If you’re looking for a eerie synth pop artist that doesn’t make you want to cower under your bed and question the meaning of eclectic female pop, then ALMA is your girl. Signed to Kill Paris‘ new label Sexy Electric, ALMA is the next electronic songstress to break into the scene. And with perfect coincidence, the label’s name perfectly describes her new single “Watcher.”
So far the words I see most when I hear the hype about this track include “sultry” and “symphonic” but I’d like to stretch this a bit and say that I hear pulsating waves with every signature in the track. Alma’s vocals are lullaby-esque yet alluring enough to keep you entranced throughout “Watcher’s” powerful set of beats.
A classically trained musician, Alma is set to release her first debut EP Dark Matter (with Virtu) in the coming months. Currently, she’s only got one other track out on the airwaves as we speak, “Avalanche,” but if her two modest contributions to the ever-changing world of lush indie-pop are any indication of her trajectory, I’d bet my meager life savings that she’s on the path to world domination … something I was most definitely interested in hearing her plans on. So, I went and interviewed about it at the blossoming start of her nascent stardom:
How would you describe your sound? And what do you think makes it stand out from the recent wave of female electronic musicians around today?
Electronic Indie Pop. All of my songs start with me at the piano. I don’t usually write to tracks.
Speaking about your new single “Watcher”, you said: “I hope the song takes people to another place like it did for me when I wrote it. Music should move you.” What place did it take you to personally? How do you want it to move its listeners?
I wrote “Watcher” about the feeling of longing, not being able to physically be with somebody who you care about. For me, it was about someone who is no longer with us, so it took me to a place somewhere in the sky, another dimension maybe.
How and when did you find Kill Paris and how has your journey been with Sexy Electric so far?
I’ve known Kill Paris for over two years now, we meet randomly when he had first moved to LA. Things kind of went organically from there, we became really good friends and just vibed. Sexy Electric is my family, I love everyone involved with the label, we all operate on a personal level. I love how collaborative everything is, and how the focus is always on nurturing the artist, like giving a flower sun to blossom.
Can you tell us a little about your inspiration and the process behind creating Dark Matter? What does the album mean to you?
This EP is very much reflective of this period of my career and life, in that it’s the first group of songs I feel truly represents me as an artist. I went through some dark times pursuing music, and held onto things from my childhood that I felt like I needed to get out and express. When I met Virtu, we really clicked, having mutual respect for movies and powerful music…we got in the studio and just wanted to make some cool shit inspired by cinema.
What has been the toughest part in recording your album so far?
Having to wait to release it.
You’ve called your collaboration with Virtu an “experimental project,” yet you’ve been so well-received this far. Did you expect it to end up where it’s at? What was the experimental aspect of it for you?
I’m glad that people have enjoyed “Watcher,” sometimes when you make music, it comes from a place of inspiration that you aren’t even aware of, a place that doesn’t think “what are people going to like?” So to be able to watch (no pun intended) the song fly away and connect with others is so amazing. For me, I can only create what I connect with, so the greatest joy is to see a universal effect.
I say it was an experimental project because sometimes as an artist you don’t know what exactly you’re doing, and that’s the best part – you don’t know what’s coming next. I don’t ever want to be pinned down, music, life, the world, is all about evolution and being natural. I’ve already started working on my new songs, and am so excited to continue creating different stuff.
You’re a classically-trained musician. How and when did you decide to go electronic? How did your classic training influence your sound today?
I grew up playing the piano at age 5, then viola in my teens so I spent a lot of time in the symphony surrounded by classical music. Maybe that’s why I always go off of emotion and feel, because most classical music has no words-you are only moved by the sounds and vibrations. That being said, I have always been an avid music listener from Prince to Britney Spears to Eminem. I think my taste naturally went to electronic music because it can be so powerful and huge, and also have such an intimate and interesting unique quality.
At this stage in your nascent career, where do you see yourself going? Do you have imperious fantasies of world domination, or are you content with a more mellow trajectory?
World domination sounds intense. But I’m all about the Earth. I want my music to touch as many people as possible.
If Fahrenheit 451 was about records and not books and you had to save three albums from the fires, what would they be?
Dr. Dre 2001 / Beatles Abbey Road / Nero Welcome Reality
There’s been a lot of attention paid to sexism against women in EDM lately. What’s your opinion on that topic? Do you think it’s any different in EDM than it is in other genres?
Everywhere people are going to face adversity, the best I can say for now it that I’m just getting into this, and I hope to be an example and help inspire females to go for what they want in life-more power to them. Life ain’t always easy and people are always gonna hate no matter who you are, so the most important thing is to remember your inner voice and stay strong.
Stay tuned for Dark Matter, and in the meantime, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for new ALMA offerings to throw your way.