Alyssa Kogler"A song cannot be forced. It does not take form instantly. Writing music is as much a journey as life itself. The first steps are taken, first words spoken, and a course or sense of direction is established. There are both failures and successes along the way. Both provide for ample opportunity to grow; to remind oneself of the choices that brought him or her to their current surroundings in the first place. Alyssa Kogler’s sophomore LP, “Never Forget”, is precisely that: a mixture of memories made and lessons learned captured in form of song.
Born in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Alyssa was exposed to a variety of music from an early age - from Billy Joel, James Taylor and Phil Collins to Fleetwood Mac, Simon and Garfunkel, and Amy Grant - some of these influences can still be heard in her songs today. However, perhaps one of the most musically defining moments in her life was at the age of 9, watching her Grandmother play Debussy’s “Clair De Lune” on the piano. It was then she knew she wanted to play as well and from that moment on her musical journey began.
Alyssa started studying the piano at the age of 10. Shortly thereafter, she and her family moved to Vienna, Austria where her passion for music would be greatly enriched. Little did she know Austria would also become home for the next 20 years. At the age of 14 she began writing her own songs and was seen participating in many musical activities, both in and outside of school. From accompanying choirs and playing in church bands to performing at recitals, competitions and concerts, Alyssa became increasingly devoted to her passion for music.
It was precisely that passion that led to her auditioning for music Universities in Vienna upon graduating from High School. This process proved highly competitive and critical, but her perseverance in pursuing her passion paid off when she was accepted into Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts. Thus, her classical studies began, but not longer after, her professors were encouraging her to focus on her songwriting as well. Alyssa continued to write and play while completing her studies, and soon afterward found herself playing concerts ranging from club gigs of her own to opening for international acts such as Roxette and later Fool’s Garden.
In 2006, Alyssa released her debut album, “Not Gonna Let It”- a successful demonstration of her passion for popular music while drawing upon and displaying evidence of her classical training. Reflecting upon this milestone, experiences lived and lessons learned, she realized that the journey ahead involved a future release that was more genuine and piano based. Thinking back to the recording sessions for her first album, she admits to being focused on technical perfection in most aspects of the production. Upon entering the studio for her second record, “Never Forget”, Alyssa noted, “I am quite the perfectionist, but I think I’ve realized that it’s okay to not always have it together. The song doesn’t need to be sung flawlessly or played perfectly in order to reach the listener. I can be real and just sing from where I am. There’s a willingness to let others look inside my life- even if it’s not always pretty.”
During the promotion of her first album, Alyssa and her husband found themselves relocating to Frankfurt, Germany. Not long afterwards she met producer Uli Kringler, who shared her vision and even challenged her to push her limits with an album that is more earthy and acoustic. With this in mind, Alyssa reentered the studio to record “Never Forget” her second cd due to be officially released in the Fall of 2011. The songs are an intimate account of lessons Alyssa herself hopes never to forget (an account made even more intimate by the fact that she was pregnant with her first child during her time in the studio).
And so life is a journey; a journey that can be as distracting and difficult as it is wonderful and fulfilling. Nonetheless, the experiences and lessons learned on this journey are key in shaping and molding us into who we become. “Never Forget” is Alyssa’s way of reminding herself of what has made her who she is now. Certainly it is not the first record to do this, but what sets this album apart from others like it, is that it not only provides a glimpse into the author’s life, but it brings back many of the listener’s own memories that should never be forgotten.