Thursday, March 3, 2016

Alice Brightsky Thrives as an Artist – minus the Starving

Alice Brightsky began putting music together in her head at a very early age. By 12, she realized her synapses could no longer hold all that inspiration and a new vehicle was needed to develop her lyrical skills. “So I bought a guitar,” she says. Eventually she began producing actual songs and accumulated enough music by college to play the local cafes. So as graduation turned into a job as a paralegal in New York, acceptance to law school put her at odds with her creative side. As such, it could be said in retrospect that faced with this defining fork in the road, she has in the words of Yogi Berra, “taken it.”
In other words, at the time she passed on law school, but in considering all the trials and tribulations of a music career, which was epitomized by a major record deal that fell through in 2006, Alice did still opt for the art - only in a manner that she wouldn't have to starve.  “I realized I’d have to find my meal ticket elsewhere and make music for the love of it,” said the Pound Ridge, New York resident.
Supplementing herself quite well as a paralegal nowadays, music as a career took on a long range evolution that involved developing as a writer. Stepping back in 2006 and entering songwriting competitions, she says, “that gave me a platform to test out what I had long been doing in terms of honing my craft.”
A third place finish later that year got her more than a good showing among one of the judges and really put her in the mix of what she was after. "He really liked one of my songs, we began to collaborate and the chemistry was great," she said.
Over the ensuing six year period, the duo slowly accumulated originals and released an album last May. "It was one long process," she says of Box of Me.
An album’s worth of work, though, may seem a little slight for the time period, but there are plenty of leftovers waiting for the right moment. “Recording is a process. You have to find a producer, decide on the best songs for each album and devote the time. So there’s a whole subset – a rigor and a discipline and I need help with all that,” she says.
Even so, a little dust on an arrangement has also revealed shortcomings that weren’t apparent at first. “I have things that I probably thought at the time were really worthy, but now I look back and say, ‘no I wouldn’t release this,’” she explains.
No need to waste anything, residue frequently suffices as pre-work to a future album.  This has left her positioned to lay down four or five new albums in the near future.
But she doesn’t contain herself to any single genre either, and that can largely be attributed to having a wide range of interests. “I’m a big fan of blues, country and jazz. There’s also pop elements and garage band type stuff as well. I just have all these interests, and I think a lot of my prior life I tried to explore myself in different projects. I had a rock band. I had an Indy Folk duo, a Punk Rock project and a Hip Hop band. So I’ve always tried to jump into all these different genres full force,” she says
The writing then arises akin to an emotion that has finally bubbled to the surface. “It starts with feeling something – whether it’s love or heartache – I simply realize I have to emote it,” she digresses.
From there, Brightsky just keeps banging it out on the guitar – without ever writing anything down – until the story ultimately reveals itself. “It’s an almost painful experience, but when you hit a stride and everything is flowing, that’s an amazing feeling,” she says.
More of that – regardless of whether her profile elevates – amounts to the future she is shooting for. “I don’t have any high aspirations in terms of signing a label or touring the world. I just want to continue to make music, and I want that music to get better as I age. Then I want it to get into the hands of people who I think would really appreciate it and enjoy it. That’s my goal,” she concludes.

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