Each week, OOR Studio reaches out to various artists, musicians, and those with all-around good taste.
SOUND OF THE WEEK PT. 61: ALMA
Getting up at 6am every morning, going to the airport, arrive in a new city, check-in at the hotel, have lunch, go to the venue, do the soundcheck and then show time. This is what a normal day while being on tour looks like for ALMA. This week she released the video for her latest single “Hey Mom Hey Dad” and also announced that her new album “Time Machine” will be released on April 21. We met the Finnish talent to talk about her emotional relationship with her parents, her career after participating at a talent show and took some photos of her.
In 2013 you participated in the Finnish reality-television show Idols, now you are performing in front of thousands of people and have your own concerts. What made you participate at this show?
I was very young when I went to Idols. I did not attend any school at this time and all of my friends got into nice high-schools – except me. So I spent six months at home and it made me feel weird. I just thought I should not be home when I am 17 years old. I felt like a failure. It might have been pretty naive but I just went to that show and thought I’m going to be a big pop star afterwards.
What is your opinion about attending the show back then?
It was one of the most stupid ideas I have ever had. But I think it has helped me to get connections and it made me realize what I want to do and what I do not want to do, TV shows for example.
Which songs are you currently listening to?
Basically a lot of old stuff I used to listen to when I was younger like Pitbull. “Bunny is a rider“ by Caroline Polacheck is a track I also listen to a lot recently, as well as “So hot you’re hurting my feelings“. But now, when making the album, I have been going back to the stuff I used to listen to when I was younger. For example Elton John and some UK indie bands.
Would you also say that older artists have inspired you or still inspire you during the production of the upcoming album which is going to be released this year?
When I’m listening to the tracks which I used to listen to when I was younger, I get so emotional. And by that I can write stuff. Of course my brain might take some influence from the songs, too but I think for me it’s more like memorizing stuff because I have had hard times. For example, I can’t remember what I did when I was 19 because I’ve been on tour and I’ve been doing so much. But then, when I hear a track, I’m thinking back to the parties I have been going to or when I was feeling miserable in a certain place.
Your singles “Summer really hurt us“ and “Stay all night“ are about heartbreaks. How do you deal with heartbreaks?
I’ve had one break up which was pretty shit. What helped me was hanging out with my friends as much as possible and talking about what happened. Being alone during this time makes it worse.
You came out some years ago. Which tips do you have for people who struggle with coming out?
I think usually you are a teenager when you find out that you are gay and you are still living with your parents at this point. My family for example is totally fine with me being gay. But if you have a family that is very religious or just not okay with it, I would not recommend to just say you are gay. Try to find people online or in the area around you who are gay and talk to them. But if you have the guts, then just scream it out loud! Almost all of my friends are gay and everyones story is different. For me it was so easy because my parents are easy.
Have you got a good relationship with your parents then?
Yes. If I need confidence, I go to my mom. If I need love and someone to talk to, I go to my dad. It is kind of weird because usually it is the other way around but with my parents it is like this because my dad is very sensitive. He has taught my sister and me how to communicate. I think every dad should be sensitive and should be talking about feelings. I think it really affected me. And you should always keep in mind that there is life after love.
You have been working with great artists such as Tove Lo, Charli XCX and Miley Cyrus. Who would you like to work with in the future?
I have been working with so many, it is kind of crazy. Songwriting wise, I would love to work for Lady Gaga. That’s probably my biggest wish. On the one hand it might be a bit far but on the other hand I have been working with Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande … so maybe it’s not that far?! I know Lady Gaga has her own circle, so let’s see – maybe someday it’s going to happen. But you know what? I would love to just keep on collaborating with my friends. Charlie, Tove and so on.
Can you give us a little hint what we can expect from your album which is going to be released this year?
Let me reveal it. The album is called “Time Machine” and it’s literally a reflection of my childhood, my family. I think the topics on this album are deeper than ever before. It kind of came naturally as I have been coming back home for the first time some years ago and it was a very weird feeling for me when I landed and started to see my family and my friends. I felt like I didn’t know who I am because at that time I did like four tours in a row. After I have released my first single, I’ve been away every year all the time. So now it was the first time when I got to know my parents again, being a bit more adult. Got to know my friends again. And I think I was just very lost. I didn’t plan to write this album. I just released an album and I was thinking „Fuck it, I’m going to go on tour. I’m not going to make music.“ But it came out as a documentary of my life and it just felt right.
Interview by Stella Raschke