ellesse: Could you talk to us about where you grew up, pre-career, and if you had any music influences or inspirations.
Alyusha: I think I decided that I wanted to be a singer when I was three, or four, because I heard that opera singers could break glass with their voices. So, I was like ‘wooh’ that sounds really cool, I want to be an opera singer, I want to be able to break glass with my voice. To be honest, I started music really young, I was about seven when I decided that I wanted to be in a cathedral choir, so I went to boarding school and music schools and got loads of bursaries and scholarships so I could pursue my career as a musician. The trajectory was very classical for a while until I hit my teens, mid-teens, and I realised that I found classical music boxed you in, and I couldn’t express myself as much, so I decided that I wanted to do jazz instead.
So, I went to Gilgal school of music and studies jazz singing. It was a difficult course to get onto, it was only two singers per year, sometimes only one, so it was a very high-stress, and intense course for four years. By the end of it I realised that I didn’t want to do jazz either, because it felt like there were too many rules and things. As a musician, it did give me all the tools I needed to then start working on my own stuff. Then at music college, I met some other girls and we started a female beat-box group and we would tour around the world doing beat-boxing, which was really run and then I performed with loads of different people.
I have done all sorts of different things like backing vocals and sessions with other people. Then it got to a point where I wanted to do my own thing and be able to express creatively and then that became another adventure of finding sounds and I really love to find different sounds from everywhere, a lot of people do it now. I think what’s really fascinating is that it does go back to the very beginning because there was always an intense fascination of vibration and sound and the effect that can have on human beings, basically, essentially that what it really is.
I think that a lot of music you’re going to hear of my own production is really chaotic, and I think because living in London, the sounds that you’re hearing everyday are chaotic and fragmented. I think if I was living in the countryside, it would be a very different thing, so I think it’s like sponging the environment and then using the environment to create particular sounds. So, the track ‘Cracks’ that we performed earlier on that’s very chaotic.
ellesse: That was amazing, it took me on a whole journey. Someone was talking about how sound moves through vibrations and that’s how people become attracted to certain sounds.
Alyusha: Totally and it also effects our brainwaves and our mental health, they use shockwave therapy to vibrate the brain to create changes, whereas if you chant or you’re someone that uses your voice in that way you can physiologically effect your brain and the different frequencies that your brain emits, so you can bring yourself from a ‘high-beater’ which is like fight or flight to hopefully lower brain frequencies to create feelings of more meditative states. But having said that, the music I was creating hasn’t created that, which is interesting because meditation is something that I love to do. I don’t know how that all ties in to it, but it feels like it does.
ellesse: Are there any inspirations for your current music, or it is just what comes naturally?
Alyusha: I think most inspirations are literally the surroundings. To be honest I genuinely listen to my friends, or people that I have worked with so I definitely get more influence from people who are immediately surrounding me. But generally I try not to be too influenced by that and try find it from a more organic place.