Hi Alysha, how are you doing? How’s this year been for you so far?
Hey! I’m doing well, thanks. This year has been pretty good to me so far, although I did finally catch Covid in January. I’m lucky that I didn’t have it too badly and I don’t have any lasting effects. I’ve been doing quite a few bits here and there - I flew out to the US last month and spent some time in Miami to work on some new music.
How did you first get into music?
Music was a really big part of my childhood. I remember hearing music around the house all the time and my mum had some banging songs on her playlists, from artists like Sade, Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill – but also grunge like Nirvana, and gospel music from my local church. My dad is Cuban, and my whole family in Cuba plays instruments or sings, and they all dance, which is an amazing environment to be in, and very different from the UK. Having all of these influences around me led me to writing short poems with melodies when I was 10, and from then on I always knew it was something I wanted to do. I even remember telling my mum and my friends that I was going to be a pop star and was going to marry a musician!
How would you describe your sound?
I’ve been enjoying being quite varied with my sound so far, moving between Latin, RnB, and pop. For example, my track Sugar Sweet has a heavily produced 90s pop vibe with a catchy hook, whereas David Attenborough (my single, not the man!) is pure RnB in more of an early Rihanna style. For me, the main thing is that my music is always soulful and smooth, like the music that I grew up with.
How did growing up in London influence your sound and style? What else inspires you? Whose sound inspires you and who are you listening to at the moment?
IFor sure, growing up in London has influenced both my sound and style heavily. My mum would play a lot of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and many other British artists which have clearly been sonic inspirations for me. Another inspiration that I want to develop upon more in future is Gospel music. I converted to Christianity a few years ago, and learning more about that kind of sound has been really interesting. My vocal coach has played Kim Burrell for me in a couple of our classes, and I’d love to emulate her way of singing. At the moment, I’m listening to a lot of Charlotte Day Wilson because people mentioned that I sound like her which I’m very flattered by - her voice is incredible. I’ve also been listening to classic throwbacks like Beyoncé and the 1975’s old tunes.
Talk us through your writing and production process - how do you come up with song ideas? Do you keep a diary and write down song ideas there? Is song writing therapeutic for you?
Normally, the producer usually plays the unfinished beat or a short repetitive chord sequence and I’ll start humming melodies and playing around with certain phrases or words. I also have pre-written lyrics or phrases to help me during this process that I bring into the room. I want to make sure that the melody and lyrics are equal in the way they feel when I sing it, because I believe that both are just as important as each other. I like to attach messages or stories to my melodies: making music is like writing a story, each song is a chapter, broken into subjects of what I'm willing to say, whether it be God, a love affair or female empowerment.
Tell us about your latest release, “Si Me Quieres”… What inspired it, tell us about the writing process, the production process, what it was like to collaborate with Yxng Dave, how was it different to your previous music and why, what changed within you to lead to that change manifesting in your music?
I started this song with Dario and Tom back in 2021. I asked Dario to create a more Latin-inspired track to complement the lyrics in Spanish, which I haven’t done before, but I felt it was time to explore my Cuban roots with my music. I really felt that the song needed a rapper, and Yxng Dave was the perfect fit - he’s very talented. I’d like to explore this kind of sound more in future.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
There are a few things that I want people to take away from my music. The narrative element of my songs is really important to me, and I want my listeners to enjoy those stories and relate to them. I also want people to be able to put my tracks on and dance, have a good time, like the soundtracks of my childhood.
What are you working on at the moment? Any plans to release an EP or album?
I’ve got a lot cooking at the moment! I haven’t announced my next project yet, but watch this space.
What’s next for you and what are you most excited for? Any exciting plans for the rest of the year? What dream have you yet to accomplish?
I really want to start spreading my music with more live shows around the UK, and I’m going to announce some more dates this year. I love playing live, and I’ve got an incredibly talented band. In terms of future dreams, there are a few people I’d love to collaborate with.