You can find Missy Alcazar jamming at the Shout! House Dueling Pianos Bar in the Gaslamp District of San Diego most nights! Her giant smile and upbeat energy make her a crowd favorite! Missy was born in raised in Highland Park, Los Angeles: an area known for its rich immigrant history and various art movements. A dueling pianist and songstress, Missy is a beautiful soul with a passion and gift for music!
Here’s everything you need to know about Melissa “Missy” Alcazar:
Q: Tell me about yourself:
I was born and raised in Los Angeles as a first generation Filipina-American and the eldest of two brothers. I started playing the piano when I was four. I received a Masters in Fine Arts majoring in Piano Performance! From 2010-2013 I toured as a concert pianist and built my own piano studio in North County San Diego as well as South Pasadena. I was a featured pianist at the “Moster Pianos” Concert at the San Diego Symphony Copley Hall in 2016. I started actively singing and songwriting when I was 28!
Q. You have so much experience in music! How did you start with the Shout! House?
I actually only knew two songs when I got hired at the Shout! House in 2013! The first song I learned for “Shout” was “Hit the Road Jack.” I auditioned and it got me hired!
Q. What was the first song you ever learned on the piano?
The first piece I learned on the piano that I can remember is Minuet in G by Bach.
Q. Who are your musical influences?
I have so many! Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Cage, Franz Liszt, Sara Bareilles, Nina Simone, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, Linda Perry, Etta Fitzgerald, Etta James, Otis Redding, The Penguins…just to name a few.
Q. What is your favorite song to play?
Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman and Killing Me Softly (the Fugees version).
Q. How long do you practice every day? What do you do to prepare for a show?
I practice 1-2 hours a day. Does learning a song in the car while driving count as practicing?
Depending on my mood and what goals are set for the week, I practice scales, sight reading, pop songs I need to relearn and whatever is in my never-ending “Songs to Learn” list for the Shout! House!
Q. What’s your favorite part of playing at the Shout! House?
My favorite thing about playing at “Shout” is the feeling I get when I make the entire crowd laugh and smile without having to think about it. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
Q. Do you ever get nervous before a performance?
Sometimes I get nervous before performing. It depends on what kind of crowd there is. If they’re chatty and aren’t paying attention to the show I get nervous. My pre-show ritual usually involves meditating 30-60min beforehand, warming up my voice, and positive affirmations. I also do light yoga.
Q. Is there anything else you want the patrons at the Shout! House to know about you?
As outgoing as I may seem onstage, I’m incredibly introverted and prefer being at home or hiking in the forest or desert. I’m not a fan of small talk and prefer to be silent and do so when I can. I do my best work when I’m in my own self-created sanctuary space where I can paint, write and create. I’m a hippie at heart and make forest and desert bath trips regularly. I get most of my ideas when I’m on the road driving.
Q. And to finish: what is your favorite quote that you feel describes your music style?
“You’ve got a great voice with an edge.” – Roger Hunt