Female artists have been running the music industry these last few years. They’ve brought out the sexy, confident vibes and have been a voice for women around the world. And Long Island’s Megan Alyssa Diaz is contributing to that movement.
The R&B singer released her album Hit My Line in 2020, inspired by her family and friends’ experiences with relationships and her own flings. In the album and her visuals, we get a boss, sassy tone with a touch of intimacy. She also taps into several genres like Pop and EDM.
Megan Alyssa’s passion for music runs deep, as she grew up surrounded by it from her family. The songwriter has been singing since she was a child and transitioned to YouTube when she got older. She continues to do covers of her favorite songs on it. She even took on dancing at an early age, learning Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, and Ballet, and incorporates all those skills into her performances now.
The singer, songwriter, and dancer has also worked with Grammy-winning artist Rich The Kid on her single “No Shame.” She has even taken on the music journey with her brother MusicByFortune, which they have collaboration single tilted, “Home.”
After the release of her 2020 album, Megan Alyssa was faced with challenges when the pandemic hit and everything shut down. It left her with a new album and no performances or exposure as a new artist. Now, the singer is ready to take her music to the next level.
True Urban Culture was able to speak with Megan Alyssa Diaz about her background as a Dominican in Long Island, her latest album, Hit My Line, challenges as a female artist, signing to a new management group, and much more.
1. You’re a Dominican singer raised in Long Island, NY. What was that like growing up?
So I live in Long Island. I don’t speak Spanish, but my parents do – it’s their first language. They never spoke it to me growing up, so me and my siblings speak English, but we understand everything [when] my parents and my grandparents speak Spanish. I live in Jericho, Long Island, so it was pretty different growing up Dominican because all of my friends were Jewish. I was basically the only Catholic girl in my friend group. Well, my best friend is Catholic too, so we were like the only two in our friend group. I had to assimilate kind of, but throughout the years, I’ve started to show my true self recently.
And after leaving high school, I just expressed myself more, and even my career path is different than most of my friends that I went to high school with. They all finished school. And I was in college, then I went to the University of Miami for about a year and a half, and then I decided to come back to pursue music as a full-time career. All my friends finished school, and they’re all working now, and I’m just working on myself and trying to be a full-time singer.
When I hang out with my family, they’re all like such different cultures from what I’m used to. Here I never really expressed my culture, and then when I’m with my family, it’s like a different story. It was definitely weird, but now I’m more open to expressing my culture.
2. You mentioned that you went to college, and you stopped attending college to start pursuing music. What were your family’s thoughts on that, and how did they take it?
I’m so lucky because my family’s so supportive. My dad’s a physician – I was studying biology that was my major. I wanted to be a dentist, but music has always been a huge part of my life. I’ve always been singing. I used to take the piano, the violin, the flute, so I was always surrounded by music. My parents always knew that I loved to sing, but I never really took it seriously because – in this industry, it’s so hard and in my opinion, it’s really about who you know. You could work so hard, but no one could notice, because there are so many people that could do what you do. It’s really hard to stand out.
My parents were actually the ones that were like, ‘No, you need to do what you want to do in life, and you only have one life to live.’ My dad always said, ‘You have to be doing what you love, and if that’s what you love, then we’re all for it.’ Like my mom is so supportive, she’s like my best friend, and she was the one that was like, ‘No, she needs to come home and do this’ – cause I was working with a previous management team, and they started getting me into the loop of everything, and I started recording more. I was recording in high school too, but I started taking it seriously, like at the beginning of 2019, maybe.
3. I read that throughout your childhood, your family was surrounded by music. Do you feel like that played a role for you as an artist and performer?
Oh, definitely! My grandpa actually loved music. He was in a little band, and he played the drums. It was like Spanish music. No one else in my family sings or anything, but we all love music and my Latin culture – we’re always listening to music, we’re always dancing. Every time we would go to parties, we’re always dancing. So that definitely plays a role in my wanting to pursue music. I’ve been singing since I was so little. I remember when I was really little my mom and dad got me this stage, little thing, and I would put on performances, and they got me a karaoke mic. So they were always very supportive. I just remember always signing. I had headsets. I would dress-up as Britney Spears.
