“This is my first ever East Coast tour outside of New York. … I think we’re going to have some fun with it,” says an excited ALA.NI as she prepares to kick off the U.S portion of her tour with an Oct. 18 show at Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar.
A fresh new face on the music scene, this statuesque performer is wowing audiences with her angelic vocals, great arrangements and fabulous stage presence. This British-born, Paris-raised siren is well aware of the rave reviews she and her music have been getting, but keeps things in perspective.
“I don’t try to really think too much about what the critics say, either positive or negative,” she said. “I don’t try to control it: Once my music has left me it’s really not mine anymore. I’ve put it out there and given it away; how people interpret it is up to them.
“Some will like it, others may not, and that’s all good because I’ll not make music to meet others’ expectations. My next album is going to be a cappella. I’m not signed to a label for a reason; I don’t want someone telling me what to do. Music is quick turnover today: What’s a hit today may be gone tomorrow. You’ve really got to hedge your bets. As an artist, you’ve got to not be afraid and experiment.”
Her latest effort is a 2016 album, You & I, compiling tracks from four 2015 EPs released under the same name but with seasonal subtitles (“Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn” and “Winter”).
“I wrote an album, a 12-song concept album,” she said. “As a new artist, I was finding it very hard to promote not only myself but the album as well. So I decided to break the full-length up into four EPs, and that gave me the opportunity to do something unique for each one. I put together a film for one, photos for another, an exhibition for another, and named them after the seasons as I released them. It was a unique approach but what a great experience; it worked out very well.”
You & I became a turning point of sorts for ALA.NI as she was venturing into untested waters with the disc.
“Well, when I wrote this album it was originally completely a cappella but I didn’t have the experience to pull it off. A French radio station took a liking to me and the music, and gave me the opportunity to add and present the album with strings behind it, and I was quite happy with it. I’d very much like to do it again, but with a bigger orchestra.”
With a style that ranges from sultry to torchlight, with some R&B thrown in, she captivates her audiences with each performance. And each one is as different as her influences.
“I came from a very musical family — my dad mostly,” she said. “I loved musical theater but my influences … that’s a difficult question to answer. My dad was a very big influence. I used to collect R&B records yet I love Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine and I also love opera with its beautiful arias. I can’t really narrow it down to one thing or say I favor one style over another because I grew up with such musical diversity. I guess it’s why my music is unique (laughs).”
So the woman with the unique music and the unique name will bring it all to the States beginning next Oct. 18 at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. Son Little is also on the bill and offers up a neat complement to ALA.NI’s style. Visit wonderbarasburypark.com.
For more about ALA.NI, visit ala.ni.
That’s it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week … ROCK ON!