Interview: Snoh Aalegra
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:36:10
Sweden-born soul sorceress talks her new single "Emotional," working with Vince Staples and RZA, and so much more.
Snoh Aalegra transforms soul and R&B. Born in Sweden and now based in Los Angeles, this striking sonic sorceress breathes life into airy hip-hop production with vibrant, vulnerable, and vital vocals. Her debut EP, There Will Be Sunshine [Epic Records/ARTium Recordings], properly introduced this voice last year over elegant and artful soundscapes from producer extraordinaire No I.D. [Kanye West, Jay-Z, Nas]. She's already collaborated with everybody from Common and Killer Mike to Cocaine 80s and Vince Staples. However, her latest single "Emotional" stands poised to ignite her career. We sat down and spoke to her in this exclusive interview about "Emotional" and so much more.
What's the story behind "Emotional"?
Well, it wasn't the typical process of how I make songs. I usually write or co-write everything myself. "Emotional" was played for me by L.A. Reid. I heard it and could not believe it was a new song. It sounded like an old song. It was played to me around Christmas time, and I was just going through what the song was about. I was going through a really bad breakup and the song just spoke to me. The hook kept saying, "I need somebody to hold me." I actually got it tattooed on my wrist, "Hold me." It was speaking to me and felt it was written for me. I knew that I had to do it, so I recorded my own version. I met RZA who created it. He was going to direct the video, but it didn't work out.
It's a powerful follow-up to There Will Be Sunshine. You can hear the sound morphing.
I'm all about the throwback sound, and it's very seventies. It spoke to me. I just love anything that sounds timeless. I also love those eras—the seventies, eighties, and nineties. It's a beautiful song I had to record it.
The DJ Dahi remix with Vince Staples has a whole different vibe.
Yes, definitely. It is really emotional, I love the chord choices, it really spoke to me and touched me. For the video, I had over 12 minutes of material with the slow-motion scene and thought, "Why not make a video for the remix," because there was a lot of material left over.
It seems like you and Vince have a great creative bond.
Yeah, Vince and I are really close, and I think we clicked the most together. It's a natural friendship, and we keep in touch. He is doing really well. I'm proud of him. He's really killing it.
Watch the video for "Emotional" from Snoh Aalegra [(DJ Dahi Remix) ft. Vince Staples]: