Since the early days of punk rock, when the notion that nearly anybody with a small degree of talent might be able to pick up a guitar, sing and write songs, and make an artistic statement entirely on their own—without the assistance of a major record label and its inevitable, large-ish marketing budget—the DIY ethic has driven a surprising number of people to comparative fame.
Count Allison Weiss among them.
The 25-year-old singer/songwriter from Michigan picked up a guitar as a young teen, started writing songs, and following a dalliance with Kickstarter eventually headed out to New York, where she largely spread the word about herself by herself—putting up local handbills advertising performances and gradually building a growing fanbase. An eventual liaison with Lou Reed, who selected her to be a part of his backup band for a European tour, gave her a solid grounding is the entertainment business, and things have been looking up for Weiss ever since.
In Austin for this year’s South By Southwest conference last month, Weiss dropped by Y! Music headquarters and offered up a dynamic early morning performance and upbeat interview, describing for us the making of her just-released album Say What You Mean and her present-day life as a guitar-packing troubadour. Talented and with lots to offer, Weiss is an exciting new artist we’re sure we’ll be hearing much more from.