West London singer, songwriter, and producer Alichè has been placing her mark in the industry and establishing herself as an exciting new talent. From finding her way through learning the trumpet, piano, violin, drums, and clarinet from the age of 12, Aliche realised singing was what she was called to do. Since then, the years have been spent honing her craft, learning new skills, and fine-tuning her performances.
Alichè’s latest track “What It’s Like” featuring Fonzie comes as the follow-on from her first release 'By Surprise' taken from her debut concept EP 'Good While It Lasted', where she writes self-confessional songs consisting of happiness, hurt and introduces a raw honesty with heartfelt lyrics, driving through a luscious musical production.
Aliche sits down with Projext Liquid to share her thoughts on the support within the industry, the challenges faced over the last few years and finding peace through Nichiren Buddhism.
Listen to 'What it's like' below
What does your name stand for?
It’s from Italian origin, a different variation of Alice and Alicia. My grandma got married in Italy and lived there for about 15 years and we spent a lot of time there. My dad used to call me Alichè Marinate to take the piss and it just stuck.
How would you describe your sound?
I grew up listening to a lot of Jazz and old school music. I like to take the old school writing style like storytelling and really descriptive lyrics and bring in new melodies and hooks, things that people can have fun with and relate to. I would describe my sound as contemporary R&B, old school R&B with a bit of pop.
What made you want to get into music?
I had quite a tough time at school and although I had a lot of friends and fun times, I was also quite unhappy and suffered from a lot of mental health issues. I’d been put in a box from such a young age and was told there was no hope for my academically, I was always the kid that needed extra help so when I got into secondary school, I would bunk all the time. I’d sit in free museums and sketch or write poems and music has always been something that has taken me away from reality, it’s helped me to relate to other things that are going on and really helped to connect how I’m feeling within myself.
How have you found the past couple years working through the pandemic and lockdown period?
Obviously, it’s been quite a challenging time but creatively I’ve found myself working with people that I maybe would never have worked with. I’ve taken time to creatively work on things rather than focus on just shows, I’ve stripped it back and focused on the music and perfecting my sound. I have always been able to mix and produce things myself, but I spent a lot more time doing that from my bedroom and perfecting a small project put out called “lockdown sessions”. The rest of my time was spent working on a project I have coming out in November, I did everything at home first and then got other musicians involved, I then started working closely with someone called Mcknasty who produced the whole thing. Little seeds were planted in lockdown and now it’s kind of grown and grown.
If you could collab with anyone, who would it be?
Probably Prince, just because I think theres no one like prince, he was just out of this world. The list could go on, D’Angelo, Lauryn hill.
How are you finding the music industry so far and what would you say your strengths are?
I take a lot of pride in taking my time. I’ve technically been in the industry for a while, I know a lot about it and have learnt a lot from quite a young age but doing what I’m doing right now is still new. I definitely have a great team behind me, and my manager is amazing, we’re both quite head strong and know exactly what we want. I take guidance and learn things from all people, but I know the direction I want to go in and what next steps I need to take to get there. I’m not looking for someone to come and push me to the top, I believe in longevity and staying where I am for a while, nothing happens overnight, great things take time and amazing things take even longer so this is like a lifestyle, it’s a marathon not a sprint.
Out of all the songs you’ve written, what is your favourite and why?
The finale track on my next project coming out, called “Good While it Lasted”, It’s such a vulnerable and beautiful song especially the music and the instrumenting. it’s a string arrangement and the production is just crazy, something different but also so simple. There’s a bit at the end which is spoken word and it goes “In a river of feelings every drop is different, you see each relies on the other for their existence but drop by drop I feel my river has dried out as rain turns gone, love has left me in a drought”.
How does your practise in Buddhism help you in your everyday life?
I practise Nichiren Buddhism which originated from China and Japan and the organisation is called SGI. I chant twice daily, in the morning, evenings and sometimes during the day it’s all about having the daily tools you need to be the best version of yourself and to elevate your life state and the people around you. For me, it’s just transformed how I am with myself and how I treat people around me or my approach in situations.
Whats next for you?
I’m a performer as much as I like writing and creating music so performing it to people and just getting my music to people, seeing their reactions is what gives me the most joy. Being able to tour and play at shows is the goal for me. It’s like having a relationship with music, its where I want to be. I’d love to be collaborating with different people and just pushing new boundaries.
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