The idea behind ‘Alice’ is one we’ve yet to get in the cinematic realm and that’s what if you took Alice from the classic tale but aged her a bit and tossed her into a digital plain? Well, if a studio ever needs help with that, Claudia Balla already has the soundtrack ready to go with her 2022 release. We talked about the storybook inspiration, relationship mainstays, and more in this back-and-forth ex
Kendra: So much has happened in the world since you dropped 2016’s ‘Fire.’ Would you say the wild reality we’ve been living in impacted you when it was time to sit down and begin the process of creating ‘Alice?’
Claudia Balla: I started writing ‘Alice’ right after the release of “Miracle” in 2019, my track tackling climate change. Of course, I did not, could not foresee that there was also a pandemic on our doorstep, followed by war in Europe with a potential global economic collapse and an ever-growing nuclear threat. However, there was something in the air already, a certain tension and unease which probably made me want to create a dystopia.
Kendra: You’ve noted how you wanted to make this sort of Wonderland, hence the name ‘Alice,’ but were you channeling any of the other characters in that story when you were writing like the mischievousness of the Cheshire Cat or the mysterious ways of the caterpillar?
Claudia Balla: I was channeling Alice, her grownup version, the young adult, she is the narrator of each song, who suddenly finds herself in this dark, despondent, digital Wonderland. The intro of the opening track, “why,” with its simple, repetitive synth melody, sounding almost like the weeping of a depressed, broken robot, references the ticking of the White Rabbit’s pocket watch.
Kendra: I was checking out the album and “In My Head” caught my attention because being a particular age, the chorus took me back to the late ‘90s/early ‘00s when Britney Spears was still giving us straight-up pop bops. Love it! What type of music were you taking in as a tween and what influence do you think your earlier music collection has had on your songwriting and artistry today?
Claudia Balla: Thank you for mentioning that track, I am glad you like it. It is certainly the most cheerful, upbeat song from the album, despite the break-up theme. Surprisingly, I discovered pop music quite late, as a teenager, probably due to my classical music training – I played the piano for several years from an early age and studied classical singing. As a teen, I kept listening to ‘Spirit Room’ on repeat by Michelle Branch and ‘Let Go’ and ‘Under My Skin’ by Avril Lavigne.
Kendra: As for “Baby”, I think that this song speaks to a very universal crowd as it is about something everyone in a relationship has faced, and that’s the idea of whether or not love and devotion will keep things going. For you, what are three key mainstays a relationship has to have to endure those eventual challenges?
Claudia Balla: This is a great question. I believe that in any human relationship, whether it be romantic or not, I suppose it is essential to be capable of tolerating and forgiving the flaws and missteps of the other person. Secondly, to be open for compromises and ready to adapt, and finally, to remain sincere and transparent while doing all this, even when it is difficult, for the sake of the other. If I may, I would like to add a fourth item, which would be always having the best intentions for the other person – this may sometimes implicate putting the other one first.
Kendra; Time for a side note: With Thanksgiving being right around the corner I’d love to know what artist’s discography are yoau most thankful for?
Claudia Balla: Wow, naming only one artist would be so disrespectful towards my heroes. Can I be thankful for music and any form of art in general?
Kendra: For sure, and lastly, with ‘Alice’ out now, what’s on the horizon as we head closer to 2023?
Claudia Balla: I have just finished recording my next album, so in the following months we will be ending the story of Alice and stepping into an almost void-like space, the space of transition between two chapters.