Hey Alice! So excited to be chatting with you! What inspired you to pursue music?
Hi! Thanks for having me on TMI. I always loved music growing up as an illegal lime wire addict, CD burning junky, and secret garage band beat maker- singing softly into the laptop mic when I believed no one to be home. I was too shy to pursue it seriously until I took a songwriting class and the positive feedback I received gave me the confidence to go public with my love for creating music. I posted my demos from that class online and it caught the attention of a producer friend of mine who brought me into the studio to write and record an EP. That EP never came out, but it was the first real taste of what a career as a song writer and recording artist looked like and I haven’t looked back.
Can you tell us a little bit about you?
I’m from San Diego, I grew up painting and drawing, I played classical guitar, all the sports (except soccer) and spent my summers at the beach. Starting in high school I let my social life push my talents aside and focused more on partying and being cool than I wish I had. I was pretty insecure growing up and found my confidence later. That’s when I stopped following the herd and started taking art seriously.
What artists do you look up to right now?
Francis and the Lights. He’s a mysterious creature with catchy, simple, but emotional music that makes me both want to dance and cry. He’s also one of the most interesting performers I’ve ever watched. Lana Del Rey – also a mystery. She never seems to follow trends and creates songs that transform your life into a movie. Frank Ocean. His lyrics, meandering melodies, the sounds. Also a mysterious man. I see the common thread here. Maybe I need to work on my mysterious image.
You are gearing up for the release of your debut EP Paradise?! How excited are you to finally get this project out into the world?
This has been a very up and down experience, as I’m sure it is with everyone. I create all the artwork and marketing materials for my project so I have a lot more than just music, mix notes and photoshoots to take care of. It’s what I love to do though so while it may be exhausting it’s also exhilarating. I burn myself out pretty easily because I don’t ever want to stop.
Can you tell us about what this EP means to you?
It’s about being brutally honest about my issues, my complex, complicated, contradictory feelings and creating a space for others to talk about similar issues. There’s nothing more alienating than being dishonest about where we’re at- putting on a smile and saying everything’s “perfect” so that people don’t judge you. I’m an over-sharer in real life and my music is just an extension of that.
Why did you decide to add a ? at the end of the EP Title?
The “?” is about breaking down the facade of perfection. I’m kind of obsessed with this emerson quote: “At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty and lose my sadness. I pack my bags, hug my friends, get on the plane, and wake up in Naples, and there next to me is the cruel fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I look for the Vatican and the palaces. I pretend to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go.”
I relate so intensely to this. And this is what Paradise? means. It means there is no paradise. There is no destination that solves all our problems. Life is just a journey and I’m really proud of what I’m deciding to do with it right now.
Any fun moments while creating the EP?
Oh tons. I love writing sessions. I’m friends with all my co-writers and producers and hanging out, talking about our feelings and trying to make it rhyme. The ah-hah moments. Writing indigo was an especially sweet day. Started out by the pool sitting in a circle, going around singing ideas, laughing, high-fiving (Peter Fenn is a major high-fiver- minimum 10 high fives when you’re with him).
What song are you most excited to perform from this new EP?
Are you planning to tour to promote this EP?
As of now no, but we’re open to it.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Instagram. That’s where I started putting myself out there with cover videos. That’s where most people know to find me.
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
Remixed version of the EP coming out soon. Got some really incredible artists to remix and I’m super psyched to hear them. Let’s get Alice Gray in Soul Cycle.