4. Is there a chance that fans might see your Dominican roots come into play with your music in the future?
Yeah, I write my own music, so it’s really difficult for me to write Spanish because the way I write is like I’ll make a melody first, and then I’ll choose words that fit the melody and like the syllables. So it’s kind of hard for me to translate that into Spanish, but I’m going to start working with writers. I started getting beats that are Spanish – more like Spanish oriented – and I’m able to make the melodies very easily. It’s just the whole translation thing I can’t just translate what I want to say because of the way I write – it has to fit. I want to start working with it, but I hope to put out music in Spanish soon.
5. What has your experience as an artist and performer been like so far?
Well, I honestly haven’t performed much. I’ve been on YouTube since I was in middle school, but I ended up deleting a lot of my videos. I used to post videos of me singing like all the time in middle school. I just recently got back into YouTube. I’m kind-of used to YouTube, but besides that, I performed like three times maybe, so it’s kind of new. I’m also a dancer. I’ve been dancing my whole life as well. I’ve done ballet, tap, jazz [and] hip hop since I was three years old. So I usually like to incorporate dancing when I have performed. It’s kind of new to me, but I definitely look forward to performing soon, hopefully.
6. So you mentioned your YouTube channel. You released a cover song, I believe a month ago, which was beautifully sung. Is that something that we can expect to see more of?
Definitely, I’ve been in the studio recording covers. I love singing covers – that’s what I used to post on YouTube – me just singing covers. That song, I think you’re referring to – I did this song called “Naked,” by Ava Max – I love that song. I also have one that I’m planning on doing, “Save Your Tears,” by the Weeknd. He’s my favorite artist. A cover that I’ve done so many times — I love singing Adele, “Someone Like You,” is one of my favorite songs to cover. So I plan on releasing more videos of me singing on YouTube.
7. In the R&B genre, there aren’t many artists as there used to be, and some will say that it’s slowly making a comeback. What influenced you to take on the R&B genre?
My favorite artist is Rihanna. I’ve been obsessed with her since she started. Rihanna, Beyonce, I’m obsessed with Summer Walker right now and Kehlani. Those are all inspirations to me. And Alicia Keys, I grew up listening to Alicia Keys. Even like the Weeknd, I’m obsessed with the Weeknd – he’s R&B. I just love the vibes, and there’s a lot of tone in R&B that you don’t really get in Pop. It’s just like slower, so you could hear everything about the vocals, so I love R&B, but I also love Pop. I honestly love all genres, so I hope to tap into all genres during my career.
People keep asking me, they’re like, ‘What genre do you want to do?’ And I’m like, honestly, I don’t want to box myself into one genre. I want to tap into every single genre, which my first album kind of had sort of R&B. There was like some pop, there was also a little bit of like EDM, which I love EDM. So music that can make you dance and feel happy – I love that. To be able to do all that is really great.
8. Speaking of your album, you released a 7-track album in 2020 titled Hit My Line. What was the inspiration behind it?
So actually, a lot of my songs are about love, and I’ve never been in a relationship. The inspiration behind the majority of those songs are like other people’s experience like my friends, my sister, my parents, my brother liked all the people in my life. Through the stories, they told me, through television, through other songs – I find inspiration. But literally, none of those songs are personal stories about myself. I hope to one day be in a relationship where I could write about it. I definitely would love to do that. I just have never been in a relationship, so that’s why it’s not on my behalf but inspiration from others.
There’s very sassy like “I don’t need you” type of songs, so I’ve gotten that inspiration from my friend and my sibling. Even though I’ve never been in a relationship, obviously, I’ve had flings here and there. I think we could all relate to that type of energy.
9. Hit My Line gave us sexy vibes and a female’s insight into relationships and more. What is the message that you want to send to your fans with that album?
Each song is so different. I feel like some songs I made to just like make you feel sexy, feel confident, and then other songs were just like – actually “Don’t Make Sense” was the only song that was kind-of personal to me. I had a friend, and we were really close friends, and I’ve always wondered like — it’s called “Don’t Make Sense” — it’s like there was something there? Was it just my imagination? So it’s basically saying, was I overthinking everything? Was it all in my head, or were there actually feelings between us two? So the inspiration for that song was like a little spark of inspiration, and then it grew into like a whole song with the verses and everything. Basically, what I want my fans to feel is confident [and] sexy. You don’t need a man to make you feel sexy, or a significant other, and you should feel confident in yourself.
10. On this album, you worked with Rich the Kid for your single “No Shame.” How did that come about? What was that experience like?
