Dreams, Love Letters & Sinister Fairy-tales – Interview with I am Alice
Sometimes, just sometimes, we wander around the internet and we find something amazing. That’s exactly what happened when I stumbled upon I Am Alice’s Youtube channel a few months ago. I was instantly drawn in by her unique electronic sound and haunting lyrics. I was particularly hypnotized by her song “Ashes” and was very impressed by the originality of the videos that she shoots herself. And in those times when I find something great, I feel like I want to share it with the world. So that’s what I’m here to do.
Get to know Alice
Alice comes from East London where she lives with her husband and apart from doing music, she’s also a teacher at a local primary school. “I love my job but it’s exhausting! Writing music helps me cope with the tough days“. That’s something I can understand an appreciate. Growing up with a single mother who is a teacher, I know all too well how exhausting it can be and I truly admire people who teach today’s youth. In her free time Alice also enjoys console gaming, “It blows my mind how quickly technology has developed in the past 20 years“.
“Writing reminds me who I am”.
I was eager to know where she finds inspiration for her music and to my surprise, Alice points out that boredom inspires her. “There’s only so much Netflix you can watch before you start to slip into the void. Writing reminds me who I am. I don’t have trouble starting a track but I do have trouble finishing them – I release such a small fraction of my work“. I find that fascinating, as for me it’s usually very hard to get out of that bottomless void we call entertainment.
Naturally, I was interested in the musicians that have been influential to Alice as an artist and what type of music she likes to listen to. She states that there aren’t many genres that she dislikes. “I grew up learning to play Tool bass lines but I’ve always gravitated towards electronic music. I love everything from Bjork to Aphex Twin. Cocteau twins, The Knife, Cocorosie“. And she adds that the more unusual the artist is – the better.
When asked about her creative process, she explains that she usually starts by writing drum beats. “I love writing drum beats so drum sounds are usually where I start – built using fragments of field recordings. Once I’ve got the beat the rest falls into place“. She further continues on the process of how her songs come to be, which I find absolutely fascinating. “My track ‘Home’ was built out of tube station samples and ‘Insects’ was created after spending many painstaking hours harassing bugs with my Zoom recorder. It’s a real labour of love“.
She notes that singing is actually her least favorite part of the recording process, “I’m not a natural singer at all and have to record so many takes“. When it comes to the videos, she uses her phone and edits them in i-movie. “It’s quite a fun exercise seeing what I can create with no budget and limited editing skills. I’d love to learn how to use a more advanced program – perhaps that will be my next project“. I find that to be very interesting, and again it proves that in order to achieve something great, you can use the tools that you already have available to you.
“Dreams, sinister fairy-tales and numerous love letters. I want my listeners to feel a tangible connection to me“.
Connecting with the audience
I was interested to find out what was her inspiration for her first EP “Moth and the Meteor” and what message she wanted to send to her listeners. “Dreams, sinister fairy-tales and numerous love letters. I want my listeners to feel a tangible connection to me“. Alice points out that modern music is often over-produced and with meaningless lyrics which stands in the way of the listener making a real connection to the artist. “I have come to value imperfections, which is handy as my tracks are full of them!“
I was interested to know who she would love to collaborate with, if given the chance to which she replied, “Can I be cheeky and choose a band? I’d love to work with Tool. Who wouldn’t want to work with their favourite band?” And that makes total sense! Working with your favorite artist would be a dream come true for any musician.
I also wanted to find out what’s something that she thinks more people should be talking about right now and Alice pointed out public sector cuts. “I’m a teacher so public sector cuts infuriate me greatly! I think people would be up in arms if they could see how much our community schools are struggling at the moment“. And being raised by a teacher myself, I can only agree with her and hope that more people turn their attention to this issue.
Lastly, I had to ask if she’s working on any new material. She replied that she’s always working on new music. “I just need to be brave and release more“. Therefore, I really hope we can help Alice be brave by supporting her on Spotify and Youtube where she releases her amazing songs and videos.