CapRadio Classical and Jazz is celebrating Women in Music all month long, including four spotlights on local musicians who have made an impact in our community.
Many singers dream of forming their own band. Being able to express oneself musically is almost always easier when there is a great group of musicians along for the ride.
For Sacramento jazz singer Alicia Huff, it didn’t take long for that dream to become a reality.
Originally from Texas, Huff moved to the area in 2016 and almost immediately found a place in Sacramento’s music scene. She now fronts her own band called Hayez and writes her own music.
Huff recently spoke with CapRadio Host Jennifer Reason to discuss her own musical journey and the others she’s helped along the way.
On her musical background
I’ve been singing since I was 3, in church, and I was born into a musician family. But, what I went to school for was jazz. I kind of meld both of those together and whatever comes out generally is okay, so I've been told.
On being involved in the Sacramento music scene
My first idea was not to be a musician. I wanted to be a voice coach. I wanted to be a teacher. But when I came back up here in 2016, I got involved with a brass band. I met a lot of phenomenal musicians who all said, “you need to start a band.” Being in the music scene has given me a lot of confidence, actually. I find myself stepping into my own more and I feel like a new wash of feelings of like, “yeah dude, we're doing this.”
On Girls Rock Sacramento
Girls Rock Sacramento is a phenomenal organization. I've been working with them since 2017, and I've been a voice coach and band coach with them. But then this last year, I became the admin assistant. [Its mission statement is] gender inclusivity with nothing but love and compassion and space to be your genuine self. From the first day to the last day you watch them grow. We always do a showcase where they write their own song. They write it from scratch and then on the very last day they perform it. And when we first started, we were doing it at Ace of Spades. They’re on a big stage and all the parents are there. We promote it and people come to see the kids. And, they can say that the very first show they played was at Ace of Spades, one of the biggest stages in Sacramento.
On advice to young women in the music scene
Don't doubt yourself and be yourself. There's enough pie to go around, okay. You are you. You are nobody else. That means that you have a unique spin on whatever you're trying to do. So you've heard this person sing it before, they don't sing it like you. And so, that means that you have something unique that the world deserves to hear.
On the impact of her music
Honestly, I just want somebody to feel it. My favorite thing that I've noticed lately is after performing my original songs somebody will come up and say, “when you said this that resonated with me. That song is exactly what I'm going through right now.” Being able to do that and feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable and open in front of groups of people, showing what I'm going through and then them coming up to me after and saying, “yeah, thank you”, that's amazing.