As the show draws near we were able to sit down with another artist from the American Song Contest, this time it’s Iowa’s representative Alisabeth von Presley! Together we talked about her musical career, how her ASC song was written, and what she learned about herself from her time on American Idol. Read more about her below!
Hi there Alisabeth – welcome to ESC United! We are super excited to have you here on the site today for an interview. For those who might be hearing of you for the first time why don’t you introduce yourself?
Hey rockers! Alisabeth Von Presley here, or AVP for short. I am a pink-haired pop rocker from good ol I-O-W-A and I’m stoked to get this amazing opportunity to rep my state on NBC’s American Song Contest. I’m all about #GirlPower and women supporting other women – and my song aligns with those core values.
Wonderful thank you! And as you mentioned you were announced as the official representative of Iowa for the American Song Contest this year! How has your life been since the announcement was made?
The love I’ve felt from my community has been overwhelming. Kindergarten teachers, old classmates, and people I have never met before have been sending an outpouring of positive messages. It’s amazing to feel so much support from my state and new fans from across the globe.
Since we have such a large international audience, some of our readers may not be super familiar with Iowa. What are some things you think they should know about your state that make it unique?
Iowa is the #1 corn producer in the entire nation! We’ve produced musical acts that range from the heavy-hitting rock group Slipknot to crooner Andy Williams, so we are musically all over the map. As for the landscape – it’s flat as the eye can see, but I find it refreshing. Wide open spaces for us Iowa artists to create something that really sticks out.
I feel like every artist has an “origin story” – that moment in their life where they realized they had a love for making music. When did you realize your passion for performing and when did it turn into a career for you?
I remember being a little girl and my family would pay me a penny for every Christmas song I’d sing. I knew I wanted to be a performer my entire life, I never had any doubts that the stage was my forever home. I’ve been blessed with the awesome opportunities that have come my way, but they didn’t come without years of practice, rehearsal, sweat and tears. Making it in the music industry is challenging, but knowing that you have a story worth telling that might help someone else get through a difficult time in their life is what gets me up every morning.
I remember that you participated on American Idol back in 2013 though you were unsuccessful in reaching the live shows. What do you think you learned about yourself as an artist from the show?
American Idol really opened my eyes to the entire world of television. It was expansive and challenging, yet was an incredible experience for a young singer to go through. Being a part of the show really made me consider WHO I am and WHY I am that way. It made me lean further into my own branding, and really accept the differences I possess that make me unique. In a room full of thousands of people how are YOU going to stand out? It’s your uniqueness. It’s your style and your personality. I learned that through my experience with Idol where I was put head to head with thousands of auditioners.
How would you describe your music to someone who wasn’t familiar with your work? Are there any genres you frequently gravitate toward?
I’m a pop rocker through and through. Hot pink hair, sequins, and Keytar solos!! I was raised on a well-balanced diet of Pat Benatar and a plateful of glitter. Often I am compared to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and I’m 100% absolutely ok with that!
What is one thing that our readers would be surprised to learn about you? Like a hidden talent or passion that isn’t visible on your website or social media?
Oh my – a hidden talent? I love to be completely present with everyone I meet and really see their heart. I think a hidden talent would be the ability to make strangers friends rather quickly. I love to get to know people. Hear their stories. Listen, accept and love them for who they are. I see people for more than just their outward appearance – I can see their heart as I interact with them. This is very important to me. Everyone is unique and beautiful, and I want them to know that it’s ok to be exactly who they are. I want to help make people feel seen.
Now let’s chat about the American Song Contest a bit more because I want to know more about your participation. How did you first learn about the contest and what motivated you to submit an entry?
I had heard a rumor that the United States was doing their own version of Eurovision and I flipped out! I got an email one day, went through some auditions, and here we are! Hours away from performing on the first ever American Song Contest. Is this real life? I’m still pinching myself daily.
And your recent TikTok tells me that your song will be a girl power anthem! What made you decide to focus on this message for ASC?
I’ve always been an advocate for redefining society’s definition of “beautiful” so this song is absolutely in line with that. It’s entitled “Wonder” and is about being a strong, fierce WOMAN who is ready to put her boots on and take charge of her own universe. I am ecstatic that I get the opportunity to spread the important message of female empowerment on this platform. I can’t wait to share in the #GirlPower with all of the #Wonders of the world!
While I was doing some research on you I noticed that you have a very big background in dance on top of being a singer. Are we going to see some heavy choreography during your performance on Monday?
Monday won’t be showcasing my dance skills as much as I normally do in my live shows, but I have an all-girl rock band and a kick butt keytar solo – and that’s good enough for me!! I’m ecstatic!!!
For our readers who want to connect with you ahead of or after the contest, where can they find you and your music?
Alright, one final question for you – is there a final message you’d like to share with our readers?
The opportunity NBC has given original musicians with American Song Contest is immeasurable. We aren’t out there performing lyrics that aren’t our own, or music America has heard before. It’s one night of our own voices. Our own stories. Bringing you a piece of where we are all from into one space. Music unites us all and I can’t wait to be reppin’ IOWA Monday March 21st!! Let’s go Hawkeyes!!