Alaina Nesby - Texas Interview by Claire Plath Nomination and main Photography by Chele Jones Photography Issue 21 - Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: I am nominating Alaina Nesby because she is an extraordinary, talented, humble and lovely human being who is an inspiration to all who know her! Alaina is an incredible singer songwriter and at the time I met her 3 years ago, could play over 25 instruments at the age of 13 (that has probably increased by a couple by now). She is currently going to school (sophomore year) at Akins high school and working on recording her own album of original works. She also assists teaching at Franklin Music Academy. Her musical skills range from classical to quirky to complex R&B and her voice keeps up with it. Click here to listen to her do a live set. You won't be sorry!
Image by Michele Jones - This is from a patriotic shoot in the famous Texas bluebonnets.
How did you first become involved with singing and songwriting? Music has always been a huge part of my life. I began composing at the age of 9 and have been doing so ever since. Songwriting has helped me through a lot.
How do you get inspiration for the songs you write? Composing music is kind of like writing in a diary for me. I love poetry, so it’s easy to write about my personal struggles metaphorically in my songs. My goal is for my music to help others as it has helped me.
Out of all the instruments you play, which instrument is your favorite to play and why? I’d have to say guitar because it’s easiest to perform with. Violin is a close second, but only because I can’t sing and play it at the same time yet.
Image by Michele Jones - This is when I returned to my middle school to perform in a tradition I started a rock-themed orchestra concert.
Tell me a little bit about the opportunities you are involved in toward helping others compose their own music. Well, at the moment I have a paid internship at the Franklin Music Academy. There, I understudy and even conduct some of my own music lessons for kids who are beginning to learn how to play their instruments. My goal for any student I have is to equip them with the knowledge they need to create whatever they want, rather it be musically or otherwise.
What is your favorite memory of performing for others in Austin, Texas? As much as I love performing for large numbers of people, there’s something to be said about performances in intimate settings. No mic, no amps, just me and my guitar. One of my favorite memories isn’t from that long ago. On the lengthy bus ride home from an orchestra and guitar competition in Houston, Tx, I was asked to perform one of my original songs. It caught me off guard, but I was more than happy to. What made this experience so memorable for me was that once I began singing, the entire bus quieted down and actively listened for the entire song. Some even sang along with me. It felt absolutely amazing to be supported by my classmates like that. The rest of the journey was like a mini concert, I played some more of my songs as well as songs that they all knew. Together, we sang like a choir all the way home.
Image by My mother - This was taken after my orchestra and guitar ensembles won Best in Class and Overall Best at a competition in Houston, Texas.
How have you been able to continue your involvement with music while also maintaining good grades along with it? I am very organized, and I expect only the best from myself. I love learning, so most of the time, school is pretty easy, but the college courses I am enrolled in keep me on my toes. I am at the top of both Orchestra and Classical Guitar programs at Akins High school, so I practice a lot as well. Often, I have to lose a lot of sleep to manage it all, but I find it more than worthwhile to be where I am today.
Who do you find inspiring? My teachers and coworkers are very inspiring to me. My orchestra director, Thomas Mann, is an incredible musician and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. My music tutor, Scott Blanco is not only my teacher, but one of my best friends. He composes and performs complex yet soulful music in his band, Finite Fidelity. My coworkers, Luis Parra and Jesse Hernandez are amazing performers and teachers. I open for their band, GOOD., often.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? I’d like to attend the University of North Texas College of Music.
Alaina will be featured in Issue 21 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!