Friday, May 7, 2021

DJ Interviews: Alice Beal


1-My first musical urge was also one of my earliest memories ; when I was about 3 years old, my parents gifted me a little recorder microphone toy which I would make up songs into and I remember thinking “that’s it, I’m going to be a singer”.
It took me several years to start making music other than in my head. I tried on several occasions to learn guitar as a child but settled on making chilled out music on a Garageband and writing lyrics to go with it. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I taught myself to play guitar. I travelled to San Francisco and was lent a flat with no internet or TV, just a Martin and Guitar for Dummies book. From then I started doing open mics with my own songs until I joined the band Charlie Says in Cardiff and gained a lot of confidence aiming to be a freaky crazy front woman singing alternative rock.

2- I’ve always loved the darker weirdo poets of music. My first favourites were Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young… But my taste is varied as I also loved listening to Joss Stone, Lene Lovich, The Beautiful South, David Gray, Muse.. I think I love a well written song with either minor chords or attitude. Today I listen to Aldous Harding, Molly Burch, Arlo Parks, Julia Jacklin, Amigo The Devil, Timber Timbre, Lucy Dacus and FKA Twigs on repeat!

3- If you are shy and wear glasses, take them off. Eye contact with the crowd  was the biggest thing that bothered at first so I ditched the specs and the problem was solved. Then I was in my own world and could be as weird and animated as I wanted. I’ve been told I was an entertaining front woman which was the best compliment as I was shy growing up. From watching others, I think if you are performing, don’t forget to be visually interesting, even if you’re alone and seated, rock a little bit, sway from side to side, wink and smile. As a spectator, there’s nothing more off putting for me than someone who is too stiff. Another thing is engage with people and be yourself, if you’re worried you won’t know what to say think of some anecdotes relative to the town or venue you’re in before going up on stage. Or my classic was to ask someone to get me a gin and tonic. Even if nobody answers the crowd will assume someone has and you might get a free drink!!

4-Currently I’m living in the middle of nowhere in a forest eco-renovating a ruin on the tightest budget ever with my partner, one-man-band and producer Jack Ellis (@jackellismusic). My daily life consists of building, chopping trees down for logs next season, planting vegetables, collecting donkey dung to fertilise my veg plot and researching trees and shrubs to plant in my forest garden. Then if I have the chance we will play music together around the fire or write new songs! I envy having Billie Ellis or Rhianna style manicured nails or wearing all of my wonderful sparkly dresses but like many of us at the moment my life is far from glamorous and jeans and jog pants are all I wear. All of this is working towards being independent and being able to make music without having to work a 9-5. We have built our own studio and are slowly working on recording my debut EP and Jack’s debut album. All independently and with zero funds. 

5- As I mentioned above, my debut EP will be released as soon as I have time to record the remaining songs between “log season” and “seed sewing season”. I have a few festivals planned for the summer but nothing has been confirmed yet since it’s all very uncertain. I’ll be headlining the annual French music festival in Carolles, Normandy alongside Jack Ellis and we are keen to finally get back to gigging again and wearing all of our dusty costumes!

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