Introducing a rising artist known as ALIA, who recently unveiled their latest EP titled ” Soho Sessions . Side A ” ALIA, an unconventional and emerging artist, explores their musical path while maintaining an authentic and free-spirited approach to their sound and lyrics. Their EP marks a profoundly honest and awe-inspiring debut, reflecting their journey from a young girl to a queer, androgynous, non-binary musician.
The core essence of the EP, “Soho Sessions: Side A,” showcases ALIA’s dedication to upholding individuals’ freedom to love whomever they choose, emphasizing that they are never alone in our diverse world. ALIA wears their heart on their sleeve, with the EP featuring three captivating songs. The first track, “Cellar Door (Acoustic),” captures a poignant love story through raw and untouched production, combining silver/nylon guitar melodies with emotionally charged vocals. The second song, “The Heart of The Wolf (Explicit),” fuses elements of soulful folk rock, immersing listeners in a rhythmic journey of love and devotion. Lastly, “To Be The Man In Your Plan” delves into modern-day love, blending acoustic guitar with powerful folk rock vocals, offering a heartfelt message for the LGBTQIA+ community.
During an interview, ALIA, known by their given name, shared insights into their musical journey. They revealed that their stage name derives from their Egyptian heritage, as “Alia” translates to “powerful” or “supreme” in Arabic. ALIA draws inspiration from personal experiences, emotions, and interactions in life, allowing music to serve as their means of communication. Their early years were filled with a deep connection to music, using it as a release and a beautiful art form.
ALIA’s decision to pursue a music career was driven by an innate desire, rather than a specific inspiration or influence. Their singing, songwriting, and guitar-playing skills are self-taught, developed through their passion and dedication to constant growth. ALIA’s music is described as honest, raw, deep, poetic, and comforting, embodying their unique creative process that allows thoughts and emotions to flow freely.
Aside from music, ALIA’s interests include attending events, exhibitions, and gigs, as well as embracing nature through walks in parks. They find joy in traveling and immersing themselves in different cultures. Additionally, ALIA explores commercial modeling and other forms of creative expression.
ALIA’s latest EP, “Soho Sessions . Side A,” is a testament to their artistic journey and serves as a platform for sharing their unique perspective on love and inclusivity. With upcoming live performances, collaborations, and future projects in the pipeline, ALIA continues to embrace their role as a passionate musician and encourages their fans to be true to themselves and fearlessly pursue their dreams.
Listen to Soho Sessions . Side A
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What is your stage name?
Is there a story behind your stage name?
I mean my stage name is just my name Alia, Egyptian which in Arabic means at a high or powerful level or supreme. I think as truthful as my work and art is I wouldn’t go for anything but my name, the honesty.
Where do you find inspiration?
I would say my personal experiences and interactions in life, my emotions and feelings is what I connect with – music is my way of communicating in this world. I do find inspiration in other art forms whether it may be films or such, I draw from my own reality; love, politics/world, self etc…
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
It played on a lot of roles, it got me through a lot I suppose, and also gave me a fondness of memories. I didn’t enter the music world till over a year and a half ago or so now, but I knew my role in life was to be in it.
I always connected with music from an early age, whether it was belting Whitney Houston or Etta James, to dancing as a child and singing Disney theme songs – I always found it as a release and such beautiful art.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
I would say yes, even if they do not have careers as such within it. My mother to this day has always been the biggest fan of music and sang herself in choirs when I was little. I remember vividly going to those shows and standing on the back of chairs so eager to watch and excited for her!
My father has a huge love for composers and classical music, taught me the love for many Soundtracks in some of the best films, Gladiator, Seven Years In Tibet, Out of Africa etc… this gave me another viewpoint I would say into music, how you can carry emotion and touch people without words, it hit different and still does for me, I have a huge love for classical music.
My brother, was a left-handed guitar player (gifted by a very close family friend that gave me one that I use still to this day for all my songs) he would play with his mates (band) when he was younger, write some of his own and cover – I would say he taught me the love for a lot of Indie bands from the late 90s to early 00s but also artists like the likes of Eminem.
Then my sister probably had the strongest effect on me in many ways including music, the power in her voice was something I was always dreaming of reaching, incredible singer – she had a small career in music I would say coming from Kuwait and recording over her in London (believe in other countries also) I recall being in a studio with her once (in Islington I was maybe 12 or 13) and watching her and absorbing as much as I could.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I don’t think there was really an inspiration of who made me be a part of this industry, I think in terms of the art there’s an inspiration but everything felt very natural for me to do this – every other work or life pushed me more towards this, everything else felt very uncomfortable and I had a breaking point less than a year or so ago. I thought to myself and within if I don’t leap, I will never know who I am as an artist or the life I truly want for myself.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I’m not trained to put it simply, singing I’ve just sung and listened to artists who inspired me from an early age to now, I try to push myself with that and evolve and grow – see what I can challenge myself to do next. Writing is the same, actually wasn’t a great student in terms of my writing, and also got a lot of negative criticism on my poetry as a kid.
Which never stop me, I just kept going, I was never good with explaining or spelling/grammar – and I knew that and still do. But I use my own power within my words and thoughts to create the art I wish to, again I challenge and push myself to do better.
