The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front & Center: Singer-Songwriter, Alessia Cohle
By Gabriella Steffenberg
Country music up-and-comer Alessia Cohle is making waves. With her breakthrough hit “Sunday Shoes” from her debut EP Let’s Get Gone, there’s no stopping this Mississauga, Canada native.
Growing up with a bass playing father and singing grandfather, music is something Cohle has always been surrounded by. Her passion was first sparked at a concert by country megastar Shania Twain, and her love of the genre has only grown over the years, solidified by a multitude of songwriting trips to Nashville, Tenn.
With “Sunday Shoes” receiving considerable airplay, and “Let’s Get Gone” playing well across Canada, Cohle is poised to continue rising in the country charts with her debut LP to be released in early 2016. Keep up with Cohle at www.alessiacohle.com.
WiMN: Because music is in your blood, how has that influenced your musical journey?
AC: My family has been my biggest influence growing up, and still is to this day. They introduced me to the piano when I was four and had me up on stage singing with my dad and grandfather when I was eight. My dad introduced me to many different genres of music when I was young so that I could grow up appreciating all types of music. I’m extremely grateful for that. My family has always supported me and continues to do so – I’m very blessed to have the family I do.
WiMN: You received your Master of Music in Contemporary Performance at the Berklee College of Music – Valencia Campus in Spain. How did your experience studying abroad impact your education journey and artistry growth?
AC: Each and every single person at Berklee Valencia, whether it was a fellow student, a professor, or a member of the staff, had an impact on me. There were so many people with not only different musical backgrounds, but cultural backgrounds as well that infused together to create an incredible atmosphere. Everyone was a constant source of inspiration for one another. I was so fortunate to be surrounded by not only incredible musicians every day, but also incredible human beings.
WiMN: Which musicians do you look up to the most?
AC: I really admire Shania Twain. I think she is an incredible role model for women of all ages and she’s a great performer. I also admire Sara Bareilles. I think her songwriting is incredible – her lyrics are poignant, her melodies are catchy, and her harmonies are not always obvious, which I really appreciate.
WiMN: Your debut single “Sunday Shoes” received solid airplay across the country radio stations in Canada. Describe the feeling you got when you first heard your song play on air.
AC: I felt like a little kid who just learned how to ride a two-wheeler bike! I was so happy that I squealed! I taped it on my phone so I could remember the feeling.
WiMN: What’s your favorite track on Let’s Get Gone and why?
AC: They’re all my favorites! I love the message behind the title track, “Let’s Get Gone.” While I was writing it with my co-writer, Brian Donkers, I was feeling that need to break out of my everyday habits and try something new, or go somewhere I had never been before. I loved writing this song because that feeling came easy to both of us and the melody almost wrote itself – it was a lot of fun to experience that.
WiMN: Tell us something that most people don’t know about you!
AC: I love Latin dancing! A lot of my family and friends know that I like it, but they don’t realize that I actually can dance it pretty well for someone who has never been trained – salsa dancing in particular is my favorite!
WiMN: What can listeners expect to hear from your debut LP, due next year?
AC: I like to put a little bit of myself in each song that I write, which will not change with the debut LP. There will be some new co-writers on it, so naturally there will be some risk taking lyrically and musically, which I’m excited about. However, it will still be true to who I am as an artist.
WiMN: What are your plans for the rest of 2015 into 2016?
AC: There are a lot of exciting things happening over the next little while! My second single, “Let’s Get Gone,” was recently released to Canadian Country Radio and I am continuously promoting the EP by performing around Ontario. I’m honored to be performing at Steve Music Store Toronto’s “Country Day” in support of their “Steve Supports Country” campaign, and I’m also looking forward to performing at Indie Week in Toronto this October. I’ll be heading down to Nashville as well to do some songwriting for the new album, and planning a tour, which will be in 2016. I’m so grateful for where my journey has lead me so far, and I’m excited to see where it goes!