10 Questions With Allison Geddie

Interview By: Victoria H. (Urban/Pop Editor)

Music has always been in Allison Geddie’s blood. At twelve years old she was already sowing the seeds of what has grown into a love of composing and performing music. Schooling herself on artists like Ben Harper, Alanis Morisette, and Rob Thomas, she picked up her father’s guitar and began instinctually writing her own songs. By fifteen she booked herself a gig at a local café in Connecticut, and her music career was born.

Allison’s stunning presence and musical ability is garnering her an ever-growing fan base, which isn’t surprising; serious music fans know a good thing when they hear it. With melodies sometimes delicate and haunting, sometimes raw and unbridled, her lyrics hint at life’s deeper, darker truths – truths that invoke in listeners a powerful and palpable sense of connection, inspiration, and belonging. As a result, she’s constantly booked in clubs throughout L.A and her songs have been featured on ABC’s “The View” and “All My Children.”

At the behest of legendary producer David Foster, songwriter and producer Greg Critchley (whose credits include Michelle Branch, Clay Aiken) enthusiastically took on the task of producing Geddie’s debut album, which features Nelly Furtado guitarist Mike Krompass, and Goo Goo Dolls guitarist Greg Suran.

Geddie’s intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics reveal stunning layers of her vulnerability, and are often reflective of relationships and transitions in her life. She says, “When I was seventeen I played a song for a girl who was a few years older than me, and she had to leave the room because she was crying. And I discovered that people can relate to my music, and I felt honored that someone really got my songs, that she was living inside of my words. I felt heard.”

Geddie’s signature style reveals itself in melodies and lyrics that often take unpredictable and surprising turns, riveting the listener with stunning depth, power, and beauty, haunting them for days and weeks to follow. Her songs range from the self-effacing “Fixing Me” where she writes: “I’m trying to live and let be/ but I can’t control my thoughts./ I want to be true to you/ but the liar calls the shots./ I try to be everything that I know I want to be./ It feels like life is just one long road of fixing me.” to playful lyrics of her generation in songs like “What we Lived For (The Starbucks Song)” where she croons: “We’d always drive our car to Starbucks…/ and we’d look for our fathers in 19 year olds.”

As for her first record, Everything You Don’t See, she says, “I wanted to make a beautiful album. I have a wide variety of songs, and I wanted to keep the beauty theme running throughout. We added cello and chimes and piano. I wanted to make sure that the album stayed close to the way I wrote the songs on the acoustic guitar, organic, yet with all the added elements of the band.” The songs are at times slow and dark, at times riveting and raw. Her refreshing vulnerability takes us to a place where she is willing to courageously bare her naked psyche, like the album’s title suggests, letting listeners in on her most private emotions and thoughts.

The range we see from Geddie in her first album is both masterful and fresh, just like her performances, with a sense of consistency not usually seen in a debut record. With her rare combination of deep intelligence and stunning beauty, she has simultaneously created a classic sound that seems warm and familiar, and yet, is completely original, destined to win hearts from the get-go.

CWG: What was it like to be 15 years old and booking your own gigs? Did you find it hard to be taken seriously by the “old guys”?

I actually only played one show in High School when I was 15 years old. I asked my parents if they could give me a ride to Bridgeport one night and they asked, “Why??” And I said, “Because I’m playing a show at the Acoustic Cafe” and they said “Doing what??”

Haha… you could say I was a “closet singer/songwriter”. It wasn’t difficult to be taken seriously by the “old guys” because I looked like I was 22 when I was 15.

CWG: How does it feel to get David Foster to help find the producer of your album? What have you learned from him?

David Foster is an amazing individual. I brought my guitar up to his studio and played him a few songs and he then asked among his people to find a producer that would be a nice fit for me. He taught me that success is relative.

CWG: When people cry to your lyrics or say how much a song touched them, how do you deal with that?

Sometimes I start crying with them! It becomes a moment of complete understanding on both parts. If someone is touched by my songs, that is really the highest compliment I can get.

That makes it all worthwhile. We all just want to feel like we are not alone so when someone relates to my music, there couldn’t be anything more fulfilling.

CWG: What are your musical goals? Where do you see yourself a year from now or five years from now?

My musical goals are to inspire as many people as I can, while staying inspired myself. So long as I continue writing songs, I will keep sharing them. I’m already writing for my second album so hopefully I’ll be recording that a year from now!

CWG: Is there anyone you would like to work with and why?

I’d love to work with Rob Thomas because he is the first songwriter who inspired me and made me want to learn how to play guitar.

CWG: Do you prefer to perform live or work in the studio and why?

I prefer to work in the studio because I get to see the song come to life in its entirety instrument by instrument.

CWG: Did you expect that your album “Everything You Don’t See” would get praise from the critics?

Did it? haha, well no, not really!

CWG: I like how one of the letter L’s in your name is a tree. What inspired that?

I love trees! They signify growth and life, branching off to different paths – and there is nothing more inspirational to me than nature.

CWG: Are you getting recognized more that your songs have been featured on “The View” and “All My Children?”

Yes, I got a few more fans out of that.

CWG: Your songs are very smart and vulnerable. What is it like to open yourself up to the public in such a way? Do you find your songs to be a form of therapy and/or letting go of the past or hurt?

Why thank you! It has been quite a journey for me to put my music out there for others for fear of criticism and judgement, but I realized that to keep it hidden is in a way very selfish. It has been difficult opening up to the public and being so vulnerable, but my songs are for the listeners, bottom line.

They can do with them what they want, sing along, dance, relate, cry, enjoy, ignore, understand, think about, and maybe get the feeling that they are not alone. So, if I have to expose myself to help someone else, it seems worth the journey.

I do think that songs are a form of therapy. If I’m having a bad day, nothing feels better than playing a couple songs on my guitar.

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