When I saw Alyssa Raghu show up on my TV for American Idol Seasons 16 & 17, my jaw hit the floor. Finally! Brown girls had some representation and were being noticed for our incredible efforts and Alyssa Raghu did just that. She took the stage by storm and sang like an angel and moved her way up to the top 8! Since then, Alyssa has been hard at work recording at the studio in LA and taking off her solo career with songs such as “Lie 2 Me” & “Lie 2 Me Remix” & “Soul is in LA”! Check her out @alyssaraghu
Interview with Alyssa Raghu
1.) How did you get into singing? Who motivated you?
Singing was always part of my routine as a kid when doing anything, so it’s always had a place in my life. There was never an official decision because it was part of my identity and was therapeutic for me when I was younger! My dad saw how passionate I was about it and encouraged me and showed me some of his favorite r&b artists.
2.) What are some of your favorite genres and what’s one song that you learned first and holds a place in your heart?
My favorite genres lean towards R&B, Soul, and dance music. I remember learning “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis for my first paycheck at 14. It felt really good to do what I love and get paid for it.
3.) What’s one of your favorite songs that get you going when you’re happy or sad?
“Bad Girls” by M.I.A. will always be my pump-up song. It oozes swag no matter the occasion.
4.) How did you feel when you got a spot to be on American Idol? How was that experience for you?
I was super excited to be part of American Idol because singing in front of millions and sharing happiness was always my dream. It was hard to find multi-racial role models to look up to growing up so I’m happy I could represent my cultures. Being part of the Top 8 as a two-time semi-finalist is still surreal to me and I’m so grateful for all the support!
5.) How’s your recent solo career going? What are some of your goals for 2021?
My solo career has been doing amazing! I’m happy to be working with a record label on some different projects at the moment and have enjoyed seeing people dance to my latest release “Lie 2 Me Remix” which just hit 34,000 streams. My goal this year is to create more songs that people can vibe and relate to and build an even larger, connected fanbase.
6.) What fun activities did you do during quarantine?
Recording in L.A. can be super fun, but after a long day of filming, I like going into the mountains and looking at the stars. It’s the most peaceful scenery.
7.) How did your music process transformation and change from when you were a contestant on American Idol?
My music process has changed a lot. I sang a variety of songs on American Idol to show my range and different styles. I mainly gravitate towards r&b and dance music because of the way it makes me feel.
8.) What are some things that connect you to both your Hispanic heritage and Indian heritage?
Listening to Selena and similar artists connect me to my Hispanic heritage and remind me of family. I can say the same for some Bollywood tracks that would repeat on Sunday mornings! Most importantly, the food on each side is incredible. Authentic tacos and curry will never get old.
9.) Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
I look up to J Lo, Selena, and definitely Lauryn Hill. They’re so free-flowing, it’s like they’re flying. That’s exactly how I feel when performing and It’s great to have other reminders in the industry like them.
10.) Are your parents supportive of your music career?
My parents are super supportive of my music career. I think their support is what drives me deeper into my work because of how natural I feel when creating new things. They remind me that my mental health comes first before any of this, especially since it can get overwhelming.
11.) What’s your favorite Bollywood movie?
I remember watching “Om Shanti Om” as a young kid and dancing so much I had to catch my breath. That will always be a favorite of mine because of my family watching it altogether.