She’s being hailed as the new voice of jazz.
Born in London to parents from the island of Grenada, Ala.ni splits her life between Paris and London.
A former backing singer for artists as diverse as Blur, Andrea Bocelli and Mary J Blige, she is now going solo with her debut album ‘You and I’.
The single ‘Ol’ Fashioned Kiss’ is about an old school friend who she became reacquainted with during the recording of her album.
“He dropped me home one night and he kissed my cheek and I got home and I was like (gasps) and I just wrote the song in one go. I was like, ‘Oh thank you so much, I got a song out of you,’ and I think he was… He didn’t really speak to me for about a year or something because I think it really freaked him out. It’s only during the summer, this summer, he was messaging me a bit like, ‘Are you in London?’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ I think finally he’s accepted, ‘OK, she wrote a song about me,’” she laughs.
Fiercely independent, Ala.ni is not affiliated to any label. Besides writing and producing all the songs on the album, she also produces and directs her own music videos.
“I produced, wrote my album myself and to kind of just let go of it all and then not maintain that kind of attention to detail or attention to my own instincts is… I’m not a control freak, it’s more just like diluting what I’ve started, so I just have to be careful. Of course, I love collaborating, I love writing with other people and making art with other people, but it sometimes does compromise the art,” she says.
The artist, who always knew she really wanted to target the French market, moved to Paris a few years ago where she says the French have embraced her distinct style of music.
Ala.ni is currently touring France to promote her album ‘You & I’, out now.