Written by Rahoul Naik
North-West London’s rising star, Allana Verde, recently dropped her new EP, Broken Record to a fantastic reception. Tastemakers from BBC Radio 1Xtra and further afield have all heaped praise on the 24 year old’s songwriting and vocal abilities and her new EP stands to be a perfect business card going forward.
With a standout review from our people here, we thought we should sit down with the rising star to talk more about the Allana Verde story and what more we can expect as we see out 2017.
What was the first step in your musical journey?
Allana Verde: “From a very young age I showed interest in music. I would stand in front of the TV watching artists such as Michael Jackson and the Spice Girls, and try to sing and dance. When I was four years old, my mum enrolled me into dance classes, it was from there that I also started singing more.”
Who would you class as your biggest inspirations inside and outside of music?
AV: “Musically, I would say Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Aaliyah, Amy Winehouse, Madonna and Jacket Jackson. Outside of music, I would say my aunt. She went through a lot and stayed so strong, she seemed unbreakable.”
Who are you listening to right now? Are there any artists/projects that have caught your eye?
AV: “I usually keep my playlist kind of small and binge-play. Right now I’m listening to Drake, Justine Skye, Kehlani, J Hus, Post Malone, Lil Durk, Summerella, Russ, and Selena Gomez. I really love DJ Khaled’s new album, I think it’s great.”
On the EP, what was your inspiration for it and what are your aspirations for it?
AV: “I came out of a toxic relationship with a very toxic person. I was in a very dark place and actually lost hope that I would ever be or even feel OK again. I was made to think that I couldn’t do it on my own and I completely lost all of who I was. The pain and grief I felt scared me. Music, I feel, is what saved me and this EP I found therapeutic. I want this EP to inspire and give strength to those who need it. I hope this EP grows and gets the attention of listeners who wouldn’t necessarily listen to R&B music.”
Do you think your sound has changed from the ‘Neo Nostalgia’ EP to the new ‘Broken Record’ EP? If so, how?
AV: “I definitely feel there is a difference with style as my Neo Nostalgia EP had more of an R&B vibe, while Broken Record is a little more diverse and each track has elements of a different genre.”
What was it like being premiered on 1Xtra and gaining a lot of mainstream support for the EP and single?
AV: “It was incredible, definitely a compliment. Getting the support from 1Xtra and everyone that’s been on board so far has really touched me. I’m so proud of this EP.”
What’s next for Allana Verde? Will you be playing some live shows before the end of 2017?
AV: “There’s definitely a lot more to come from the EP. I have a few collaborations/projects that I’m really excited about. As for shows, no dates I can give just yet.”
If you could be a cocktail, what would you be and why?
AV: “I’d be a dark and stormy, because that’s what the weather’s been the last few days.”
Do you like getting caught in the rain?
AV: “Provided I’m not heading anywhere nice, I love the rain.”
Watch the video for Bad Side below and make sure you keep a cool eye on this young star
Credit: Allana Verde