ALA.NI’s enchanting first song “Suddenly” and its accompanying video were over all too quickly, leaving us wanting more of her simple, soulful, heartfelt lullabies. Today, we present her second song, “Cherry Blossom,” along with another video and an interview with the mysterious artist.
ALA.NI reveals that she has four EPs planned for 2015, which tell the tale of a love story from start to end, and that she plans a video for each song from the EP. Enjoy the timeless “Cherry Blossom” and then get to know an artist who you’ll be hearing a lot more about in 2015 below.
ALA.NI’s debut EP YOU & I Spring will be out March 23, pre-order here. If you live in the UK, look out for her supporting Ibeyi on their current UK tour dates.
Can you introduce yourself…
I’m a women…with lady bits and I sing?
You’ve sung with some big name artists, but how long have you been making your own music?
I’ve been making up and recording songs since I was about three years old. So it’s very much part of my daily habit. Writing song notes in bed at 2am, in the bath, on a busy train. I have my portable 8-track, phone or iPad to aid the process of piecing together a song. Sometimes a song only exists on paper and sometimes you are lucky enough for someone to want to hear you perform it or better yet, pay you for it.
Lyric notes on any writeable surface is a constant ruffle in my life. Newspapers are the worst. Hard to cypher double text layered squiggles. I carry a trusted Moleskin pad to try to stay organised, but I never do.
Why do you feel now is the right moment to be sharing it with the world?
I’m quite surprised at how people are reacting to me having a good vent and moan about my love life, but I guess everyone can relate to love. I’ve always wanted to sing indulgently about the subject, but I hadn’t had enough life experience to really understand it and all its complexities. A bit of wisdom goes a long way. I feel ready now to impart something real and not just some made up love fantasy. Only hardcore heartbreak misery allowed!!!!
What are you working on at the moment and what can we expect from ALA.NI in 2015?
I’m really looking forward to this year! I will be releasing four EPs. One for each season. Vivaldi-esque.
The series of EPs tell of a love story from start to….end.
The first EP is coming out on a French Indie label, No Format, so my music and I will be spending quite a bit of time over there. I can’t wait. I’m playing at Silencio in Paris in a few weeks and that is a wish come true. It was designed by David Lynch and I’m a big fan of his work.
Both songs so far have been presented with videos—what is important to you about the visual aspect of your work?
It’s a continuation of dialogue for me. From the ears to the eyes. I plan to do a video for each song on the EPs. I’ve completed seven so far. I will often write a video treatment for a song, before I’ve even finished writing the lyrics and melody. Having that extra platform to express my music via video has been a very freeing experience. Sometimes it’s an easier process than the music itself. More instant.
The music and videos have a nostalgic feel. Are you nostalgic in some way for the music of the past?
I love old things. I collect vintage tins. I just bought an antique tobacco tin dated from 1901. I hunt for first edition books, so preserving the past is something I do naturally. Both my Uncles are antique dealers so its in the blood I guess. Music wise, most of my music collection is vinyl, that I accumulate quite randomly from second hand shops. No one wants vinyl anymore? Shocking!
Did you know there is a world vinyl shortage? You’d think they’d simply buy up all the old ones, stacked high in charity shops and recycle them. That’s a great idea.
What current artists inspire you?
I have a bit of a built-in music filter, so it’s sometimes hard for certain modern production sounds to get through. It has to really bite some part of me. Ibeyi and Lapsley are getting into my system. I love that they are very much involved in the production side and direct their own music. Visually too. The We Are Shining boys make complex lo-fi music with sleek artwork. Intelligent sounds.
Damon Albarn is a huge influence because of his sheer prolific, non-stop commitment in the name of MUSIC!