Seattle-based alt-pop artist, ALITA began honing her craft at by writing song lyrics in journals at just six years old. By twelve, she was writing her own music, and now, nearly two decades later, her hard work is paying off as she leans into her passion for storytelling to build relatable narratives through conversational lyrics.
ALITA’s heart belongs to pop, but she’s determined to bring a level of spoken-word artistry to her music, in songs like her recently released track “Too Close”, which touches on the feeling of vulnerability and resistance when you fall in love, or her upcoming massive pop track, “Bodies”. With a desire to create powerful music that doesn’t shy away from darker topics, ALITA is heading for a massively successful 2020. Listen to “Too Close” and read more below.
The Prelude Press: You got your start in music at a very young age. What first inspired you to start performing and eventually, creating your own music?
ALITA: The inspiration started in the womb, I think! I come from a family of musicians and singers, and my mom was playing music through headphones on her stomach when she was pregnant with me. I grew up around a lot of music, theatre and performance. It felt totally natural to explore that creativity as a child. I was writing song lyrics in journals at 6 years old, but I think I wrote my first song when I was 11 or 12, when I started to learn how to play guitar and accompany myself.
What artists were you inspired by growing up? How do you feel that background has shaped you into the musician that you are today?
I think the first album I bought was probably a Britney Spears album. I also grew up listening to a lot of Beach Boys and India.Arie. My heart loves pop music. I’m always inspired by the never-ending evolution of sound in the genre, but I’ve probably been just as influenced by musical theatre and R&B. I studied classical vocal training for many years and I did a lot of jazz performance, so the styles I love are eclectic. The creative possibilities are endless, continuing to expose myself to all different types of music helps me grow and create outside the barriers I create for myself.
You’ve mentioned before that you really enjoy the genuine honesty and the emotion in spoken word performances. How do you go about bringing that into pop music?
I try to keep things really conversational and raw, and spoken word is all about marrying traditional poetry with performance. I think I’m still developing my lyrical style but there’s no doubt that spoken word and poetry influence me. Spoken word doesn’t shy away from exploring dark topics, and there’s a real resilience in the art form. I hope I can embody that more and more in my own work.
You’ve had a busy year so far, with the release of a handful of new singles, most recently your vulnerable single, “Too Close.” Can you tell us a little bit about this track?
Definitely! “Too Close” has been a special one to release. I’ve been working in the studio for a few years, and it was one of the first songs I felt started to capture my sound. It’s really nice to have it out in the world. The song’s about that feeling of vulnerability and resistance when you fall in love, and I wrote it at a time when a relationship was falling apart in my own life. I was trying to make sense of what was going on, so I did a little writing exercise and tried to write the story from the other person’s perspective and “Too Close” was born!
If someone is hearing your music for the first time, what would you want for them to take away from songs like “Too Close” or “If I Have To”?
I think I would want them to just enjoy listening to my music, bop their heads, and want to sing along. The songs I’ve released so far all have a “feel good” energy to them, and there was intention behind that since they were introducing me as an artist. I’m excited to explore and release songs with different richness and depth, but a lot of us also need to take a pause and listen to music that makes us happy and relaxed. I hope I can do that for people.
You’re also getting ready to release your new single, “Bodies” – what can fans expect from this song?
I think “Bodies” is a good continuation from the music I’ve put out this year, but it’s definitely doing its own thing. Everything about this song has been a little out of my comfort zone – the writing process, the promo creation, figuring out the vision – but I’m really proud of it! It’s a favorite of a lot of my team, so I’m excited to see what the rest of the world will think of it.
COVID-19 and quarantine have had a huge impact on the music industry these past few months. How have you been coping? Have you been using this time to create at all?
Overall, it’s been okay for me! I’m healthy and so is my family, so I’m really grateful for that. I’m still creating, but motivation definitely comes and goes. A lot of the plans we had for this year are on pause, but that just means this time can be used for new, unplanned projects. I’m trying to see this time as an opportunity rather than a deterrent.
I know the remainder of 2020 is kind of up in the air, but do you have any goals for the rest of the year?
Definitely! The main focus is getting the next single, “Bodies,” out the door and some other little surprises that come along with that! I’m also working hard on new music, and hoping to spend a good amount of time down in LA to work with new collaborators whenever it’s safe. It’s hard to know what the rest of this year is going to look like, but that’s always the case when pursuing a career in music. It’s always unpredictable, this is just a new kind of unpredictability.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It feels like a real privilege to get to chase this dream, and having conversations like this is always really fun and an honor for me. Thanks so much for having me!