Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Alyssa Ruffin. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Hi Alyssa, thanks for joining us today. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a creative/artistic path professionally?
When I was 5 or 6, my mom had competed in a singing competition in Iowa, and made it to the finals held at the iconic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. I didn’t get to attend, but it was televised, and she brought home a recording of the entire competition. I remember watching it back with her. She sang “The Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler. There was also a little girl in the competition who sang “All My Ex’s” by George Strait. I was already singing, but this was one of those defining moments for me. I was inspired by my mom, but seeing another little girl up there doing it, ignited my fire. I remember telling her “Mom, I want to sing”. From then on, my mom put me in every singing competition, talent show, fair and festival she could find. The Bill Riley Talent Show held at the North Iowa Fairgrounds in Mason City, Iowa, was my very first stage appearance. I sang “Little Girl” by Reba McEntire.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I started singing Country music as a child. I covered everyone from Tanya Tucker, Patsy, and Reba, to Lorrie Morgan, Terri Clark, and Dolly. I was mostly inspired by Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and LeAnn Rimes. As I grew older I leaned more towards Pop and R&B music inspired by Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Brandy, Whitney Houston, Joss Stone, and Alicia Keys. I’ve always been a channel flipper, so my listening preferences are equally as eclectic. My first cassette tape was Michael Jackson, my first CD was Alanis Morissette. I absolutely loved No Doubt as a pre-teen, and eventually found Paramore, Amy Lee, Pat Benatar, and Heart. I became fascinated with learning different vocal styles, taught myself to yodel, adlibs and vocal runs, growling, and added a little grit, and soul to my singing style. I found inspiration everywhere, and learned to appreciate all music. My mom always had a variety of music on the record player growing up. She played everything from The Osmonds, Faster Pussycat, and Bon Jovi, to Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and Whitney Houston. I spent a majority of my life singing Pop and R&B, I fronted Pop, Rock, and R&B bands for several years, and in 2020 I decided to go back to my Country roots. I am blending everything I have learned over the years, into my melodies, lyrics, and music style.
I have accomplished so much in my music career, before ever releasing original music. I’ve opened for Country Music Group Sawyer Brown performing for 30,000 patrons in Valley City, North Dakota, I’ve opened for Country Music Group Confederate Railroad performing for 10,000 patrons at the ABATE of Iowa – Algona Freedom Rally, Hinder, J.R. Richards of Dishwalla, and Hip-Hop Artist Coolio at Sunshine Studios Live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and AMA Award-winning Rock band Firehouse at The Venue in Denver. I performed with my mom for the Legendary Buddy Holly’s wife – Maria Holly at a Buddy Holly Memorial Anniversary event at the Diamond K in Clear Lake, Iowa, performed with Legendary Musician and former lead guitarist for Wilson Pickett – David Panzer, and guest performed with Scott Wilson of Saving Abel at Herman’s Hideaway in Denver, Colorado. I’ve performed for the Global Green “Music For The Planet” benefit concert along with Grammy award-winning Lisa Loeb, Taylor Dayne, Paula Cole, Jody Watley, Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls, and Vanessa Bell-Armstrong. That being said, everything I have accomplished, I have worked for and done all on my own. To this day, I still do not have a manager, booking agent, or PR team. I have accomplished everything on my own. I am so very proud of that. I have worked very hard, for many years!
I am working with multi Billboard award-winning Composer and Producer Kitt Wakeley on an upcoming single “Can’t Cry Anymore”, and I’m working with award-winning Music Producer Scott Wilson of Platinum selling Rock band Saving Abel. My upcoming singles “Enough” (nominated for a Songwriter Achievement JMA Award), and “Where I Need You Now” feature Kent Slucher (Luke Bryan) on drums, Scott Wilson (Saving Abel) on bass, guitar, and vocals, and Nashville Pro-Steve Hinson (Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood) on banjo, mandolin, and steel guitar. I recently signed a distribution deal with Aurally Records. Aurally is a Sony Music subsidiary label powered by The Orchard. I am so excited to see what the future holds!
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
Being able to connect with the listeners through my music is so rewarding. Whether it be a song I wrote about surviving trauma, getting through a heartbreak, dealing with a cheater, or just having a good time, I love that people find my music relatable. I love providing a little bit of healing, love, or fun through my lyrics. I think as an artist, that’s all we want is for someone to connect with our stories, and touch their lives in some form.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
I have so many personal goals. This all started with a lifelong dream turned reality. My mission is to provide a little bit of hope, a little bit of love, and a little bit of fun through my music. I want to inspire others and remind them that they can do anything they set their minds to! I’ve said it so many times, but coming from someone who has been broken and bruised, childhood homelessness, survived childhood sexual assault, survived childhood trauma, domestic violence, attempted suicide twice, faced anxiety, depression, and PTSD head on…I was able to turn it all around for myself. I was able to gift my children and myself with the woman I am today. God definitely had my back through it all, but I did it! Now I advocate for others. My mission is simply to educate, empower, encourage, and inspire.
I do have a couple of personal goals I’d like to meet. I would love to complete a US tour. I’d also like to tour the UK, Australia, Canada, I would LOVE to do a USO Tour for the Troops! I’d like to become a Recording Academy Voting Member, and an Academy of Country Music voting member. I’d like to perform at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, the Troubadour in Hollywood, and I have a few other goals I am already working on!
- Website: www.alyssaruffin.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/alyssaruffinmusic
- Facebook: https://facebook.com/AlyssaRuffinMusic
- Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/alyssaruffin
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyssaruffin
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/alyssaruffin
- Other: TIKTOK: https://tiktok.com/@alyssaruffinmusic LINKTREE: https://linktree.com/alyssaruffin
TR Photography – Ogden, IA