San Antonio Music Awards Critic's Pick: Alyson Alonzo

click to enlarge Alyson Alonzo - Jade Hernandez
Jade Hernandez
Alyson Alonzo

For those who consistently attend local music events, San Anto soul crooner Alyson Alonzo has been one of the most mesmerizing vocalists and pure musical talents in town. Her voice, which draws comparisons to Joni Mitchell, Billie Holliday and Amy Winehouse, is as gravelly as it is sweet, as voluminous as it is intimate and as brawny as it is delicate. Singing her own ever-blossoming songs or any of her well-chosen covers, she has the unteachable power to truly arrest an audience, reaching into the core of a song and dragging out its deepest emotional immediacy.

Despite the fact that she's been putting in great work since 2010, it was her show-stealing performance of "Lucky" at YOSA Presents OK Computer Live, back in June, that cemented her greatness for some and introduced her to so many more.

Now, Alonzo finds herself on the cusp of enjoying the musical success she has always worked for and deserved. Unequivocally, she is poised to take advantage.

In a recent email exchange, Alonzo told the San Antonio Current that her success is not a fluke. "I attribute it to a lot of hard work, dedication and diligence," she explained. "I'm also incredibly stubborn and I absolutely refuse to give up on my music career and my professional goals. I don't see a future for myself and my life that doesn't involve my music," she continued. "Hell, I want a Grammy some day and nothing is going to come in the way of that."

How's that for not mincing words?

At the moment, as we eagerly await her next move, Alonzo is keeping increasingly busy with shows and recording projects. She has revamped her Sugar Skulls project, which has been steadily adding members to its original core of Alonzo and guitarist Jeff Palacios. The band just released a new single, "Oh, I'm Sorry," last Thursday. Alonzo reports that Sugar Skulls will drop an EP by early 2016. Meanwhile, she's also working on a solo, electronic music project and a "super-duper gay side project" with local rapper/musician Chris Conde.

Alonzo's reply, when I asked her about her ultimate goals in music, pretty much sums up her entire essence as a musician. "I don't really have an end goal as far as music is concerned," she replied. "There is no end. I'll stop singing when I'm dead."