While some artists kick off their profession by taking part in Jgermeister-drenched dingy rock golf equipment, Nashville’s alt-folk pop chanteuse Alicia Blue as a substitute began her profession in a Los Angeles Thai restaurant, singing in Thai phonetically. “I legit would YouTube the songs and there would be English phonetic subtitles for pronunciation. Thats all I needed,” she confesses.
While her profession singing in that restaurant in Los Angeles’ Thai Town didn’t fairly pan out movie star standing within the space (“We ultimately ended up fired and replaced by this older, kind of sexy Thai woman who definitely did a better job than me singing in Thai,” she laughs), it did introduce her to considered one of her mentors, a lady named Nong, who helped her hone her musical creativity… which led her so far in her profession.
Alicia Blue could not sport the third line / 36 pt. font dimension on a Bonnaroo or Newport Folk Fest marquee that Brandi Carlile or Laura Marling instructions, but when I had been a betting man, I’d nudge you to position all of your chips on her. Her new gorgeously lush EP Inner Child Work Part 1 wields the punch of Lissie, Sharon Etten and Angel Olsen with a sharper indie edge. She wades via darkish indie creeks together with her track Saline Waters, which bottles the melancholy of early Tears for Fears with the horny noir of Chris Isaaks Wicked Game. She will get actually poppy and melodic too on DTMTS (Dont Tell Me To Smile) which sticks like a pickaxe to the cranium. Having cowriting companions in Lincoln Parish of Cage the Elephant and John Paul White of Civil Wars doesn’t harm both.
But undoubtedly control this one. While you might not see her whereas consuming spring rolls, you may be seeing “Alicia Blue” in 36 pt. on a marquee very quickly.
According to your bio, the legendary soul singer Malcolm Clark Hayes, Jr. helped you uncover that you would be able to really sing.
I spent about three years studying about music from him [she was his caregiver while he recovered from a stroke]. I realized reverence for musical authorities, when it comes to artistry, and who I ought to take heed to. He would say issues like, ‘If you want to be the best, you have to listen to the best.’
Did he hear you buzzing and say, Girl, it is advisable sing or did he pull out a latent expertise in you that you just didnt even know you had?
It was 100% a dormant dream. Almost like I used to be begging for him to indicate up in my life and there he was. It was like music knocked on my door. No It was extra like music banged on my door, broke in, and walked me out with our arms linked.
Then after Malcolm’s tutelage, you then began performing in a Thai restaurant… singing songs in Thai?! Did you even converse the language?
[laughs] I very a lot sang in Thai and had no concept what I used to be saying or singing. We finally ended up getting fired from this restaurant in Thai Town and changed by this older, sort of horny Thai girl who undoubtedly did a greater job than me singing in Thai. Ha! It was clear that she was upset that the restaurant had let Nong [a Thai guitarist/singer who taught her performance basics] carry me on within the first place! I feel we would have been taking her crown a bit. Ha.
While that first album Bravebird (2020) was a stable document, Inner Child Work really feels extra assured and extra totally realized like youre discovering out who Alicia Blue actually is.
I recognize your directness! Bravebird was my first go at a studio album with a full band and producer all working as a crew. There had been many avenues there to discover, and we did. On Inner Child Work, nevertheless, the imaginative and prescient is extra streamlined and has a deeper penetrating directness towards my interior power. I wasnt afraid to go to anyplace darkish or intense on the EP. And I feel the singularity reveals, not simply vocally and lyrically, but additionally within the music itself. The rock n roll girl inside this people singer bought to breathe out on these EPs.
Apparently this “rock n’ roll woman inside” is chargeable for your latest cowl of Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says.”
Jane Says is a kind of songs that Ive held onto since I used to be a child. Once I used to be a young person, I spotted what Perry Farrell was singing about and was nearly afraid to develop up and be similar to the woman in his story.
Which then leads us to the track “Best Hands” which is in your upcoming EP [Inner Child Work Part 2 which comes out in November 2022]. You undertake this scrappy feminist perspective on there by which you received’t take shit from anybody (“I look within and get no answers”) whereas additionally understanding that all of them need part of you (“All my teachers are in love with me”). With you on the beat, early Liz Phair higher ‘fuck and run‘!
