Q&A: Alana Soul on Influences, Songwriting, and "Love In London" EP
Alana Soul is a rising R&B singer-songwriter from Croydon, England.
Soul released her debut EP, Love In London, on June 11. The project is an eight-track love story for the artist's city, with both previous releases like "Moment In Time" and brand new songs like "Therapy Session."
The EP's lead single, "Issues," is a must-listen. The track highlights Soul's velvety vocal quality, clever lyrical content, and addictive R&B beats. In "Therapy Session," the first track of the release, Soul opens with a therapy session with herself. She creates a completely unique listening experience–an original narrative–for Love In London by posing an introductory question. The EP then works through Soul's internal monologue and thought process as she works through various "Issues." All in all, the EP is an R&B playlist staple, as well as an easy listen. The songs are cohesive, and yet each one brings something new to the table, from the chill melodies of "lovers and friends" to the badass energy brought with "Instagram Girl."
The accompanying visuals compliment the laid-back EP, giving fans just the right combination of sugar and spice. The dance scenes of the "Issues" video take the track to a new level, further communicating depth and originality by Soul.
Love In London Tracklist
"lovers and friends"
"Good (ft. RG)"
"I Need You"
"Moment Of Time"
We spoke with Alana Soul about her influences, songwriting process, and Love In London. Check out the full interview and listen to the EP below. Let us know what you think.
Where are you from? What was the music scene like for you growing up?
I’m originally from Croydon. I grew up in a time where there were only mainstream R&B singers; social media wasn’t so much of a thing, so most people would listen and discover new music through the radio or YouTube. Adele was very big–well, still is–alongside Beyoncé and Rihanna, just to name a few. But in terms of my favourite artists at that time, I would say I loved Jessie J and Amy Winehouse.
Who or what inspired you to start playing and writing music?
I would say my mum definitely encouraged me to write music growing up. Amy Winehouse also inspired me to want to write meaningful, soulful music.
Who were your biggest musical influences when you first started playing music; how have they changed throughout your career?
I would say Jessie J, Amy Winehouse and Adele were my three biggest influences when I was younger. As I grew older, music changed and so did my writing style. I would say SZA and H.E.R are my two current influences.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say I have a very soulful and powerful sound. I don’t try to sound like anyone else, which sets me apart.
Tell us a little bit about your latest release, Love In London.
Love in London is my first ever project. When I first started the project I didn’t exactly know what direction or what I wanted the EP to be about, so at first I spent a lot of time thinking about the concept. I remember watching a SZA interview where she spoke about how she writes and how she always tries to write about real situations. This really helped me because it made me understand the direction I wanted to in in regards to the project. I decided I wanted the project to be based around love, but not heartbreak. It's the motions of different circumstances that arise in different types of relationships, whether that’s a friendship or romantic relationship, because at that point in my life I was forming new relationships and also losing old ones. I was hurt. It was just growing up and releasing what I want. I also wanted all the songs on the EP to mean something to me... So I would say this project was inspired by my personal experiences.
"I wanted the project to be based around love, but not heartbreak."
Do you have a favorite track on the album?
I would say “I Need You” is my favorite, as I love the the lyrics on the song and the meaning. It really meant a lot to me.
How do you write your songs?
Firstly, I choose the beat; I have to feel connected to the sound. Once I have chosen the beat, I sing different melodies. After doing this, I write lyrics that fit with the melody and come up with a concept.
How do you come up with your music videos and visuals?
I usually have a vision in my mind as soon as I hear the finished product. I then write down all my ideas and present them to my team.
If you could give one piece of advice to young girls hoping to break into the music industry, what would it be?
I would tell them to be authentic, study the greats, and be consistent. Don't be afraid to try new things.
"Don't be afraid to try new things."
What’s next for Alana Soul?
I will be releasing new music and content soon, so stay tuned!