Sounds Like: Texas attitude, charmingly delivered by an artist who remains true to her roots – even if she's glad she left her small-town life behind
For Fans of: Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert, Lone Star State country music
Why You Should Pay Attention: Raised in the West Texas oil town of Odessa, Alyssa Micaela grew up around music (her uncle was in a mariachi band) and idolizing Selena. To this day, she performs bilingual covers of Roy Orbison and Freddy Fender. But Micaela is above all a country girl, weaned on Loretta Lynn, Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert. When she was a teenager, she met Grammy-winning songwriter Liz Rose, who became a mentor, inspired her to move to Nashville and co-wrote half the songs on her new EP, Cowboys Like That. Produced by Corey Crowder, it includes the 2016 single "Getaway Car," which garnered 3 million plays on Spotify in less than a month. Since then, she's opened for Cam and Sam Hunt and played several shows with one of her idols, Willie Nelson.
She Says: "I can really be myself [in my music]. Because I am kind of a sassy person and my sense of humor is definitely there in 'Getaway Car.' I think people like Miranda, they kind of show artists like myself that it's ok to just be yourself, be who you are and say what you want to say. I watch YouTube videos all the time of interviews that [Selena] has done, because her personality and the way she talked to people, people really connected with her. I think it's so cool and it's something a lot of artists can learn from."
Hear for Yourself: "Well, I heard you're getting married / How far along is she?" Micaela sings in the opening line of "Getaway Car," a raucous, end-all kiss-off to life in a dead-end town where "everybody is barefoot and pregnant." J.G.