Alex Vissia is making things happen. All the things, it seems.
The multi-instrumentalist alt-pop singer and songwriter is recording and performing music under her stage name, VISSIA. She’s also filming, starring in and producing videos. Interviewing fellow artists. Running a weekly YouTube series. Writing feature stories. Teaching music. Dabbling in graphic design.
The pandemic may have spurred some of these pivots, but Vissia has never been one to sit back and watch the world go by. “I’ve just been doing music nonstop since I was a kid,” she says. Her first band, formed with her two sisters during their tween years, introduced her to the industry and set her on the songwriting path when she was just 11 years old. A MacEwan University music diploma spurred her to set out on her own, on a career she launched just after graduation, with her first solo album and tour of western Canada.
A decade into that solo career, Vissia says, “My sisters are still a big part of my music. Andy has her own band, but tours with me as my manager and sings backup, as well.”
The two sisters were just headed out on a Canada-wide tour in March 2020, having made it to B.C. before being forced to call it quits and head home. The months that followed, bringing these mountains of projects for Vissia, were thoughtful as well as productive.
“For two seasons I did a weekly Instagram thing where I interviewed other artists, called Making Out With VISSIA—just checking in to see how people were doing,” she says. “We’d chat, and they’d play a few songs. It was really interesting to step into that role, and we had some great conversations. I got to talk about how people were really doing; and if they were struggling, we talked about what was really helping them.”
Getting to know other artists, and connecting those artists with a new audience, is a big driver for Vissia. With a new STORYHIVE grant she has grand plans to spotlight local talent. “I’m doing a series of eight 20-minute long videos, featuring a different artist in each episode. We’ll tell their story, talk about how they came to their music, and have a couple live song performances,” she says. “I’m really interested in presenting it in a way that people watching can have more appreciation for artists in their community.”
Interwoven with this impassioned work for others, she’s somehow found time to work on her own music, too—wrapping up production on a music video, finalizing a full-length film of collection performances, and hitting the road again.
At the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival this past winter, she found herself on stage with a full band for the first time since that abandoned tour, and remembers, “I definitely had some show jitters because it was a new thing, but it was really fun.” Vissia was just glad to be able to connect with fans, one-on-one. “You really can’t recreate that personal experience,” she says. “It’s just incredible.”
Visit vissiamusic.com to learn more about the non-stop dynamo that is VISSIA. You’ll find recent and upcoming projects, including videos and music releases, and a full tour schedule. And you can attempt to keep up with her whirlwind production speed on Instagram: @vissia_3 and YouTube: @VissiaVEVO.