For many of us in the USA, Thanksgiving, only two days away, is a time to gather with loved ones, enjoy great food, loads of laughter and thank God/the powers that be for keeping us safe and healthy, so far. For Florida based singer/songwriter Alache, Thanksgiving indeed embodies these warm fuzzy feelings and great times but should probably be everyday. In our personal lives, we need not wait for that special day to be happy and to thank God. Indeed everyday should be one that lifts our spirits and souls ‘higher!’
The bubbly gospel artist who always seems happy just launched her sophomore album titled ‘Until Now.’ ‘Until now’ is an album which while it speaks about Jesus and the love of God, refuses to limit itself to topics that might resonate with Christians. Alache in her album and as explained to Ladybrillemag.com intentionally seeks to connect with non-Christians, particularly teenage girls. She does so by addressing socio-psychological and economic issues that affects these demographics: depression, extreme stress, insecurities, dating, relationships, among many topics. Indeed in speaking with Alache, there is a sense that she too has struggled with issues that she wants young women to be aware of. Songs like “Higher,” “Insecurity,” “Shoulda Lost my Mind” and “Bye Bye Mistah” reflect her internal conflicts and how she ultimately finds peace.
The daughter of a Military father and an Author/Evangelist mother, Alache has lived in numerous countries including Nigeria, France and the USA. This young woman who has a big heart for helping young girls is the founder of a non-profit organization “Song of A Girl” dedicated to helping young girls.
We caught up with Alache for a chat to learn all about her music and her happiness. Enjoy the interview and be sure to look for our Alache Thanksgiving CD Giveaway!
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Hi Alache
LADYBRILLEmag.com: So, every picture of you out there has you with a larger than life smile. Were you born smiling?
Alache: (Smiles) Thanks. I have a tendency to be vibrant and always happy.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Why is that? The world today is so crazy why are you so vibrant and always happy?
Alache: I try to always stay happy, because life is heavy enough as it is. Health and sanity wise, you have to stay upbeat.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Laughs) I do agree but what is so interesting is so many people are not happy that when you are, at least in the USA, you get “is she on drugs” or something. I know I use to get that. (Laughs)
Alache: Well people here (USA) have a tendency to have a heavy outlook on life. I just say make light of it as much as you can.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Yes indeed. So, that leads me to my next question, who is Alache the musician?
Alache: I am an artist who likes to consider herself inspirational . . . trying to reach out to as many people as I can with my positive message.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How would you define the category of music you do and who does it appeal to?
Alache: I would define the category of music that I do as Christian . . .but it would appeal to more than just a faith based crowd because the album contains faith based and inspirational materials. [I] target the young, the young at heart, anyone who has been through and is going through things or life in general and needs a positive message. (Smiles).
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Since you appeal to Christians also, let me ask you this. In some of your songs that speak about the love of Jesus, you use beats that are typically considered circular. Why did you decide to use such beats?
Alache: Because that’s the style of music that I love and I feel it’s the right beat for the tracks. Also because (one of the) reasons people run away (from) ‘Christian music,’ (particularly youths) is because they don’t find anything that sounds like what they hear on the radio. So I feel if we have nice positive music for people who generally would love the R &B genre or what not without the profanity, it is nice.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: I hear you.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Share how you got into the music business. I hear you are from Kano. That is Northern Nigeria, correct?
Alache: I am (from) Benue state. . . I grew up in Kano. Benue State is in (mid west) Nigeria.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Cool! Now we in the West when we hear or see anything about Northern Nigeria, it is always about killings between the Christians and Muslims. Please help educate our minds a bit from this brainwashed image. Kano is a major metropolitan city, isn’t it? What was it like growing up there?
Alache: Just like any other city or part of the world. We are not without our own flaws. But I had a great childhood and lovely memories growing up out there. I would encourage people not to believe everything they hear or read.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Share with us a bit more about these lovely memories you speak of. I understand your father was an Air Force General and mother is an Author/Evangelist. What was it like in your home? Was there lots of music?
Alache: My father is still active in the military… and yes (smiles) I grew up in a home with lots of music. We actually used to sing as a family and somehow as we grew older, I ended up being the last man standing. (Smiles) But my parents have been very supportive and I guess they have enjoyed watching me evolve over time.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: So when did you discover your singing abilities?
