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Detroit Soul Singer Declares That Now is Her Moment

Jason A. Michael
By | 2016-06-09T09:00:00+00:00 June 9th, 2016|Guides, Pride Guide|

It’s an age old story: Alise King got her start singing in church.
“When I was about 12, I discovered that I had a voice,” said King, who grew up on Detroit’s east side and graduated from Kettering High School. “Of course I started singing in the children’s choir at church.”
But by the time she was in the ninth grade, she had moved on to bigger things — and another church. “I wanted to explore going to a church other than with my family,” said King, who switched to a friend’s church. “I started singing in the choir and after about a month I was asked to direct the choir. So I started directing my first choir when I was 14 years old.”
While still a teenager, King branched out and started singing secular music as well. “I’ve always loved secular music,” she explained. “There was no transition between the two because I’ve always enjoyed music as a whole. I’ve never separated the two. Whatever feels good to me feels good to me. It’s all in how you interpret it.”
At 19, she joined her first band, the HTS band, where she was befriended by another singer named Nita B. “I was kind of a tomboy,” King said. “I have nine brothers. I was the girl who wore the flat shoes and the pants all the time. You wouldn’t catch me in heels at all. Then I started going to these gigs and Nita said, ‘You’ve got to dress the part and be a diva. So take that and define what diva means to you.’ Not long after that she passed away, and I found out what diva meant to me. I define it as ‘Divine Instrument Vocalizing Her Ability.'”
Today, King has her own band and she plays all over town, including a recent gig as the opening act for musical legend George Clinton and Parliament Funk at MotorCity Casino Hotel’s Sound Board. She is also working on her first EP, which she plans to call “In the Key of Soul.”
“What people can expect from this EP is everything that I am, everything that I’ve been working for,” promised King. “It took me a while to accept that I deserve the gigs or the opportunities that I was getting. The music business is very harsh, and if you don’t look a certain way or have a certain body type they make you feel like you’re not worthy. So it took me a while to get to that point. Now, with the people I have around me, my wife included, I’ve realized I deserved those opportunities.”
A prolific songwriter, King has written more than 200 songs to date. “I love love, so I write a lot about love,” she said. “I love positivity. I love anything that’s uplifting. I love to make people smile, to encourage people. But I understand that sadness is a part of life as well so I’m a broad writer. I can write about anything. I could write a song about a bird sitting in a tree — and I have. Inspiration comes in many forms and shapes and sizes and when it hits you, it hits you. I carry about a pen and a pad with me at all times.”
So having written that much material, how will King possibly select the songs to include on her EP? “It depends on how I feel in the moment, what’s going on in life,” said King. “Some of the songs I’ve written I have not used and some I may never use. Just like when I walk into an event or a gig, I could have a complete set list of what I’m going to sing. But once I feel out the atmosphere, or feel out the people, that could change. So right now I have a list of songs I want on the EP, but I could go to the studio Tuesday and have a different feeling and change the songs. It’s all about a feel.”
As of now, King plans to release the song “My Moment” as her first single. “I feel that everyone has a time and I feel that right now, in this moment, I feel that this is my time,” she said. “So with this EP I’m kind of baring my soul and everyone gets to see who Alise King is behind the music.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University before joining Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. Jason has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author having written the authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," which he released on his own JAM Books imprint.