Alison Turner moved to Nashville at 17 and will graduate this May from Belmont University with a degree in commercial music
By Kaylee Arca
Music City is alive with the twangy sounds of country melodies. Especially for one young Morgan Hillian who is taking on the big city and building her voice.
Alison Turner, a 21-year-old South Valley native, is chasing her dreams of country music stardom in Nashville, Tenn.
Turner’s passion for music developed as early as five months old when she began taking “Mommy & Me” classes from Michelle Moyer.
“I have always sung,” she said. “It was always a secret passion of mine . . . it was always something I kept to myself.”
Moyer continued to mentor Turner’s voice for 19 years until Moyer moved out of the South Valley in 2020.
“She’s still a good friend and someone I look up to,” Turner said.
The idea to pursue a musical career sparked when she transferred to Monte Vista Christian School in seventh grade. There, Dr. David Dehner inspired and instructed the budding singer in building proper technique.
“He was really integral in me developing my voice as a classical singer,” she said.
Turner was accepted to Belmont University and moved to Nashville in September 2020 at age 17. This May, she will graduate with a degree in commercial music, which includes pop music, country, Christian contemporary, and more — everything except for classical music. The university is well known for producing some of the best country music artists including Faith Hill, Josh Turner, and the band Florida-Georgia Line.
“I felt like God was calling me to go to Nashville,” she said. “I didn’t really know why at the time, but it felt right.”
When the young singer moved across the country, she quickly learned how to be strong and independent to navigate life on her own.
“Now I’m 21 and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said. “It’s definitely been a season of growing.”
The support from Turner’s parents Christina Turner (the city manager of Morgan Hill) and Lou Zulaica (the chef at Clos LaChance), family, and friends inspire her singing and songwriting. She surrounds herself with friends who share their vulnerability and experiences which have helped Turner create a unique sound in her music.
“I like to sing because it’s something that everyone can relate to,” she said. “People from all different walks of life can listen to a song that I’m singing or that I wrote and be able to connect it in their own ways to their lives.”
Turner uses her music to connect with people on a deeper, more meaningful level.
“A big part of music is storytelling and connecting with people in every different aspect of their lives. Being able to be that bridge that can bring healing and change. There are those specific songs that make you remember a time in your life.”
With the help of friends, Turner is working to open a ministry after graduation. She plans to create a safe environment with music to empower and inspire confidence in young women and girls in grades 6 to 12.
“I want to be that bridge to fill that gap,” she said. “I want to meet people where they are and where they didn’t know they needed to be met with the love of Jesus. This is my opportunity to step in and create something positive and spread the messages of love, peace, positivity, joy, and happiness.”
Turner intentionally writes songs for herself and to reach young girls. Her song “Picture Perfect” is about the never-ending cycle of comparing yourself to others. She encourages everyone to be genuine, authentic, and unique. There is power in your story and being authentic and vulnerable, she said.
Turner has grown as a live performer. Since 2019, she has sung the National Anthem three times at the Boots & Brews Country Music Festival in Morgan Hill, including this past year.
“I had the honor of singing the National Anthem,” she said. “This was my third year doing it and I got to sing right before the headliners came on stage. It was so huge because everyone was there at that time.”
Turner admits she is usually nervous before performing. However, when she was up on the main stage before a crowd of thousands, she only felt excited.
Turner also recently performed for the second year at The Edward Boss Prado Holiday Benefit Show at the Granada Theater. She sang a medley of original songs and a variety of unique covers.
“I want to make music and touch people’s lives,” she said. “That’s my long-term goal. I’m just going to take it one day at a time. I just want to make music with the people I love.”
Turner plans to release new projects, including a new single “Walk Through Fire” in early 2024. Fans can listen to her music on all streaming platforms and follow her @alisonturnermusic for updates.