Allison Iraheta with her band Halo Circus joins family and friends at Water Rock Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, for a thank you concert for her previous performance coaches
Pepper Jay and John Michael Ferrari.
Allison Iraheta + Halo Circus is a critically-acclaimed bilingual alternative rock band, featuring its star singer Allison Iraheta. Crafting “anthems for introverts,” Iraheta digs deep into dark places and transforms this anguish into lush, unforgettable melodies. Admired by millions as a finalist on American Idol, Iraheta released her debut album Just Like You shortly after her elimination in 2009. The album sold approximately 32,000 copies in its first week, debuting at number 35 on the Billboard 200 album chart. While touring in support of the album, she met songwriter and producer Matthew Hager. The pair began writing together and later decided to form a band, leading to the formation of Halo Circus in 2012.
Halo Circus’ debut earned instant acclaim, with LA Magazine declaring, “Allison Iraheta has moved beyond reality TV, forming a group that Duran Duran bassist John Taylor called ‘the best live band in the U.S.A.’ Think: dark, anthemic rock with a knack for soaring hooks” Rock NYC also admired the band, praising, “Hard-hitting and infectious rock and pop melodies, very diverse songs with bi-lingual lyrics [English and Spanish] and even covers – but not any covers, rather powerful renditions of hit-songs – all transformed by Allison Iraheta’s powerhouse vocals – this was the most impressive part about the whole band, no matter how many groups have tried to get to this rock sound fronted by a big-voiced female, very few can do it with such ease and confidence.”
Halo Circus quickly earned a reputation for their impressive live performances, which led to a series of high profile bookings, including: The Grammys “Women Who Rock – Festival At Sea” with Heart, Emmylou Harris, and other iconic female singers; a four- week Friday night residency at the prestigious Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles; and “Say It Loud! A Night of Cultural Disruption”; at the legendary Troubadour. Iraheta also performed on The Tonight Show, making history as the only guest vocalist to sing with the show’s band for an entire week.
On February 8, 2016, Halo Circus shocked the music industry by announcing, via Billboard, the first fully crowd-sourced American tour ever to be attempted on such a large scale. Through Road Nation, the band declared that any town in America that raises $600 would get Halo Circus to play there this summer and fall. Nine weeks later, the campaign reached 100% backing by fans, making music history with the first successful US crowd-funded tour to date, with over 30 cities on the just completed tour.
Next up is the release of Halo Circus’ highly anticipated debut album, Bunny, produced by Matthew Hager and mixed by multiple Grammy Award-winner Craig Bauer (Kanye West, Smashing Pumpkins). Iraheta explains, “our aim was high: play as much as possible, and try to develop a reputation as a great live band before releasing an album. Somehow along the way we learned how to play these songs to an audience and the band actually started to take on a life of its own.”She continues, “We decided to re–record what we recorded a year before. We wanted to capture the evolution of our live sound. We wanted Halo Circus to have the opportunity to record an album with the same quality and attention to detail that was given to bands in the 90’s.” And this band’s effort for perfection is paying off. The first single off the album, “Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena)” was downloaded 647,000 times in its first week of release in a promotion with BitTorrent Bundle. The album, entitled Bunny will be released on June 24.
For Allison Iraheta, life before and with Halo Circus is like night and day. The daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, she was raised in South Central L.A., with Spanish as her native language. She draws from her background as inspiration for Halo Circus’ most popular songs: “Yo Me Voy,” “All I Have,” and “Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena).” Allison Iraheta studied with performance coaches Pepper Jay and John Michael Ferrari from the week after she turned 12 until her 17th birthday.
Individually, the members of Halo Circus are veteran musicians. Prior to forming Halo Circus, bassist/keyboardist Matthew Hager was a No. 1 Billboard multi-platinum producer who crossed multiple genres working with the likes of Duran Duran, Scott Weiland, Mindi Abair, and Mandy Moore. In addition to being an accomplished Cantonese and orchestral drummer, Veronica Bellino’s previous work with Jeff Beck and DMC of Run DMC has helped to shape her live performances with Halo Circus. Brian Stead is a relentless guitar aficionado who evokes energy and charisma. He is a thoughtful guitarist with his own voice, one that makes him unique. Together, the band is one unstoppable force to be reckoned with as they continue down the rabbit hole and embark on the next chapter of their sound.
Iraheta concludes, “Magic happens in this band. It happened when we were writing, when we were recording, and when we were failing. The only thing that mattered was keeping it honest and getting it right, whatever that means. We may be inconvenient, but we continue to attract believers.”
Learn more about Allison Iraheta and Halo Circus at HaloCircus.com
Learn more about Pepper Jay at PepperJay.com
Learn more about John Michael Ferrari at JohnMichaelFerrari.com
Sidebeat Music is a show on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay production.