superior to the next because we live together and die alone. No life matters until black lives do. Me being a Latin trans woman, I feel I’m last when it comes to equality, and yet I find the time and courage to fight for BLM. Because it’s the right thing to do.
As we conclude Pride Month, what is your message of Pride during this challenging time in America?
This Pride is different, and we will always remember it. This unique virtual experience is a test to our Pride. We still get up every day and continue to have Pride, not just for one month; this is an all-year-round thing. During these times, especially is when we must be even more visible and vocal. We will all be heard, and we will continue to be prideful one movement at a time.
‘Daddy’ by Alissah is out now on all streaming platforms.