Hi Alita, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thank you for asking. I’ve genuinely been doing okay! I’m healthy right now, my family’s healthy. I have a lot of good things to focus on, thankfully. I’m just taking things one day at a time.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Too Close”?
I’m really excited about this release. This is a song I wrote in early 2019 and it has lived many lives up until now. There were a lot of different versions I worked on and for a long time I wasn’t sure it would be a single, but it was one of those songs that just kept showing up in my life. Once I landed on a mix I really loved, it knew I had to get it out into the world. It’s a song about a new budding relationship and the anxiety and fears that creep into your mind when you start to let someone into your life. I think a lot of us recognize that feeling of vulnerability while dating.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Definitely! I typically write about experiences quite a while after they’ve happened in my own life. I like to let the feelings really sink in and give myself time to process so I can write what I really want to say. This song was different. I was seeing someone new early last year and when things didn’t work out I was really bummed. He had put on the breaks and I just didn’t understand where the hesitancy came from. We had great chemistry and all the “signs” you look for when you’re dating someone new to gauge where they stand… they all pointed in a good direction. Apparently, I read it all wrong and we wanted different things. I did a writing exercise one day where I tried to write about it from his perspective, and ‘Too Close’ was born! It’s a fun, feel-good response to rejection.
Any plans to release any sort of video for the single?
Yes! We’re releasing a visualizer for this one. For me, this song brings up images of driving down the coast, sun’s out, hair is blowing in the wind. We went that direction for the video with a little ode to the past. I drove a 1967 Mustang for the video. It was a bumpy ride, but a beautiful car! Worth it.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process went pretty quickly. I wrote an initial demo at my house, and brought it into the studio. We cut all the vocals, and started building out the production. I could tell there was something missing so my producer sent it over to a collaborator, Jonny Keenan, for some feedback. He ended up redesigning a lot of the production and suggested I rewrite the chorus. He came up with the melody – a much simpler, laid back feeling then what I had previously written. I loved it, so I finished the lyrics, and we recut some vocals. Matt Good ended up mixing it and did a killer job. I don’t think Matt got his hands on it until late 2019, so it was nearly a year long process finishing the song. I was so relieved once we got the master back!
How has Radiohead and Julia Michaels influenced your writing?
Radiohead’s influence is more subtle. OK Computer was a reference point for a song that hasn’t come out yet – it influenced a lot of the production and writing style we went for. Julia Michaels’ influence exists across a lot of my music. She has a conversational style to her writing. It’s not overly poetic or trying too hard, but it’s also unique. It stands on its own two feet and I love that about her work. She really carved her own lane in pop. I try to emulate my own version of that. I want the music I write to sound like I’m sitting right there, in your bedroom or in your car, telling you a story. Just like I would a friend.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes! We’re already in the weeds on the next release. The next one is different from anything I’ve put out, and we’re trying to figure out how to tell this story and prepare for it in quarantine. It’s a favorite of mine, so there’s a new energy around it.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
It’ll be out in the summer! Sooner than you’d think.
What else is happening next in ALITA’s world?
New music! We have songs teed up and that’s the focus right now. I had plans to get back in the studio in LA, but unfortunately – they’ve been postponed for the foreseeable future. I’m still writing everyday from home, and I’m itching to start working with people again. I’m grateful I already had music complete that we were ready to release. For now, it’s focusing on what’s being put out in the world. Thank you so much for being curious about my world and my music!