ALA.NI: What Are You Listening To?
ALA.NI’s debut album, You & I, is like a sweet blast from some bygone day, a throwback that still manages to feel new and fresh. Perhaps that’s due to the London-born, Paris-based Gredadian musician’s eclectic taste in music. Her favorite tracks range from ’60s kitsch to A Tribe Called Quest.
Following the June 9, 2017 release of her debut, we asked ALA.NI to put together a playlist of her favorite tracks. Check that out (as well You & I) now:
A Tribe Called Quest, “Oh My God”
I love this tune. I would listen to it on repeat, repeat, repeat when I was younger. My heritage is Grenadian and it’s not every day that you get to hear the name of a tiny island in the Caribbean in a hip-hop track, so it always makes me smile and feel so proud of my roots. Shaheed push the fader from here to Grenada!
Judee Sill, “Jesus Was a Crossmaker”
The phrasing and childlike, playful melody makes this song so singable. I used to think it was a happy, religious hymn when I was younger. Then I read the lyrics and took in the full comprehension of the song, I realized its deeper, darker meaning of survival.
Voices of East Harlem, “Run Shaker Life”
Take me to church! I just love the energy of this track. I can’t listen to it without doing some kind of jumping action.
Jessye Norman, “Habanera”
Her voice is like chocolate of the darkest kind. It melts, it’s bitter, it’s sweet, it releases serotonin!
Howard Keel, “I Won’t Send Roses”
There are so many versions of this song. I like the Howard Keel version, as it’s so laidback. At theatre school, we would sing these really grownup-themed songs of love and loss. I think it made us all very emotionally advanced, but some childhood must have been lost along the way! I have a bumper book of showtunes all stored in my memory. They mostly pop out when I’m feeling melancholy and heartbroken.
The Charades, “Flamingo”
Oh the movement, the harmonies, the chord changes. All so simple. Minimal instrumentation. I picture myself alone in a drive-in movie, sipping on a vanilla milkshake. Crying.
Moondog, “Bird’s Lament”
Something is coming. Something BIG. This song sounds so optimistic yet dangerous at the same time. Genius music.
Sly & The Family Stone, “Thankful n’ Thoughtful”
I’d like to think of this song as a kind of daily mantra for myself. It’s not always easy, but one must try to be so. All day, every day.
John Holt, “My Satisfaction”
Such a sweet love song. Straight to the point and sincere. This song reminds me of driving with my dad. Car full of ‘funny’ cigarette smoke….lazy, hazy times.
The Selecter, “On My Radio”
I am a proud Londoner. I feel so rich to have been born in a city, a country with so much musical diversity. This song for me is a perfect example of what happens when different cultures are allowed to grow together and melt into a melange.
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