Anyone that knows me, knows I am very hard on myself. With my guitar playing I had an ex-partner once who taught me one song on the guitar Daughter – Youth track, I learnt and started to reverse it and play it as fast as I could, but confidence still lacked so I put it down for a long time… until lockdown hit did I truly pick up the guitar and just gave it everything I got, and taught myself as many chords as I needed merging my poetry and beginning my songwriting – I am trying to learn the piano at the moment very early stages but it intrigues me as my ears have learned so much that moving onto the piano is easier then I thought it would be – still more to learn and I am nowhere near where I’d want to be or want to learn as a musician, and I am very excited for this!
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
Concert I saw a lot and I can’t remember if I am honest, more memories from festivals like the Reading festival, I will forever remember Paramore, and Foo Fighters and Florence and the Machine, and much more – the awe of the performers and showmanship was outstanding, rain – sun – no power – it was mesmerizing.
How could you describe your music?
I would probably go with honest, raw, deep, poetic, comfort.
Describe your creative process.
There is no process … aha! I mean I have ways I do things but I wouldn’t say its a process, I don’t sit down and say I must write or try if that makes sense. I allow my thoughts and feelings to fall out of me, and form together – it is rare that I would edit my work once I have finished it lyrically or rhythm/chords.
Would add instruments on top of course and evolve it, if it needs it or if it can speak by itself then I just leave it… most of my recent knowledge over a year has grown from my soul brother Steven Young a.k.a Mr.Nobody – he’s brought me into my realm of understanding my art more than I ever did before, helping me form into the musician I’ve always dreamt of being.
What is your main inspiration?
Life as simple as that is, but thats what I draw from, the world that I am in.
What musician do you admire most and why?
I admire a lot, the ones who passed and the living from every genre you could think of… but to think of perhaps the ones I always go and connect with I always think of Hans Zimmer and Ludovico Einaudi. You can’t describe their art and what they do and have achieved as musicians/composers – I sometimes write a lot of poetry to their music.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Definitely, it’s like anything the more you do something, the more you evolve and learn/grow. My vocals are stronger and have wisdom I can feel it, guitar is way more natural for me and comfortable, and the knowledge I have when creating knowing whats right or wrong perhaps and what would be cool to add, I know that’s something I am very proud of.
I have been doing this professionally for perhaps a year or so, so I have lots more time to still discover more!
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t, an artist is an artist. They all have their own journey in life, wish anyone luck in life doing what they love to do, I am not here to compete.
What are your interests outside of music?
I enjoy going to events, exhibitions and gigs – exploring and learning more. Walks, I adore the nature being in a city like London I try to grab any nature I can, heals the mind, even if its to go grab a coffee and sit by myself in a park. Travelling, culture I love with all my heart. I also do a bit of commercial modelling on the side, so a few music videos and tv series I have been in, I enjoy a lot of creative outlets and forms of art/expression.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Honestly I don’t know,… I’ve always wanted to help people, I got a BA Hons in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies at London Met University, so I would hope something in that field.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
The funding you need as an artist in this industry, and the fact industries or governments don’t consider it as a real job or even an industry that should be looked after. So many sectors in music are falling because of this, and it saddens me to find out so my artists in this world will never have their voices or creations heard because they aren’t wealthy enough or the Theatre’s in London or wherever in the world get shut down because of costs. It’s something people always need, and I think needs a better solution.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Labels and how they work, they should never have the right over someones music. It belongs to the artist, even The Beatles for the majority of their career never owned their rights to their own art. I would change their system and how they manage/work with artists, the industry has become a quite toxic one – which I think needs some healing done to it.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
I choose it, inspiration from Steven, whom I spoke of earlier, I was thinking in my head what should it be, and he mentioned why not “Soho Sessions” it grew on me. As we recorded all the tracks in Soho.
It has a special place in my heart, Soho has always felt like home for me, freedom, and being whoever you want to be. Side A, was a little touch as its the beginning of my music journey and my name ALIA.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I have a incredible gig on the 27th of this month, to support an incredible artist called Nik Sheva at Piano Smithfield, London. I will be going for more shows, and getting more live performances booked. I have a few tracks I have worked with other people on needing finishing.
In September however is where everything will be very interesting and exciting, I have had the beautiful chance to on with Mr. Nobody’s (Steven Young) up-coming music that will be out and this will be a start of another adventure, very different genre to my own – modern psychedelic rock, BUT I connect with it so much and always wanted to make or be apart of music like this! Very proud and grateful I get this opportunity to go on this adventure.
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
I would note on the above, and further add that the tracks I am working on;
I have a feature on House track “Kinda Mad”‘ (soon to be released) with the astounding up and coming Jazzi Sirus, which I am on their vocally/lyrically and with Mark Fox as the insane musician/producer formed this piece together!
One is a single with this beautiful producer called Austel, who was engineering one night in Stoke Newington and caught my set – we swapped details and kept in touch, she mentioned she’d love to produce one of my songs, and there we go – I found a song I wrote from probably one of my first collections I ever wrote. I am excited to have this piece finished.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
If you are reading this now and following my journey and my art, I am eternally grateful to you.
Always be yourself, be kind, be honest and never be afraid.
To the moon and back.