Well, I wrote that song, and then I was like, I really feel like I want someone on this song. I had been a big fan of Rich the Kid when he dropped his album with “Plug Walk” – the World Is Yours. I loved that album, and I was like, I really want him on this song. My previous manager that I was working with — one of the guys was really good friends with Rich the Kid, so he’s like, ‘I can make that work.’ And then he linked it up, and we filmed the music video – it was quite a few months later. I think it almost came out like a year after. It came out kind of after I dropped my album.
When I heard the verse, I was so excited I was like, ‘Oh my God, I have a song with a multiplatinum artist.’ I was very excited because I was a huge fan of Rich The Kid. I remember I was on the plane coming home from Miami, and I turned on my phone after the plane landed, and I got the verse back, and I was like crying when I was listening to it. I was like, ‘Oh My God! This is like actually happening.’ It was pretty surreal.
11. Your album was released in 2020 in a year that felt like it came to a halt for the music industry in some ways. Did the pandemic bring conflicts for you in any way? If so, how did you overcome it?
I released the album in March, I believe. I think we wanted to release it in February, but it ended up being March because – you know how music stuff works with releasing stuff. So, we ended up releasing it in March, and I think like two weeks later, everything shut down. And we were like, ‘Oh My God, where do we go from here?’ Because we had so many things planned. I was supposed to go to Billboard to do a live performance, kind-of thing there, and that was never able to happen.
Then I had other stuff planned, and basically, everything got either canceled or postponed. Especially like for me, because I was very new to being an artist. It was very difficult because I was like, ‘Where do I go from here? Everyone’s closed. I can’t perform anywhere. There’s like nothing I could do.’ So, a year later now, things are starting to open back up – well, they have already started to, but it’s getting more serious now. I’m looking forward to everything that’s going to happen.
I’m honestly planning to release another album soon – hopefully – cause I’ve been working all during quarantine. I was just like writing songs, and I couldn’t really record in the studio because everything was closed. But a few months ago, my studios opened back up, and I’ve been able to record some stuff. I’m not really looking back. I’m really looking more forward and planning my new stuff.
12. What does the process of creating music, writing songs, and being in album mode look like for you?
I usually just get sent a lot of beats. Then I kind-of have an ear where – probably because I’ve been doing music all my life – I can kind of hear within the first minute whether the beat would work for me or not. If it does work for me, I’m usually able to write melodies right when I hear it. So I usually open up voicemails on my phone, and I’ll just record myself singing melodies, and then from there, they turn into lyrics. I’m pretty fast at writing. And it’s so crazy because I recently started writing – I want to say like in 2019, I started taking this seriously.
Before that, I didn’t write any of my own songs, but now, I’m able to hear a beat, write a melody, hum out a melody and just put lyrics in that make sense with the beat. The feeling that I get from the beat is usually the inspiration for the writing. So, if it’s like a fast, fun beat, I’ll write about the stuff that makes me feel that way. If it’s like a slow R&B, it could be sad or depending on the mood I get from the beat. I’ll get in the studio and record. I don’t really have to spend too much time on one song. I’m usually in there for like five hours one day, and then the engineer will mix it, send it to me, and I’ll listen to it. Right now, I have my songs that are not out, and if I think I want to add something, I’ll go back into it, but that’s basically the process for me.
13. As a female artist, what would you say is a challenge that you face or have faced in the past?
Well, I’ve worked with a lot of males. The music industry is very male-oriented. My brother is also in music, so he helps me out through that too. It would definitely be nice to work with some females in the future maybe like writers because the majority of people I’ve worked with, been basically like all males. My producers are all male. My engineers [are] males. I would definitely love to meet women that could help me write [and] produce. I would love to meet them.
I recently worked with a female photographer, which I’ve only worked with like male photographers, and it was such a different shoot. I don’t know the photos came out so great. Maybe when I’m with men, I feel less confident. So definitely with this shoot, it went by so fast and easy. That was my first time working with a female photographer, and all the pictures came out great. I was so confident. But I think I definitely have to work on my confidence with being around other people.
The first video that I shot was with males, and I was a little uncomfortable. I started working with the same kind of team that did like my first video, so now that I know them, I’m extremely comfortable with them. I think with me, it’s like, I’m very shy at first, and then once I get to know the person, I’m more myself.
It’s all like with Instagram too. It’s literally like this whole – like you’re like an actor. Your Instagram portrays you as your best self and you looking your best. You feeling like your skinniest, and you feeling like you look your prettiest. Like you only post your pictures, where you look the best. So it’s like when people look into that, they think, ‘Oh, you have this perfect life.’ But that’s not really how it is.
