BRONTE by Allison Strong | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney
Hey Allison! Congrats on your latest release "Bronte," coming out on June 16th! Tell us
a little bit about how music became a part of you and how you got into writing and
releasing original music.
At three years old, I sang into a plastic dollar store microphone that echoed. My grandmother's
church friend, Rosalba, took care of me while my Mom worked during the day and we would
watch Spanish novelas with epic theme songs. I would jump on the kitchen table and perform
them to an imaginary audience.
When I was seven, I began singing improvised lyrics into a tape recorder. Not much structure,
but a lot of heart. It wasn't until my senior year of college that I picked up a guitar and began
writing the songs for my first record.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I come from a musical theatre background, so I admire great storytellers. Joni Mitchell and
Jewel transport listeners with their words. Damien Rice creates soundscapes with arresting
lyrics. The words have to matter as much as the music to make an impact.
The style of guitar you use often in your music is fingerstyle. How did you get into that
style? Do you have any guitar influences?
I learned Travis picking from my first guitar teacher. Growing up in the nineties and early aughts,
I was influenced by ballads like "You Were Meant For Me" by Jewel and "Your Song" by Kate
Walsh, that utilize that delicate fingerpicking style to accompany their intimate lyrics.
You began as a singer and an actor at the same time. Did you ever imagine yourself
writing and performing original music when you were starting out with music?
For years, my dream was Broadway. My mom put me in musical theatre classes early on to pull
me out of my shell, with no intention of my becoming a performer. After my second Broadway
show "Mamma Mia," I felt a pull to tell my own stories. When the opportunity to record my
original music presented itself, I thought, "why not?"
"La Luna," which translates to "The Moon," is a beautifully written song. It's also the
only song in Spanish on this release. You have also mentioned that it was written in
about 30 minutes and that usually, your songwriting takes a bit longer. What is this song
about and tell us a little bit about your songwriting process.
My late grandmother, my Mamita Soledad, has been my greatest musical influence. The pioneer
in our family, she came to this country from Colombia in her forties to forge a future for her
daughters. I owe all the good in my life to her bravery and sense of adventure. She would often
tell me she loved me "hasta Pluton y mas alla"-all the way to Pluto and beyond. When she
passed, I imagined she became part of the sky. In La Luna, I've reimagined Mamita as my
Moon, guiding me through the darkest night of my life, clothing me in stars and cradling me over
the sea until I am reborn as the Sun.
There are times when the Muse visits me, and other times when I have to work hard to eke out
a lyric and melody. La Luna presented itself to me in its full form.
Another song that caught my attention from the new EP is the title track "Bronte." It has
an interesting vibe to it with a mellotron sounding riff in the beginning which also
appears in the chorus melody. The guitar picking in the verses is perhaps my favorite
part of the tune. What was the lyrical and musical influence behind the song?
I spent my adolescence idealizing the tortured love I read about in books-dark Gothic
romances like Bronte's Wuthering Heights, with brooding Heathcliff at the forefront. I chased
that type of love in my early twenties only to be burned time and time again. The song is about
finding your "favorite book" in a person and writing a narrative together. It's part folk song, part
art song with strings and horns hearkening to another era.
A few years ago, you starred in a series called "The Week Of" starring Adam Sandler and
Chris Rock. Being an actress that performs more than just musicals, do you ever
imagine yourself still doing other films/series in future or are you just focused on music
Over the years, I've learned to follow the flow in my artistry. While I have a few acting projects
lined up, I'm happiest creating my own work. The Bronte EP is a homecoming: a return to my
music after a nine year absence. I've married my love of film and music through two narrative
music videos I conceptualized. At the end of the day, I am an artist-no matter the medium.
You have an upcoming release show for "Bronte" on June 13th at Rockwood Music Hall
in New York City, Stage 2. Are there any other upcoming performances/shows that you
would like to promote?
Additional performances will be announced
later this summer. Readers can join my mailing list at allisonstrong.com and follow me on
Instagram @allisontstrong for more updates.
What other plans do you have for 2023 that we can look forward to?
In July, I'm releasing the third and final video from the Bronte EP and this fall, I start recording
my next record. I'm proud to be lending my voice to a few new projects as well.
Is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
My upcoming EP + music video Bronte will be available this Friday, June 16th. You can pre-save
and stream it here: https://ffm.to/p2d2jpm.OIS. Thank you for lending me your ears.
Hailed as "captivating" by Ben Brantley of the New York Times, ALLISON STRONG is an awardwinning singer, songwriter and actor. Her sophomore release Bronte, a six-song EP featuring
her ethereal vocals and thoughtful lyrics, will be released on June 16, 2023.
Strong is best known for her starring role opposite Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in the Netflix
comedy THE WEEK OF, the Emmy-winning series THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL and
Broadway's BYE BYE BIRDIE and MAMMA MIA! Her music and story were featured in Diego
Luna's documentary series BACK HOME, filmed in her family's native Colombia. Strong is a
2023 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Music Composition Fellow.
About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New
Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne
Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with
generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure
to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on