Oh, thats rad. And sure, I typically write from a sort of heroic narrative when Im at my most pissed off. Feeling powerless isnt one thing society typically likes to speak about. But, I really like speaking about these sorts of issues. Then I can breathe, regain my confidence in a wholesome means, and transfer ahead.
Did you write the songs in your first album your self or did get assist from collaborators?
Throughout my brief profession, the variety of instances I’d dive right into a collaboration or partnership with somebody and have it prove poorly, as a result of I wasnt returning one thing romantic, is gorgeous. At some level youre like: Where is the fucking signal on my brow that claims, Will fuck for inspiration and development? You begin questioning the place your reward actually lies. Doubt can inevitably creep in. But, fortunately, I awakened! And thats once I wrote the lyrics to Best Hands.
One factor I discover attention-grabbing from the development out of your debut album to your new EP is that your newer music feels extra like a confessional… such as you’re pointing on the feelings in your sleeves and saying, “Hey look… here they are!”
Absolutely. I feel theres a romanticization of tragic artist and the unhappy woman factor occurring proper now.
On the track “Picasso Blue,” you place away the gruff “I can do this” persona and tackle a extra critical tone about psychological well being. The trope you selected – Picassos Blue Period – is a reasonably highly effective picture since he painted numerous somber scenes with blues, greens and earth tones. Likewise, you employ that as a metaphor about breaking out of melancholy.
Its a little bit of a clich, however I suppose all clichs are truisms. Sitting in your blues will be enjoyable as a result of theres firm there… simply you and your sorrow. Its addictive. But most of all, its acquainted. Thats the hazard zone. So, in fact there was that mild bulb second once I realized Id outgrown the sample, the place I wished to decide on pleasure and wonder for my lifes mainline base. I additionally knew I wanted pleasure and wonder, and particularly peace, with a view to be the perfect artist I may very well be.
How did you get linked with John Paul White of Cage The Elephant and Lincoln Parish of Civil Wars?
My supervisor had despatched a few of my demos out to some publishers and I used to be lucky sufficient to have Lincoln and John Paul each react, utterly individually, and wish to meet up for writing classes. My first style of the superior nature of Nashville.
You and John Paul wrote Young collectively that has an attention-grabbing tackle ageism.
Yeah, theres an attention-grabbing perspective and twist in Young. I met John Paul White over Zoom for our first session and began telling him how I all the time felt just like the youngest individual in each room rising up, whilst I bought older. He stated that was humorous as a result of he all the time felt just like the oldest individual in each room, even when he was a lot youthful. We knew proper then we had been gonna write an awesome track. This one was shedding some overdue adolescent frustration, a hometown within the suburbs of LA the place you cant relate to anybody, the place mindlessness is a cool factor and the highschool golden years of jocks and promenade queens are a factor of standing. I imply, unconsciousness is demise when you keep in it for too lengthy. At least for me it was. Young is about getting the fuck out of there. Haha!
“Faster” is a dance-y banger… It actually wants a remix. Who do you suppose ought to do this?
Oh gosh, how enjoyable. I havent thought of that in any respect. Im so not hip to the perfect DJs, however didnt MUNA remix some cool stuff? Maybe MUNA!
So, what precisely is “inner child work” anyway? It sounds heavy.
Inner Child Work as an idea (not an album title) is a sort of remedy work, like going again in and discovering the frozen little components that didnt see the sunshine of day while you had been youthful. Those components can actually run amuck when youre older if not given the right consideration! And they will come for you, particularly if youre working from them. Theyll come even tougher. And that may fairly nicely mess with you.
Youre fairly upfront and private in your music. But who’re you, Alicia Blue?!
Hmmm, I suppose a lot of what they might wish to know will be present in a number of my lyrics. Im all the time searching for freedom in a track, however Im a lover of actuality and I write about my life.
What do you wish to do together with your music?
To have the ability to share that with somebody listening is a giant honor. Thats what well being is to me. Im not making an attempt to be perceived as heady, however that occurs occasionally and its out of my management. Heart is on the heart of every little thing I do and hopefully I often hit a nerve with some people.
So now that you just bought me hooked in your music, I would like extra Whats subsequent?
Writing for my subsequent document is what Im onto now and Im actually stoked with the individuals concerned. I hear individuals name Nashville the following Laurel Canyon. Well, I wasnt there (or alive) again then, however I do know that this place in 2022 feels elevated, in contrast to anyplace else Ive been. Grateful to be right here and doing what Im doing.