Alma is only 16 years old, but she plays piano and guitar, while she also writes music and lyrics. Her debut single is titled “Perfect” and so far she has released singles such as “Don’t Know”, “Out Of Control” and “Be Alright”. Her 5th single “My Mama Told Me” is a subversive new project she wrote with one of the top Bulgarian producers and hip-hop artists, Pavell
Hailing from Bulgaria and the United Kingdom, her name means “soul” in Spanish, Alma, started singing for fun and posted on Instagram the covers she made, which she recorded with her mobile phone. From there she was discovered by one of the most famous composers and producers in Romania, Christian Tarcea, who immediately fell in love with her music and invited her to visit his studio.
Alma’s achievements so far include No. 1 in Bulgaria’s Shazam Top 200, 8th place in Poland’s airplay chart for 2 weeks, 23rd place in Russia’s Shazam Top 100 as well as additions to Spotify New Music Friday list of Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Iceland but also support from the Weekend Hangouts of the same platform.
A few months ago, the young singer received the “Debut of the Year” award at the Annual Music Awards 2020 in Bulgaria and was nominated for “Best Female Artist”. She recently received a nomination at the Bulgarian “Woman of the Year” awards in the music category.
Read what he said about all the above in the exclusive interview she gave to SounDarts.gr…
Hello Alma and welcome to SounDarts.gr! What have you been up to these days?
Hi there! At the moment I am studying, making music, painting, doing drama classes and most of all enjoying the rainy weather in England
How would you introduce yourself to the Greek audience?
I see myself as someone passionate about all kinds of art, mainly music, who is constantly buzzing with new ideas, melodies, texts and concepts. I’m quite new to the whole artist lifestyle but am ready to learn and put smiles on people’s faces with my creations.
You recently released your single, “My Mamma Told Me”. What’s the story behind this song?
The story behind “My Mama Told Me” is quite funny because it wasn’t inspired by something my mother told me (even though she is telling me all these things…) , but something a producer, and a great friend of mine told me. I was in the studio with Pavell from the Bulgarian hip-hop duo Pavell and Venci Venc’ and experimented with a more relaxed version of myself. Pavell is a great producer and told me to show the microphone a different side of Alma. This was supposed to be training session for me dedicated to how to express my emotions openly via music. The whole process taught me a lot about how to get comfortable with all the sides of your own artistic persona. This experiment became my next project. Ha ha!
You come from a musical family. How did this affect your decision to become a singer?
When I was younger, I never thought I would want to be a singer. I have always loved music and have had an interesting mix of genres coming from both of my parents. From my mom, pop, soul and hip hop and from my dad classical and jazz. I have also been playing piano since I was about 5 years old and guitar since I was 11. When I was younger I looked up to musical stars like Pink, Lana del Rey, Sade etc. and was always at big concerts because of my dad’s job as a promoter, but I never imagined myself being the person on stage. Once I started practicing singing and recording videos to post on social media, the whole thing kicked off. It has all been quite surreal and unexpected, but also very pleasant and fulfilling.
You have become one of the most famous Bulgarian artists even beyond your country’s boarders, in a short period of time? What is the secret to your success?
I wouldn’t say I have a secret, just luck and supportive talented people around me. It all started with my mother, who believed in me even though she was cautious to immerse me into the world of being an artist, because she is involved in the music business for the last nearly 30 years. Another key person was Chris Tarcea, a.k.a Monoir, a super talented Romanian songwriter and producer who also saw something in me, invited me in his studio where he brought out my voice and helped me show it to the world. I also discovered that I can create interesting melodies and lyrics without big effort. When it comes to the success that some of my tracks have achieved, I think it just comes to loving making music and having an amazing group of people at my label Virginia Records, who are also friends of mine, who deal with all the necessary behind the scenes operations.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
I think that the internet has done great things for the music business. It has helped spread music and artistic creative videos across the world. Many artists have been discovered thanks to the internet and social media. I started my artistic path by posting covers on Instagram and that is how I developed my voice and my musical interest, so I’m definitely aware of the positive impact that the internet has had on music today.
If you could collaborate with any artist in the world who would you choose and why?
There are many talented and interesting people out there I would be honored to work with, but I think that for a good collaboration there needs to be chemistry between the artists, not just musically but also personally. Overall I would be ready to collaborate with anyone who inspires me. Some artists who I think my voice would sound good with could be Billie Eillish, Lana del Ray, Labyrinth and many more.
If you had to choose 5 songs for the soundtrack of your life which ones would they be?
– Urban Jazz – IAMDDB
– Fragile – Sting
– Soulflower – Noah Slee
– I Wonder Why – Loyle Carner
– Brillo – Rosalía
How much has the coronavirus pandemic affected your plans?
It has obviously restricted my ability to travel, meet people, including artists and producers and my family too. It hasn’t been easy with my studies either since sometimes we need to do our lessons online and nobody is sure if our exams are going to happen. Some positives have come out of the experience though. I spent a couple of months in lockdown in London and had a lot more time to focus on myself, my music and my art which I really feel like I needed. Hopefully this odd period will end soon and life can go back to normal.
What are your next professional plans? Should we expect your debut album anytime soon? If yes could you give us some more information about it?
I am always creating melodies and texts and probably have enough material for multiple albums, but the process of converting an idea into a finished track is time consuming and doesn’t always work out. Because of school and especially with Covid around, it’s a lot harder for me to be in the studio and realize my ideas. Hopefully soon I will though.
What is the best advice you’ve been given in your career so far?
To stay true to myself and to accept that not everyone will appreciate my music and like me and that letting that affect me is unreasonable and a waste of energy and emotion.
Could you imagine yourself in five years from now? How would it be artistically?
I get the question of how I see myself in the future a lot, and honestly, I don’t really have an answer. I have so many things that I enjoy and that I am passionate about, so I have no idea what direction my life is going to go in. I hope to continue making music and developing as a songwriter and artist. By imagining one concrete outcome for myself I feel like I am limiting my options to some extent.
What’s your motto in life?
I would say my motto in life is to take things one step at a time and focus on my own happiness and health.
What is your message to all your fans out there?
All I would want to say is to take care of yourselves and the people around you, but also be ready to take risks and to be crazy because we only have one life, so we better live it.
Interview: Thodoris Kolliopoulos