I first heard the powerful, yet angelic voice of Nyssa Garcia in January of 2014 at House of Blues Dallas when her old band was opening for POP EVIL and STONE SOUR. I was so blown away by her singing that the sentence I used to describe her was: “Little lady. BIG voice.” That still holds true, and at the age of 18 she and her current bandmates in AWAITING DAYLIGHT are making some big noise in not only the Dallas rock scene and all across Texas, but nationwide as well. I recently sat down with Nyssa to discuss how the band formed, debut EP The Fool, and what the future holds. take a look:
Amps: You were in another band when we first met almost two years ago. Now you’re in AWAITING DAYLIGHT. Did you join or build it from the ground up?
Nyssa: This is something I built from the ground up about a year ago. The bass player Travis (Cromwell) and I had worked together before and I asked him, “Hey, wanna be in a band with me?” And he was like, Sure, OK!” And I asked the drummer Cameron (Carbone) who I knew for a long time, “Hey! Join our band!” (laughs), and he said OK, too. Then Justin (Letourneau, guitar), we saw him on YouTube and I was blown away by his playing so I decided to ask him to join as well. And there it is, AWAITING DAYLIGHT.
Amps: On this new EP The Fool I notice a maturation in your voice. And from a writing standpoint are the lyrics all you, or do the guys join in writing them?
Nyssa: I definitely focused on that more than anything else throughout the writing process. All the lyrics are me and so are the melodies for the songs. The guys do all of the instrumental stuff themselves. I have no part in that at all; it’s not my forte. I do play guitar and piano, but with this EP I just said, “You guys do your thing” and they did. “Fool” and “Don’t Let Go” were the two I did first. I did the melody and lyrics first and then I sent it over to them and I asked their opinions on them, and said, “If you can come up with something around this, please do.” which they did. And of course they were awesome! But the rest of the EP, the other four songs were first written as instrumentals and then I came in with the melody and vocals. That’s how our writing process typically goes.
Amps: You went out to L.A. to play The Whisky a Go Go. You have fun playing there? Not bad for a band barely together a year, eh?
Nyssa: Oh it was SO much fun!! It’s so cool because that was the first time I’d been outside of Texas. Before we were ready to go we had flights booked and it started snowing like crazy, so they got canceled.
We`were like, “We HAVE to do this show. There’s no yes/no/maybe to it.” So, we drove for over a day to get there. We were in this really tight minivan with all the guys’ equipment and drums. It was nuts! It was intersting and intense, but when we finally got up on that stage it was so worth it. It was awesome! And we had flights back home, thank God (laughs)! I’m still very impressed with how we’re doing. We’ve had so many blessings come our way, so I’m really happy with not only where we’ve been, but where we’re going.
Amps: What are you listening to these days in the car or at home?
Nyssa: It’s so strange. We took a road trip to Austin a couple of days ago and I made this whole playlist and the guys in the band were like, “Really??” It went from Justin Bieber to Eminem to TESSERACT and PERIPHERY, it’s crazy. I’m listening to a lot of CIRCA SURVIVE and I just saw them in Dallas recently. They were so much fun! Carrie Underwood (Amps roars with approval), I love her, too! She’s my all-time favorite. Everything about her I just love. I idolize her in that way. I’ve also gona back to some classics. I’m in a BON JOVI phase right now, SCORPIONS, WHITESNAKE. I’ve been in 80’s mode.
Amps: Yeah, when most bands wrote and sang in tune!! That’s a good time to listen to!
Nyssa: (Laughs) a very good time!
Amps: By the way what’s your favorite song on Carrie’s new album, Storyteller? I love it all, but “Choctaw County Affair” is my favorite.
Nyssa: Mine, too! It’s so interesting and cool and smoky. I don’t even know how to explain it, I love it. I also really enjoy “Relapse”. It’s a simple song, but I love simple. That’s me in a nutshell.
Amps: What’s next for AWAITING DAYLIGHT after this EP?
Nyssa: I think we’re gonna do a lot of shows. We took a bit of a hiatus because we were so busy these past ten months. Now that we’ve slowed down a bit I think we all really miss playing live. We’re headed to Memphis, TN to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe there. I think we’re so show deprived right now we just want to do as many as we can everywhere we can. Of course there will be some more writing, we never stop.
Amps: Will the next record be an EP or a full-length?
Nyssa: I’m not quite sure. We haven’t thought that far out yet. I think when we do a full-length we want to do it the right way with all the right songs, album work, like the art and so forth. We don’t want to have a lot of songs on a mediocre album. We want them all to be amazing kickass songs. I think we’re gonna take our time writing and pick the best of the best. I’m not even sure if these six songs will go into the album. Maybe they will, who knows? I love these songs so much, but right now we’re just trying to see what happens.
Amps: What do you do away from school and the band?
Nyssa: Music is my everything. I have three little siblings so if they don’t take up all my time, like taking them to soccer practice or hanging out and playing with them, I will play piano for three hours, or try to learn something new on guitar. I love to challenge myself and kind of make it a point to go a little bit further when I pick up an instrument. I also love working out. That is the best thing ever for me. I’m either working out, playing music, doing homework, or messing around with my siblings.
Amps: When the end of the last song rings out, what do you hope people take away from The Fool?
Nyssa: Oh gosh…you know I tend to write songs that I hope people can relate to. I think that’s the goal, for a lot of people to relate to your songs. And after they hear the last note I hope that they can say, “Okay I can relate. I can feel like she hit a chord with me.” There’s a lot of things going on in the world, and I can’t write about all of it, but I do hope I can write for that one person out there who feels like life is just hopeless and they have nothing else going for them. I hope they can listen to one of my songs and think, “If she says don’t let go, maybe I can stay a little longer,” you know? I hope people develop a personal connection to these songs.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the AWAITING DAYLIGHT fans out there?
Nyssa: This is just the beginning of AWAITING DAYLIGHT. And I will not take “No” for an answer no matter what. I will keep going.
And I just want to thank every single fan that has ever gotten a T-shirt, pre-ordered the EP, listens to our music…just that alone is amazing. I never expected life to happen this way. I never expected to be in a rock band and sing, and want to do that as my career. For some reason God has given me a gift and I need to act on it. I hope one day we are touring the world and I can meet everyone and thank them in person.
Well said, Nyssa. If you don’t know the name AWAITING DAYLIGHT by now, get ready. You surely will before too long. You can grab The Fool EP HERE, and be sure to check their website often for show dates. If they’re in your area…GO!!