Special to The Sun
From the time she was 18 months old, Alyssa Danley, an Edmond Memorial High School senior, always has been musically inclined.
Danley has sang at church, school functions and sporting events, as well as in musicals. She has even acted in numerous plays. But Feb. 12, 17-year-old Danley accomplished a huge milestone with the release of her first extended play album, “Rosy Cheeks.”
“It’s surreal,” Danley said. “I’m truly grateful for it.”
“I have loved singing my entire life,” she said. “I’m very passionate about it.”
Danley was discovered in September by a music producer in St. Louis with American Anthem Records, which has industry credits with musicians Sarah McLachlan, Fiona Apple and Courtney Love.
“My producer found videos of me singing on a talent website,” Danley said. “I had been wanting to branch out of theater and break into singing, so it was a dream come true. I automatically said yes.”
After months of songwriting, recording and editing, Danley released her album on Amazon and iTunes, which lists “Rosy Cheeks” currently at No. 26 on the singer/songwriter chart list.
“To be honest, I never thought I would see myself on my phone on iTunes,” Danley said. “It’s a wonderful feeling.”
Danley’s album includes four songs, three of which she wrote herself including “Ferris Wheel,” “Not Forgotten” and the love story song, “Rosy Cheeks.”
Danley said “Ferris Wheel” was inspired by one of her high school relationships, but her favorite song she wrote is “Not Forgotten.”
“It’s the most popular so far,” she said. “It really relates most to people. It reassures them that no matter what, there are still people that care about you.”
Danley’s album also features her acoustic and ballad version of The Gaslight Anthem hit “45.”
“I was reluctant to record it, but, once we changed it, it was really meaningful,” she said.
Kevin Gales, a music producer with American Anthem Records, said he is impressed by Danley’s first album.
“Alyssa captured a very real, minimalist type of sound,” Gales stated in a press release. “I know we used samples and synthetic instruments, but the way (Danley) chose to use them kept things quite sparse.”
Danley said she also has received lots of praise for her album from family, friends, as well as from students and staff at Edmond Memorial High School.
“It’s wonderful to have people say such great things,” Danley said.
In an effort to give back to the community and as a special thank you for all of the support she has received, Danley said she will donate up to $500 or 50 cents for every album purchased by Edmond Memorial High School staff and students to the school’s annual fundraiser, Swine Week, which will be donated to the City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City. The final assembly for Swine Week is scheduled for March 14.
As for Danley’s future, she said she plans on promoting her current album and will be attending the University of Oklahoma next year.
“I hope to record another album and do music videos,” she said. “I definitely don’t want to give up on music.”