A Bajan dreams of Nashville – from the sweetness of Honey Jam to a charity gig at Harbour Lights – can Sun studios be far off?

When I worked at Yess Ten-Four FM/Barbados Rediffusion which is now Love 104.1 FM/Starcom Network – there was a sponsored hour on Thursday nights at 6:00 pm for Construction & Engineering which had Country music… My ideas of that genre in those “salad days” (as in green and raw) where John Denver or Anne Murray and Charlie Pride, not much else save Johnny Cash.

Martin at forefront by right side, Andrew at left in background is Brad at keys while Sherwin throbs the skins and Bill is strumming for dear life!

But then I said if  I am to be of value then I need to make the show lively, what can I do? I know NOTHING of this type of music, and that is exactly what I did – I took the weakness and made it my strength. I invited listeners to tell me what are hits and anthems for Country, who is new and hot in Country and why that is the case. If you wrote compelling enough, I would read your Letter on the air! From 5:57 pm to 7:02 on Thursday nights, the phone lines of Rediffusion were jammed – I had an enormous hit.

Madonna sang "Vogue" and said 'Strike a Pose!' Well, you don't have to say that to Malissa Alanna twice! this is her recent Dress Rehearsal at home...

Then I was transferred to Star Radio (now defunct) because my father did bad reviews of Senior Personnel at Starcom who were then at CBC and those thin-skinned folk held a grudge, so I got the sticky end… The show was slotted to another announcer who was just as ignorant as I was of the musical genre, but they were too proud to ask me what to do to solve it, so after two weeks of my absence, Construction & Engineering pulled the plug rather unceremoniously on the 60 minute segment – SMDH!

Nevertheless, I was left with a healthy respect for Grand Ole Opry, I didn’t seek it out but neither would I shy away from it if it reappeared in one form or another… Nowadays – Country music has kith & kin with the style called Bluegrass and there are Lite versions of Country with a Pop verge such as Lonestar, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood and many more…

Good Lord, it's Santa Claus' outside child telling Malissa Alanna she is such a good girl that Santa will try hard to make her wishes come true before next Christmas, LOL!

What about Barbados? If you go to any Karaoke sessions, of which I am a kind of addict, you will hear many people do their own stylings of Marty Robbins, Skeeter Davis, Johnny Tillotson, Wink Martindale (Yes, the game-show host, he did the tale of the soldier whose deck of cards was a Bible & almanac) and even the Eagles earlier more Country driven editions of the Rock-fused compositions are tried out by more brave or less sober Barbadians over the weekend.

Has anyone actually sought to compete in Country’s arena from here? Funny that should be asked, as the answer is “YES!” If you went to Honey Jam and checked out all of the guests then you’d know about Malissa Alanna who took everyone by storm, even Barbados Today actually got open enough to lend her an ear and also be impressed. You can also be impressed and do a good deed by going to Harbour Lights for Saturday night when there is a musical fund-raiser for Derek “Driller” Gill and Malissa Alanna will be one of the acts playing for all to hear…

Finally, into the tune and unaware of the camera...

What is not to be impressed about? Her band has a number of seasoned professionals backing her soaring and dipping Nashville-esque tones: Sherwin on the drums is straight from days with Square One & Alison Hinds; Martin apart from an astute businessman with a refreshingly straightforward manner is an amazing Bass guitarist; Bill from Troubadours International on Rhythm guitar along with Andrew also on strings who many recall with Merriboys then Ivory while Brad not only is Keyboardist & Musical Director, but is the designer of Malissa Alanna‘s website which is growing exponentially every day!

There was a full dress rehearsal for Malissa Alanna and the band recently, their correct name is The Malissa Alanna Band, and family, friends and neighbours were amazed – so was I, truth be known, I expected another proud parent’s rant but no there is pure skill here and talent behind it, so watch out Tennessee!

Martin is a seasoned Pro and has heard many a sob story, but he recognised Malissa Alanna's talent immediately and has become like a surrogate parent and very protective of Malissa Alanna and what she can do with pipes!

The Malissa Alanna Band have been performing together for just under three months, and have gelled to the point where they pull pranks on each other and behave like a family who has been chillaxing for years. There are local groups who have been together for 2 years and have not done so – although on average the adaptation of most band members in any given genre is about 6 months at least. Do not take my word on it, head for Harbour Lights tomorrow night, this place is one of the favourite haunts for CBC-Radio’s Andre Harewood, so go and open four things – your mind, your heart, your wallet and your throat for ’nuff drinks!

Will Malissa Alanna be tackling social or political issues in her songs in the near future? This was one of the questions I posed to her when I got the chance to sit down with her and explore what makes Malissa Alanna tick, she laughed and indicated not very likely at the moment, as she is 15 her main thing is boys and relationships by way of tune’s topics.

She also is not “ON” 24/7, while her schoolchums push her choice of career, they make sure she still has Teen time and a happy childhood, both key components to a well rounded individual.

If you visit http://www.malissaalanna.com/ you can hear her interpretation of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats"

How did Malissa Alanna know what she wanted to do? She revealed she didn’t want her parents to know at first {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

When she was 7 her father passed by her room and heard Kelly Clarkson playing but Malissa Alanna’s voice overriding, shy she tried to hide her talent until she was 10 and her family were amazed and encouraged her from the outset.

Can you imagine a Kentucky crowd grooving to Malissa Alanna and then she lets go at the end of the concert, “Thank you, Alla Wunna!“??? Man, I would pay to see that, LOL! She not only sings but she writes and has been for the last three years {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Whether it is melody then lyrics or the lyrics then a melody, Malissa Alanna composes a song in its entirety before she puts pen to paper.

She is not kidding when she says anything inspires her, do you know she is starting to do a romantic tune based on Vitamins? {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO: All Rights Reserved © Malissa Alanna – 2011};-

A tune based on Vitamin C chases away colds and if you wanna be with her then you gotta clean yourself up like how the pill takes away flu, wow!

Fashion plate, even at rehearsals! Don't envy her, after this it's homework as school remains a Priority...

If you were stunned with a taste there, then imagine what the full effect of her vocal majesty is like? Bay Street after Government Headquarters’ traffic lights and next door to Coconut Car Rentals is the place to be Saturday night, you do a charitable deed and you check out Barbados’ next sensation carving her own path to music via Country, if a truck driver could make Sun studios in the 50’s {Elvis} why not a Bajan school-gal in the 21st century? Globalisation, baby!

4 Responses

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  1. Major thanks for alerting Bajans about this young talent by doing the blog post. I will tell my cousins about it.

  2. Here in UWI and browsing during class time so I discovered your site from Free Press. Your ads are not normally what I find appealing, however your music review absolutely made my day. Thanks, intend to go.

  3. I am so glad I went! When you doing a follow up?

  4. It was amazing! Hurry up and let people know what happened that night…


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