Alyssa Micaela is ready to make a statement with her brand new song, “The Hard Way.” The rising country artist won’t release the tune from her upcoming debut album until Friday (April 28), but she is sharing the track one day early for readers of Country Now in this exclusive premiere.
Written with Joe Fox and Tori Tullier, “The Hard Way” is a fun and playful tune that finds Micaela admittedly addressing some of the mistakes she’s made while trying her best to learn from them. She lists regretful experiences like drinking a little too much, dying her hair in a bathroom sink, and blowing all of her money at the casino before shrugging it off with the notion that it’s just a part of her personality.
Sonically, the captivating track features an edge and an arrangement reminiscent of Miranda Lambert’s 2015 Top 10 hit “Little Red Wagon” and includes a stomping rhythm, vibrant hand claps, and catchy guitar riffs. Micaela, meanwhile, shows off plenty of attitude and conviction in her voice as she details the choices she’s made and asks herself, “Why do I do it?” as part of the memorable hook of the track.
“Ooh / Why do I do it? / Put myself through it / Maybe it’s stupid / Yeah / Ooh / Life could be easy, if it wasn’t like me to learn from my mistakes / But that’s the price I pay / I guess I gotta learn the hard way,” Micaela sings throughout the uptempo chorus of the rock-friendly tune, which is tailor-made for country radio.
Micaela opened up about “The Hard Way” with Country Now and shared how the song transpired in the writing room. She explained that she had envisioned performing the song live as a way to kick off her setlist at concerts.
“‘The Hard Way’ will make you wanna kick a door down, and that was the goal while writing this song,” Micaela shared. “I wrote it with Tori Tullier and Joe Fox, and we wrote it with a live show in mind because I wanted a really bad*** song to open my shows with.”
“When we started the song, it was actually more serious and mid-tempo,” she continued. “I remember us getting stuck on it, then totally switching gears and deciding it needed to rock out instead. I’m thankful we did that because I’d rather be sassy than sad, any day.”
“The Hard Way” serves as the title track from Micaela’s upcoming album, The Hard Way, which will drop tomorrow (Friday, April 28). The song is the first cut on the 11-track offering, which also includes titles “Be About You,” “If Texas Had a Heart,” “Tie Dye,” “Daddy’s Daughter,” “The Bar Guy,” “Lose My Cool,” “Hell In A Handbag,” “Girls Like Me,” “Mad Love” (A collaboration with Eric Paslay), and “Jealous of the Birds.”
Micaela says opening up the album with “The Hard Way” gives listeners an idea for the rest of the project, which, she adds, was three years in the making.
“Joe Fox and Brad Hill produced the hell out of it, and that’s why it’s the first song on the album and the first song I play at my shows because it really just sets the tone,” she explained. “There is a lot of truth to the song because I have a tendency to learn lessons the hard way – but don’t we all? I’m okay with that though, because it makes you tough and also makes for more interesting songwriting!”
The Texas native also adds that The Hard Way as a whole is a versatile collection that showcases different sides of her personality, such as her fun side and her vulnerable side.
“I have never felt more confident in myself and my music than I have while making this album. It was important to me for most of the songs to be fun and uptempo because I was thinking about live shows and how I wanted to make people feel when they hear the songs,” she says. “Music is powerful, and it brings people together, and my goal is for my music to make us all have a good time. With songs like “Girls Like Me” and “The Bar Guy,” I think there’s a good mix of empowerment while also letting people in on my more vulnerable side with songs like “Jealous of the Birds.” I really think there’s something everyone can relate to on the album.”
“It took me three years to make,” Micaela adds of the album. “And although we did it ‘the hard way,’ we did it the right way, and I’m ready for the world to hear it.”
Fans can look for The Hard Way on Friday (April 28).