By Alexis Rothenberg, CBS 62/CW50 Intern
“I think of myself as a Divine Instrument Vocalizing my Ability (DIVA),” said Alise King, one of Detroit’s latest up and coming soulful singers. Being the second oldest out of nine children, Alise used the power of her voice to stay out of trouble and express herself. Alise started singing at the age of 10 at her church and in school. Since then, she has taken her passion and turned it into a career. Her motivation for music allowed Alise to have her own voice to feel free.
Alise is a Detroit artist who is working hard to keep the history of Motown alive. In 2016, Alise won “2016 Best Local Artist” by The Best in Black Detroit Awards and won “Best Female Soul Artist of The Year” by The Detroit Honor Awards. She continues to push herself and uses the support from her family, friends and music to keep her going.
We recently asked Alise a few questions about her start and continuation of her singing career.
What motivated you to sing? What was your inspiration?
I became motivated by music because it allowed me to have a voice. I felt free when I would sing and I still do.
You’ve done very well with your career so far, so many awards and opportunities. Did you do all this on your own? What was it like?
I’ve come a long way from first starting out and I have a long way to go. Nothing has come easy to me at all. I’ve been taken advantage of, scammed, etc. But instead of staying down, I got up and got to work. I manage myself, I do my own booking, promoting, etc. I work really hard. I go out and network with people. I am an artist 24/7 so I always uphold myself in a professional manner, but I in no way do everything alone. I have a great band that backs me and helps me convey the sound of Alise that you hear. I have fans and supporters that encourage me and support me in all my endeavors. Winning my awards have meant the world to me and I pray to win more. But I don’t do music to be rewarded. I do music to bring love, joy, happiness, and healing to the world. I am blessed for the opportunities I’ve had and for the ones headed my way. I take nothing for granted.
How does music heal the soul? Have you ever found yourself stuck and unsure of your singing career?
Music is healing for me because through the lyrics, melody and harmonies, I escape in the music away from the real world. It allows me to dream free of stress, free of problems, bills and whatever else life can throw at you. Yes, music is no easy business. There have been plenty of times where I quit or felt uncertain. While music is beautiful, the business side of it can be very ugly.
What advice do you have for other performers just starting out?
I would say educate yourself on the business of music. Learn as much as possible. Always work hard and create from the soul.
Alise King has opened for artists Bobby Brown, DRU Hill, NEXT, and Kelly Price at Detroit’s Masonic Temple. You can preview her recent release, “My Moment,” here:
Alexis Rothenberg is in her final semester at Eastern Michigan University. This April she will graduate with a Bachelors of Science after completing Eastern’s Electronic Media and Film program. Throughout her four years at Eastern Michigan University, Alexis has discovered her passion for screen writing, producing and costume design.