A SINGER WITH A MISSION
Shanell Alyssa is an indie neo-soul singer, songwriter, and composer residing in Boston, MA where she engages communities through creative experiences including performances, worship, and seminars. Raised in the Black gospel tradition, Shanell attests to the tremendous power of music to transform hearts and unify communities and has been transformed by God through music. She began writing what became her debut EP, Rise Above, after a personal spiritual revival in her college years. Shanell believes each individual must embody their unique story in order to continually redefine their culture and rise above the stigma that the world wants to place around us.
Rise Above EP - 2016
Available on SoundCloud, Spotify & iTunes
The 5-track debut project brings forth a heartfelt blend of soul and jazzy/folk elements. Among many themes touched on in the EP, Shanell conveys ideas of pain and strife in its opening track, 'Can You Handle the Truth', ascribing the problems of the world to the many wrongs of humanity in the face of asking God why there is so much destruction in the world. The rendition of 'Lift Every Voice and Sing', the Black National Anthem, embodies the strength and love that emanates from the history, stories, and lives of African-Americans, and 'Found a Way' talks about Shanell's journey toward finding God.
Shanell is featured on acoustic guitar and piano throughout the EP and is accompanied by her siblings and friends, Alanah Percy, Travis Percy, Kentaia Thompson, Ahmad Daniels, Dennis Martinez, Rich Dolio, and Bradford Bolt on vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, and drums respectively.
Rise Above was recorded and engineered at Rotary Records in West Springfield, MA.
Available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, and more!
August 2019 - Sofar Sounds Artist
JULY 2019 - Finalist in 90.9 WBUR Boston’s search for Massachusetts’ best 2019 Tiny Desk Contest Entry. 254 musicians and bands from MA submitted entries to the Tiny Desk Contest, and Shanell Alyssa’s entry was one among 21 finalists whose entries stood out for originality, feeling, skill, and heart.
APRIL 2018 - Recipient of The Selase Williams Unity Gala award for Social Activism Through the Arts for making an impact on Cambridge, Massachusetts' Lesley University community and Greater Boston communities through artistic forms of expression that embody themes of social activism. Alyssa accomplished this through founding community organization, Reset, and hosting events throughout the Greater Boston area with a goal of bringing pertinent social conversations to the community by way of music and the arts.