Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Music Feature: Alma

 Today, I would like to introduce you to a pop/soul singer and songwriter named Alma. She is originally from Madison, WI but currently resides in Chicago. I had the chance to check out her music and thought it was unique, so I thought I would ask her some questions to learn more.

My questions are in white, Alma's answers are in yellow.

Can you give us a little background history on how you got started playing/writing music?

Like a lot of people, I started writing songs in middle school to cope with bullying, etc.  I recorded everything with a cheap microphone & keyboard, and it was a part of my life I was really proud of!  But it was a really long time before anyone actually heard me sing—not until college did I start playing out.

How would you describe your sound musically, and who are some of your influences?

In the last year or so my music has started favoring pop/soul, influenced a lot by Corinne Bailey Rae, Amel Larrieux and Lauryn Hill.  My first EP Pass It On leaned a little more in the singer-songwriter direction though.

How long does it take you to write a song on average?

Forever!  Oh my gosh, I am the worst.  Haha…I spend hours & hours trying to spit out a single line, so a song can take anywhere from three days (if I'm lucky/focused) to three years. 

What do you hope listeners will get from listening to your music?

My goal as an artist is to start conversations, particularly about the human condition.  Since I'm a Christian, I obviously believe Jesus is the only hope for redemption…but I'm not trying to convince people of that; I'm just trying to present Truth in a new way & let them react how they will.

Where is your favorite venue or place, that you have played?

Honestly?  When I was touring with Kwesi K last fall, we played a house show in Cambridge, Massachusetts where almost everybody at the party was majoring in architecture.  Not only was the apartment beautifully decorated (see some pictures on my Twitter) but everyone there was so intelligent & considerate!

What instruments can you play? 

I play ukulele, piano, cajón & flute—but I'd rather come alongside someone who's really good at their instrument, because I never aspire to be an amazing instrumentalist.

Are you self-taught in your music or have you taken lessons? 

Aside from the voice training I got from Columbia College when I went to music school, I guess I'm pretty self-taught.  I was so closeted about music when I was young that I didn't really make room to pursue training.  I took piano as a kid, though!

Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?

In the last couple years, Lauryn Hill!  Her boldness is insane.

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?

The day someone told me you can make scrambled eggs fluffier by turning the burner super low, my life was changed. :-)

Below is a lyric video for Alma's song "Chicago". Check it out and let me know what you think by leaving your feedback in the comments. 

You can connect with Alma on: 

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