Those around Alesa Moore have always known she’s a singer. Now, thousands and thousands of people around the world know, too.
She was recently awarded a HUG (Helpful Unfettered Gift) Micro-grant to assist her in creating a music video for one of her new a cappella arrangements with local videography company, 12AM Collective.
All of Alesa’s arrangements are done solely with her own voice and the end result is remarkable. Case in point, on May 3, Alesa posted her a cappella cover of Maggie Rogers’ “Overnight.” On May 21, Maggie Rogers re-posted it (SEE BELOW) – with the comment, “i have full body chills. thank you @alesam6” – and the video now has over 134,000 views.
We caught Alesa on a short break from her role as Resource Coordinator at Wray Ward, and posed some post-HUG questions to her. A few things sang true for us. First, she’s a true believer in how creative Charlotte is, and as she puts it, “you don’t have to move to a bigger city just to be accomplished or network with other creatives.” Second, she’s committed to showing people that a cappella can be so much more than people assume. “I’m hoping that this music video flips the script and opens a new world to what a cappella can be,” she says.
And finally, she is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to incorporate a cappella music into the soundtrack of our lives. And for that, we’re grateful.
Q: Tell us about your love of music. When did it start, and where has it taken you?
I think my love for music came from my family. On my mom’s side of the family, ALL of them were involved in the arts in some way. My mom is an amazing singer and she forced my sister and me to sing in choir while we were growing up. The funny thing is, I tried to get out of it when my family moved to the East Coast, but little did I know, the theater class that I was in switched to choir halfway through the semester.
From there, I just became so engulfed in it because I felt comfortable in that space and I didn’t feel any judgment when it came to that form of expression. My love for this craft has helped me understand music in an in-depth way through a cappella; it’s helped me receive awards for beatboxing and I’ve met some pretty dope people.
Q: What does your music mean to you?
Music to me means comfort. Growing up I would always sing in a group, and now it’s so different singing by myself. But at the same time, I feel a sense of comfort because I get to be as creative as I want to, sing as loud or as soft as I want to and do what I love.
Q: Who has been instrumental in helping you grow as a singer/musician?
It’s a long list, but my friends, family, and Berklee College of Music. I have so many wonderful supporters, but I’ll never forget my first solo in the 6th grade. I called my mom crying because I didn’t want to perform, but she drove up, gave me a sweet pep talk, and sat in the back while I sang so that I wouldn’t be as nervous.
My friends and family have been giving me sweet little pep talks and they’ve truly helped me gain so much confidence in myself. At Berklee, I’ve learned so much about the process itself. Because of this wonderful school, I’m able to create a song and produce it myself.
Q: How do you use your musical talents in your work at Wray Ward — or do you?
At Wray Ward, I’m the resource coordinator and I think that my skills within music business really help me in this role. It has to do with juggling a lot of schedules, projects and personalities. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: When you worked with Laura Rabell, did you learn anything in particular, or play with her?
When I worked with (Nashville-based singer/songwriter) Laura Rabbell, I helped her with PR! She taught me a lot about the touring side of the music business, royalties and getting music on streaming platforms. She’s such an amazing woman and I’m SO grateful for her.
Q: Where do you hope to take this?
That’s an amazing question … and part of me still doesn’t know. What I do know is that I want to continue to create a cappella arrangements and have more of an online presence. Performing live would be difficult doing what I do, so if I could write arrangements for other people, that would be amazing.
Q: How did it feel to be Insta-famous?
IT WAS WILD! My goodness, I felt, and continue to feel, so much love from the people who commented and liked that video. Still on cloud nine from that experience.
Q: What do you intend to do with your HUG?
I’ve been working on a new cover from one of my favorite bands (Lawrence) and I’m planning on using the HUG Grant for a music video!
Q: How do you feel about the Charlotte music scene?
I think the music scene is Charlotte gets more and more impressive. The number of open mics around town keeps growing, more venues are bringing in amazing bands to play in their spaces and there are so many Charlotte artists who are sharing their work with the world. I love it.
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HOW CAN I GET A HUG GRANT?
HUGs are $250 micro-grants awarded to individuals or organizations (for-profit or nonprofit) working on creative initiatives that are open to the public in the Charlotte area. HUGs are “strings-free” and are intended to remove a small financial obstacle holding a project or a person back from realizing the potential of their idea. HUGgees (HUG grant recipients) are also eligible to participate in special training events and seminars throughout the year. Since 2017, more than 100 HUG micro-grants have been awarded in Charlotte. To apply for a HUG, visit www.HUGGrant.com
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