Congrats to Alysia Kraft, who wins this year’s Outstanding Stage Presence category, based on your votes
By Adam Perry
At first, it didn’t register with alt-rock singer-songwriter Alysia Kraft that it was her, and only her, voted by Colorado Sound listeners as this year’s winner of the Outstanding Stage Presence award. “It really just has to do with having really good musicians in my court all the time,” she says humbly. “I mean, I think one part of the way that I’ve always been really fortunate in the space of performing is that I’ve always gotten to front a good band.”
Kraft has fronted several beloved Northern Colorado groups, from the Patti Fiasco to Whippoorwill, but to be clear, this award – the 2nd annual edition of our Outstanding Stage Presence award – was won by her as an individual, not by any band, whereas last year’s award went to the skyrocketing, roof-raising hard-rock outfit the Velveteers.
How does it feel to Kraft, to win the award as a singular musician?
“I’m honored,” she says. “I truly am. I think in a lot of ways being on stage allowed me to be a little more myself than then I could have been off stage. It’s just really awesome to have a space where I feel like I can be really authentic and then have people be, like, ‘That’s good. We like it.’ In other spaces of my life where I haven’t been as authentic or, you know, been fully myself it hasn’t been celebrated. So it’s kind of like—It’s awesome.”
Photo by Jo Babb
Kraft is sweet and mild-mannered in person, but on stage she’s a rocker in the biggest sense of the world, looking and acting like a super-hero in vivid colors, spandex, and boots she regularly kicks as she wins crowds over and passionately delivers her original songs.
She says powerful stage presence has always been a goal for her.
“Definitely—just trying to come on stage as pure as I can. Especially as I’ve kind of gotten older and gone through a pandemic where I’ve been, you know, separated from the ability to perform for a couple years, I really value the time [on stage]. So, there’s a lot of kind of mental and physical prep work to just get myself into a space where I can be just fully present when I’m performing.”
Suddenly, Kraft goes deeper.
“I was talking to my therapist today and she’s like, ‘You know, performing is interesting because you’re really you’re aware of other people but you’re not aware of other people, but you have to be really aware of yourself.’ I think it requires a lot of awareness and attention, you know, and I think being able to really concentrate that into a period of time is something that I’m conscious of.”
Kraft released her indie-folk debut solo album, First Light, in 2022 and is currently working on the follow-up, which she seems to have teased with the more hard-rocking Electric Blooms EP, released just last month.
“To be honest, this fall I’m working on my opus. Yeah, I’m kind of intentionally taking a little time off of playing shows, to just finish recording this thing that I think is the best thing that I’ve ever made. I think it’s kind of the most like me thing that I’ve ever made. I’m really excited to be performing it all of next summer, next fall, next spring. Yeah, but I’m taking a little intentional time to focus inward for a second.”
“I think the EP that I just put out is sort of a transitional statement, moving more in that direction and I wanted to get those songs out because they don’t quite fit with this next batch of stuff that I’m working on. I felt like they were sort of the gateway.”
Meet all of the 2023 Colorado Sound Music Award winners
On the Rise – Pink Fuzz
Colorado Spirit – The Mishawaka
Outstanding Stage Presence – Alysia Kraft
Outstanding ‘Secret Ingredient’ – Taylor Sims
Musician or Band You’d Drive 105.5. Miles to See – Volores
Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris K.
Meet all our incredible 2023 Colorado Sound Music Award nominees
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