A bold new talent from South Australia, Alana Joanne has developed an utterly spellbinding sound that has made her one of this country’s most inspired new prospects. A creative talent with a penchant for blending universal pop with more personal RnB sounds, Alana’s music combines soaring, pitch-perfect vocals with a unique and fiercely modern style.
With landmark single ‘Shadows’ still making waves across Australia, Alana is pushing things further than ever before, taking to the stage and building her legacy. Now, on the eve of another fresh hit being released, we couldn’t think of a better time to sit down and have a chat with Australian’s newest pop icon.
So Alana, how did you first start making music? Where did it all begin?
I started singing when I was a small child and I started writing when I was eleven years old. I didn’t actually make the leap to create my own music until 2016. A producer offered to help me with my lyrics and melody and that’s what started the motivation. I then started to meet other lyricists and vocalists that further pushed me.
You seem to have always had a flair for collaboration and performing. How would you best describe your sound to newcomers?
Its pop, but with a dance beat. There is a clever mix of bass, synth and vocal melodies, almost a little trancey but not quite there. It’s as if Lady Gaga, Kesha and Amy Lee (Evanescence) had a pop music baby.
Sounds like a good mix. Would you say those three have been your biggest influences so far?
Evanescence’s Amy Lee was my first love, her vocals soothed my soul during some pretty dark times in my childhood. Listening to her helped me to envision myself performing in stadiums across the world, she influenced my passion for helping others through my music. I want to be able to make others feel the way her music made me feel, understood and not alone. The other major influences would have to be Lady Gaga, her values as a human being as well as her style, and absolute drive to never give up.
‘Shadows’, your collaboration with Connor Jones has been a massive hit for you both. What’s next? Are you looking to capitalise on that moment with something new?
I have just released my latest single ‘Undress Me’ on March 20th and that track has been long-awaited. I have about twelve more tracks I’m currently finishing up and they will be released throughout 2020. I also have three major collaborations I’m working on, two of which are international with support from record labels so that’s been a fun experience so far.
I’ve spent the last six months networking with agents, artists, producers and managers in California. I’ll be heading there in August for fourteen days to further my network, have some meetings and do a couple of shows, it’s all pretty exciting!
Very exciting! Can you tell us a little more about the latest releases, or is it all hush-hush until it drops?
My next release will be out in May 2020. It’s another pop style, dance beat with an uplifting and empowering message for every single one of my fans. I cannot wait for them to hear it.
So what is your songwriting process? How did it all come together?
My process is a little strange, that’s what people often say. Due to the fact, my instrument is my voice and my piano skills are very basic… I’m currently back to lessons! I actually write lyrics first. The words tend to pop into my head randomly and if I’m home ill grab my lyric book and jot it all down or if I’m out somewhere I use my phone to get it all down, the perks of a Samsung note, ha-ha.
I take inspiration from my own trauma, the world around or stories my loved ones share. I then create a mood board and have three reference tracks to share with the producer when I get into the studio. We then build the song together from there before laying down the vocal melody and moving forward.
That personal touch seems important, what would you say is the most important thing for you personally when you’re writing a song?
That the song will resonate with my fans.
Your career is just beginning and picking up steam fast, it’s clearly an incredible time for you. What would you say has been your best moment as a musician so far?
There are two very special moments for me. The first was in regard to my first ever single ‘Sweet Georgia’ which was released late 2018. I wrote that song for a dear colleague of mine who had been suffering some bad mental health for a while. She was in a bad place and I felt the only thing I could do to help her was to write her a song. She tells me often that it helped save her life. That is exactly the reason I make music, to help others, to let them know they’re going to be okay, that they’re not alone, that they’re beautiful just the way they are.
The second moment was very recent. In February of 2020, I performed for the Annual Melbourne Aquarium Charity Gala. This year’s charity was Our Watch – their sole purpose is to end violence against women and their children. This charity and everything it stands for is something I believe in; I support and was honoured to perform for. I’ve had my own personal traumas and battles with Domestic Violence and to get the opportunity as an artist to not only share the music I created from those traumas but my own story in relation to the cause is something I’ll never forget. It was very overwhelming and I had a lot of people thanking me personally afterwards. If I helped anyone that night to have the courage to speak up then that’s all that matters for me. The opportunity to help others heal is the true gift of music and it’s the true gift that being an artist has given me.
Your sound is very different from a lot of artists out there today, what would your dream collaboration be?
My dream artist collaboration would have to be an equal toss-up between Amy Lee and Lady Gaga. My dream Producer collaboration would have to be Mark Ronson, I think he’s phenomenal.
Thank you so much for your time Alana, one last question for you, what advice would you give to band’s who are looking to make it big?
It’s a tough thing being creative and being an artist whether you’re in a band or a solo artist. I’ve had some pretty dark moments where I felt I wasn’t good enough; the investment wasn’t worth it anymore or I was an imposter trying to be something I am not. None of that holds true and the only way I got through those moments was by not giving up. It’s usually the time when we want to walk away that we are about to have some major growth or success. That’s exactly true.
Available on all major streaming sites, ‘Undress Me’ is currently making its mark on our airwaves. You can stream it today via Soundcloud, and be sure to connect with Alana through her social media pages below.