When Aly Tadros was offered her first paid gig, she had three original songs under her belt. The set time called for two hours.
She took it anyway.
Four years and over 600 shows later, that gutsy attitude has defined her as an ardent and auspicious voice among young singer/songwriters. Spacious and melodic, salty and moving, her classical guitar writhes in a fusion of Latin, Middle Eastern, and American folk and pop.
"[Alys vocals] sound fresh, genuine, and from the gut," says Bootleg Magazine, complementing Tadros on her weather beaten yet angelic timber.
An early interest in travel led Tadros to leave hometown of Laredo, Texas at age 17, moving between Turkey, Spain, and her fathers native Egypt. Immersing herself in Spanish, Turkish and Arabic language studies, she developed a keen ear for contemporary and traditional world music.
The San Antonio Current attributes Alys unique folk-stylings to her extensive travel, calling her "born to fingerpick and execute a perfect Cuban clavea musical sponge that absorbs everything she hears wherever she goes." Indeed, Aly refuses to even pick up a guitar pick; all her instrumentation is done by the self-taught skill of finger-picking.
That dedication to her craft extended to an all-night drive through Mexico to find a real vihuela, a traditional Mexican stringed instrument, when she was living in the Mexican state of Jalisco. After hearing one firsthand during a mariachi jam-session, she drove 12 hours through mountainous terrain to get to Paracho, Michoacan, just to purchase an authentic one.
"By the time I was done traveling, the most obvious choice was to study politics and reclaim my place as the backseat dreamer," Aly recalled.
But by her second year at Sarah Lawrence College, Aly was spending more time behind her guitar than her textbooks. "And then one night, as if a switch went off, I realized school wasnt for me. Instead of cramming for a final, I wrote my first song."
From there, Aly made her home in Austin, Texas, dedicating her time to songwriting and live performance. She released her debut CD, Things Worth Keeping, produced by Duane Lundy (Jim James, Ben Sollee, These United States) in August 2009 amidst her first and second national tours. The self-booked tours spanned seven months, and twenty-five U.S. states. By summer of 2012, she completed her sixth US and third European tour.
Aly also helped form The Sweetness, a collective of like-minded singer-songwriters. Within their first month as a group, they recorded with famed producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes Is This It, Regina Spektors Soviet Kitsch) and mounted a North American and European tour, which was documented for an independent film commissioned by the Stuttgart Film Akademi. The film portrays the band in its formative months and will be released in Germany in 2013.
In addition to numerous national radio, print, and digital press, Alys DIY release and tour received coverage from USAToday.com, Music Connection, and The Austin Examiner, and is endorsed by Guild and Fender Guitars.
Her sophomore album, "The Fits" is set for release January 15, 2013.