Interview with Alanna Clarke

Who: Alanna Clarke

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sounds like:  "sultry, gritty, blues-y pop"

photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Alanna Clarke is a Canadian singer-songwriter who spends a few months at a time in Los Angeles, a few times every year, on a performance visa. She just released a couple tracks, "Heartstrings" and "Linger", so I decided to meet up with her for a swell afternoon shoot and chat in Silver Lake. 

How has your style changed since when you first began writing music in your teens?

I started writing music a cappella. The thing that's changed the most is the production style around my music. A lot of that has been figuring out how to communicate what I'm hearing. 

So on this new music that's out now I worked with a producer, Mike WUFF Wofford, who's amazing. We had a great working relationship. But I do work in Logic and can kind of demo my ideas now. Because if everything I do is with an acoustic guitar, someone has to have a really big imagination to take that and make it into the music I'm making. I've learned how to direct that  now, so it doesn't get taken out of my hands. 

When did you decide to start spending more time in LA?

I had the opportunity to come down here for a month, and I met a lot of people who started making it possible to go back and forth between LA and Calgary. So that was about 2 and half years ago at this point, and now I'm coming down three or four times a year. 

So what's it like now when you go back? Do you still do your music thing there too?

Yeah I'm always playing around and writing, but when I'm there I get to play with my cats, so that's a plus side there. 

What's been your favorite show you've ever played?

It's funny that some of the ones that stick out the most are one of the first ones I ever played, just because it was so new and exciting. Like if my parents were having a barbecue, it was really my show.  But the first time I really played was for our talent show [when I was eleven] and I sang one of the Kelly Clarkson songs. It was that first season of American Idol, so I sang one of her songs and I remember just feeling so at home on stage. 

What do you see happening for you in the next six months?

Right now I definitely have another song on the way. Then I'm just writing a lot on my own, and trying to figure out who exactly I want to work with on this new stuff, in terms of production. My goal is to put out an EP this year, either with these songs on it or with completely new music. Then hopefully some shows, hopefully some traveling. 

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