Ahead of her first headline gig of the year at one of London’s most known and popular venue Notting Hill Arts Club, singer-songwriter Alichè wrote a guest piece for us. She shares some information about her music journey, her time away in Cuba, the UK music scene and her upcoming music too.

Music is the first thing I remember really connecting to. I HATED school and that whole system,  it never fitted with me. So I found the creative side was where I belonged. It took me a while to find where I truly fitted within that though, like my own style that is true to me without doing what I think listeners would expect. I’m still growing and got more to uncover but I’ve definitely found my place. Something that really opened me out mentally and creatively was in November, I went to live with family ties out in Cuba for a few months. Immersing myself in a whole new culture was actually crazy. Things can be so different — so different. It’s mad how 9/10 our lives will play out is almost determined by where we are born into. I felt like I unlocked something in me out there and wrote the most I have ever written, and even since being back the way I look at music and writing, and just generally everything is different and I’m actually so grateful for that experience and change.

Life as an up and coming artist is hard. I love it and wouldn’t trade in for any other path, some days are slow, some days feel like I’m going over and over. Sometimes you gotta step back and deep what you are actually doing, and the small movements you are actually making. “Keep grinding and trust the process”. One thing I do struggle with though and I think it’s a blurry thing, is finding the right balance between music and my day job that pays for not only me to live but my studio time and all the funds towards rehearsals, show costs etc. I guess It’s the same with any creative industry that you plunge yourself into, you have to make sacrifices that maybe your friend whose career is a little more secure and structured wouldn’t have to make.

There are some sick artists coming out of London and the UK at the moment. Distinctive sounds and visuals are being created, and moving out into the industry. Artists are making history and creating a lot of excitement and hope in people. There are singles and albums charting now that wouldn’t have a few years ago. Let’s use Dave as an example, aside from the fact that his album was incredible, just deep the fact he got a NUMBER 1 album with a Rap album (PSYCHODRAMA) at the age of 20, not a ‘hype’ rap album, but a rap album expressing pain, addressing important and sensitive matters, calling out society’s faults and reaching out to all beings. Even my dad listened to that album from start to finish and loved it (especially “Streatham” because he’s a Streatham boy!). But anyway, I’m so proud of everything coming out of the UK — the musical and artistic productivity of the young generation.

When it comes to inspiration, personally I take it from everything around me. It’s something I don’t think should ever have limits or be from primarily one place. Day to day things, scenes I pass on journeys, posters on trains that trigger thoughts, things people I know are going through or I am or have done, listening to old legends, some new tunes, the list is endless. My dad got me into Jazz, Blues and Soul. He’s taken me to the London Jazz Festival and shows since I was small. He just finessed me on musical uncovering as a child, so credit to him for guiding me to the root of the first music scene that inspired me.

This year, I’m working on releasing and building up more content. I want to resonate and connect with people. I’m starting to really love the music I’m creating with people, what engineers, producers and musicians are bringing out of me and also what I am letting myself give out. My main aim this year is to work hard, authentically, organically staying true to me and my sounds and to see where it takes me.

Alichè headlines Notting Hill Arts Club on 13th April. Tickets are available here.

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Photography by New Wave Media