14. Many women in the music industry are often given that expectation to bring on female empowerment in their music. What are your thoughts on that as an artist?
I’ve been obsessed with Dua Lipa for like years now. I started following her in 2017, and now she’s huge, like a Grammy-winning artist. I feel like she’s so empowering. I would love to work with artists like that, who make you feel good about yourself and everything. I think like Miley Cyrus is a huge artist, she was always showing female empowerment. It’s definitely groundbreaking right now.
There really is such a shift, like Cardi B is always top, Megan Thee Stallion, Ariana Grande – one of my favorite artists. It’s really cool to see Taylor Swift. I hope to be in that change with everyone.
15. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
Rihanna has always been my favorite person, and just like everything she stands for. She’s so hardworking. She’s not even doing music right now, and she’s still always talked about. She’s really inspiring with her fashion. Her make-up, which I plan to do, I don’t plan on stopping with music. I’ve also been obsessed with fashion since I was like a little girl, so I hope to do the same sort of thing like start my own fashion line or maybe a make-up line. I love make-up. I’ve been doing make-up forever. I basically learned how to do my make-up from YouTube. So I would love to collaborate with Rihanna. Her tone is insane.
I would also like to work with the Weeknd. I think he’s so talented [and] his lyrics are amazing. His songs [and] his production. Everything about him is so good. But yeah, probably the Weeknd and Rihanna would be like the top two.
16. What advice would you give to another up-and-coming artist?
Definitely believe in yourself, and find others that will believe in you. You don’t want to be around people that don’t believe in you and just bring down your energy. Always surround yourself with people that inspire you and keep you going. My best friend is my number one fan [and] she is like a ride or die. I’m really lucky to have her. She’s always like, ‘Your music is the best. I’m not being biased.’ It’s great to have people like that in your life cause they definitely keep you going. Just believe in yourself and work hard.
Find the real people in your life, because there [will be] a lot of people that you [will be] surrounded by. To you, they may be all lovey and supportive, but they talk about you behind your back. In this industry, there are a lot of people like that.
17. You recently signed to Edwin Navarrete’s management company. How has that experience been?
It’s very recent, but Edwin is great. He’s texting me every day with new updates like he has things lined up for me. So, it’s really great working with him. He actually found my brother first, and then my brother is a big supporter of me and my work. So he right away linked us up, and he was like, ‘You have to see my sister’s work too. She’s been working.’ I met with Edwin, and he loved my music, and he was shocked that I’m not at the level where I could be. He saw a lot of potential. That’s basically what I was saying before, there are so many talented people out there, and it’s so hard for them to get noticed. So I’m lucky to have that opportunity to link with someone who knows a lot about the industry and has connections with other people. I’m really lucky for that.
18. You mentioned your brother being an artist as well. What does your brother do? What name does he go by?
He’s a singer, he does R&B, and he also raps sometimes. We’ve collaborated on one song that I have out it’s called “Home,” and he’s in that song. It’s a very fun, summer, island vibe song, and then he does like sort of Drake R&B type of thing on it. He’s older than me. He started taking music seriously around the time that I did, so we just been at it working together. He goes by MusicByFortune. It was Fortune at first, but he switched it over because he just likes the name better. It’s really great to have family members supporting you and doing the same thing as you. It makes it easier. And like I was saying, this industry is so difficult and a lot of fake people around. So it’s good to have your family, so you know that people are actually behind you.
19. What are some of your expectations of being a part of the new management company?
I hope to grow as an artist, reach more fans. Maybe find more of my genre because I’m all over the place, which is good in a sense, but I would love to focus on maybe two instead of a bunch that I’m doing right now. They’ve already told me that they have people for me to work with, like producers, so I could find new beats because it’s difficult to find people when you don’t really know too much about the industry. I basically use Instagram as a tool to find people, so it’ll be good to have them find me people to link with. I know they were saying that they have like fashion stuff, which I’m so interested in, so I’m excited for what’s to come.
20. What does True Urban Culture mean to you?
Basically just expressing myself and whether that be through music, dancing, whatever makes me feel happy. And bringing in my culture and tying that in with my music. I’m excited for my family to hear my music, like my cousins and stuff.
Hit My Line is available on all streaming platforms. You can follow her on Instagram @meganalyssamusic for all the latest updates.