Alena Ciera is an incredible guitarist, songwriter and singer in the Washington, D.C. area – and her most recent single “Change Your Mind” is a pop delight.
She played guitar on Broadway in David Byrne’s American Utopia. If you haven’t yet seen the Spike Lee movie of that production, you’re missing an amazing, uplifting performance.
Alena’s musical influences are impressively eclectic, ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Paramore. When you get to the guitar break in “Change Your Mind”, it’s obvious that this is one artist who’s in full command of her six-string virtuosity – and the song casts a hypnotic spell that’s one of the freshest pop sounds I’ve heard in quite a while.
What’s the backstory on your great song “Change Your Mind”? What led to you writing and recording the song?
I wrote “Change Your Mind” about a previous relationship. We were having troubles in the relationship at the time, as any relationship does, and he was trying to determine whether he wanted to stay or not. I was trying to change his mind about why he should stay by recognizing all the positive things and times we had in our relationship rather than the bad.
What instrument did you play in David Byrne’s Broadway show “American Utopia” – and what was it like being in that amazing ensemble?
I played guitar in American Utopia. Being part of the cast of that show was an incredible experience. I learned a lot from being in that show, and I also made lifelong friends in New York.
Who were your favorite artists and musicians growing up?
Growing up Hilary Duff, Aly & AJ, Miley Cyrus, Santana, and Paramore were among my favorite artists and musicians.
Did you work with Cee Lo Green and Yolanda Adams in the studio or on the road?
I did work in the studio with Cee Lo Green and I additionally performed for Yolanda Adams at an event.
The guitar break in “Change Your Mind” is fabulous! Do you primarily play Fender guitars…and who are some of your favorite guitarists (both current and all-time)?
I once would mostly play Fender guitars, but I’ve recently begun to experiment with different guitar brands such as PRS and Taylor Guitars. Some of my current and all-time favorite guitarists are Orianthi Panagaris (who backed Michael Jackson and Alice Cooper), Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.