Thirteen-year-old, Torrance-born Alyssa Grace Proffitt is set to release her first EP entitled “Breathe.” Originally inspired by her struggle with anxiety, the song takes on greater meaning in the context of our current political and social climate. Between the tragic death of George Floyd, the far-reaching effects of COVID, and the divisive state of the union, it seems we all need to be reminded to breathe. For these reasons, “Breathe,” could be the song, if not the theme of the year.
The local teen, who now lives in Star, Idaho, struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and has used her guitar and her voice to help her focus and communicate her feelings.
“I struggle with anxiety and ADHD,” said Proffitt. “I’d much rather not have it, because it’s hard for me to focus in class and understand what’s going on.”
Proffitt started using music to deal with her anxiety when she received a guitar from her grandfather for Christmas – and later won a ukulele, that she also plays, during a singing competition.“Usually artists sit down and write songs,” Proffitt said. “I don’t do that. It doesn’t seem pure to me when I sit down and write them. What happens with me is I’ll start playing a melody on my guitar and it will come to me – I’ll write it down in my journal and I’ll have a song done in 20 minutes. It starts out accidental – I don’t do it on purpose.”“At the time I was having major anxiety and didn’t know how to communicate about it, so I communicated through my song,” she said. “It was about me having anxiety about people who bullied me in school.”
For Proffitt, sometimes communicating through her songs is the easiest way to process things going on in her life.
“If you want to tell somebody something, I suggest writing a song about it,” Proffitt said. “Trying to get somebody through a song is the best way that I do it, I think. I’ve written so many songs to people, sometimes they don’t know it, but in my head I think they know.”
The other songs on her new album also focus on dealing with anxiety, and many were created for Mental Health Awareness Month.
“I hope it helps people,” said Proffitt. I’m all about helping people get on their feet, because that’s something that I struggle with.”