(Photo By B51 Photography)
This is Blue Chips: a new series dedicated to targeting artists we think offer some of the most sought after new music out there. After all, we're always scouting, our eyes and ears constantly perked as we sift through the hordes of talent, identifying and bringing the most exciting musical "recruits" to the platform. Every freakin' day is like an indie rock combine in our inbox.
knows everything there is to know about her homeland's, storied pop past. The stunning, 28 year old Swedish singer can play a wicked game of connect the dots, linking ABBA to Ace of Base to Max Martin. But when she talks of her own music, there's a break in her connection with Sweden's bright and bubbly, radio-ready past. Snoh Aalegra is perfecting a different kind of pop; something darker, more melancholy, but ultimately, unquestionably beautiful.
"I'm a very emotional person. I cry easily," Snoh admitted during a recent visit to the Baeble offices in Brooklyn. Such a confession explains the title and feel filtering through her single "Emotional", released earlier this spring in the run-up to what we think we'll be a very well-received full-length debut. Produced by RZA, the song is a vinyl-scratched blast of soulful horns, tambourine-skipping rhythms, and Snoh's exasperated, broken-hearted belts of, "So what if I'm emotional?".
Snoh's rise through the ranks began years ago. As a girl she admired artists with big voices: Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson...the greats. Signed at the age of 14, her career has run through the music industrial ringer, so to speak. Good experiences were rare at first. She felt like a product, she felt like something being shaped, stuck in bad contracts where she admittedly didn't have appropriate legal counsel on her side.
Those problems lead to insecurities and problems with trust, naturally. But she's in a better place now, having recently signed with Epic. Still, her experiences offer some of the inspirations behind last year's, No I.D. produced EP, There Will Be Sunshine
. "It's about the struggle of being strong...going through all these things, my musical journey". The title track of the EP is one of the most personal pieces in the artist's repertoire. "It's about coming to peace with certain things that happened to me in my life that I'll probably never get the answer to. You just have to accept certain things and be positive and keep a good spirit."
Another quality of Snoh's music are the cinematic touches she and producers like No I.D. and RZA ormanment her songs in. "I was really inspired by listening to soundtracks growing up as well," she told us. So there are big choirs, string arrangements; "I grew up around that. I wanted to bring that cinematic sound into my soul".
These kinds of sonic aesthetics obviously play a major role in the overall vibe Snoh sets forth in her music. Ultimately though, it's her own performance within the vintage R&B, Soul, and Hip Hop influenced happenings that make the biggest impression on the ears. On record, she often sounds wounded, vulnerable, but completely in charge of her emotions. One moment she's in a dark place, the next she's plotting her revenge. I suppose those are the rapid ups and downs of an artist not afraid to get personal. "I choose to wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to my music. I'm very bare and naked. That's where I feel like I connect with people. If you want to get to know me, listen to my music".
We already are. Now it's your turn.