Alache: I have been singing since I was 9, but my parents would say since I was not even old enough to remember. (Smiles)
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (laughs) Let’s talk about your new album. One of the things I notice about your music in your new album “Until Now” is that you seem to want to cover a lot of socio-economic, socio-psychological issues: poverty, depression and so much more. Why is it important for you to do this?
Alache: Because these are topics that I am passionate about and I wanted touch on them in the album.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: You are also passionate about young girls. Tell us about your charity foundation.
Alache: My charity foundation is very dear to my heart . . . I love to empower young girls. My charity foundation is called Song of a Girl (which stands for) Saving our next generation of Gorgeous Independent Respectable Ladies.We do counseling for young girls going through anything from low self-esteem and moral issues to a school we are opening in Nigeria soon. It will be a charity school at no cost to the girls.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: That is amazing! How are you funding it if the girls are paying nothing?
Alache: We are promoting through my shows and taking donations from anyone willing to invest as well as our concrete investors on hand. The girls are not paying because they are either orphans or highly impoverished which is one of the criterion to get in.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Where can people go if they want to support Song of a Girl?
Alache: Right now they can go to my website www.alacheonline.com and contact us from there. The new website songofagirl.com will be back up soon. I will update my main website when it’s back on.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Okay. Let’s get into the songs on your new album. How long did it take to produce the album?
Alache: It took 7 months to (complete the album).
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Did you write most of the songs?
Alache: I wrote all of the songs.
LADYBRLLEmag.com: I know you credit Gerry Williams a lot. Tell us how you met him and how you decided he was the right person to work with?
Alache: Gerry was actually my voice coach for about 4yrs prior to him (producing my album). He is a vocal coach /producer to a lot of stars out of the Orlando area. We had started doing random studio sessions for vocal rehearsals. We spoke about doing an album without a timeline and eventually as the songs were coming to me, I decided it was time to get the album rolling.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Give us a quick insider view on what goes into producing an album like yours?
Alache: Well the right material, the right team to work with and instead of the cliché talent, I would say a belief in yourself.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Your single “Higher,” tell us what you were going through and how the lyrics came about?
Alache: Higher is our accidental song as we call it. (Smiles) The reason being I had just recorded sort of a jingle I would say. One day we came in and we were like that’s kinda cool. Gerry said can you write to this and I did. It was just a matter of what angle I approached the lyrics and it turned out to be the single.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: When you write your lyrics as a whole, is it based on a personal experience you are going through?
Alache: Yes most times it is… Or just things going on in the world around me, be it friends/family or even the news. . . ( it is) always topics I am passionate about.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Another track I really like is “Shoulda lost my mind.” Tell us about that?
Alache: That’s my favorite song because at some of my darkest points, when things were not going the way I thought they would go in my life, you would think I would loose (my) mind but I am saying in that song, I should have but I still got it and I made it through. I am encouraging my listeners that they can make it through their rough patches as well.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: I like the two I mentioned and definitely INSECURITY. What exactly inspired insecurity?
Alache: This song is simple. People see me and think she must not have any insecurities and growing up I had mine with breaking out. (smiles) never quite felt all the way pretty but as I got over those issues growing up, I wanted to help other girls who feel like they’re not so pretty, whatever the reasons many be.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Do you currently have any insecurities?
Alache: I am good now. (smiles)
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Good for you! Do you plan to debut any videos soon?
Alache: Look out for videos for higher and insecurity early next year
LADYBRILLEmag.com: A final question for you. I recall listening to Kirk Franklin a while back on a road trip with my mentor and his family when I was still in law school. One of his children, she was maybe 11years at the time what was that? It was the “Stomp” song by Kirk Franklin. I said, “Christian music” and she said, “THAT IS NOT Christian music” it is regular music. Her sentiments are echoed by many non-Christians and Christians. How do you get people to see that Christian music need not be hymns and?
Alache: I think that’s really a work in progress but I like to explain it by simply telling people that Christians are humans and we go through life just like everybody else. It’s okay to rock out every now and then . . .
LADYBRILLLEmag.com: Thank you Alache.
Alache: Nice chatting (with you).