HOMETOWN: San Diego, Calif.

INFLUENCES: Carole King, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin

ALBUM: March to a Different Beat EP, out now


Singer-songwriter Alisha Zalkin’s love of music is deeply rooted in her Mexican and Jewish heritage. Her Jewish grandmother, a survivor of the Holocaust, was the youngest opera singer to be admitted into the Vienna Conservatory of Music before she was forced to flee Europe. Zalkin was also exposed to Mariachi music by her mother’s Mexican family. Zalkin, who resides in L.A., blends these multicultural influences into a modern sound. The title track of her new EP, March to a Different Beat, was inspired by her father’s experience as a first-generation American, while other songs explore topics like bullying and self-esteem. Zalkin plans to donate part of the proceeds to the Playing for Change Foundation, an organization that provides musical education to children. “Music has so much potential to impact a person’s life,” she says. “I want my music to shed a light on the amazing mission of causes that are making a difference in the world.”

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