Alora blends a melting pot of genres and cultures in her music. Her recent release ‘The Homecoming’ fuses gritty wordplay and soft RnB over a chilled electronic beat. The East Londoner explores her heritage and travels through her lyrics and visuals. Her flair for performing earned her a weekly residency at the Moxy Hotel where she also hosted a showcase with up and coming musicians. She has also performed live at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and Hackney Empire for the Black Magic Awards among the likes of Stormzy and Che Lingo.
Spending half of the year in her family hometown of Lagos, Nigeria inspired Alora in her recent release ‘The Homecoming’ and the music video was shot there. During her time there she was influenced further by the sights, sounds, and people of Lagos – she rediscovered a love for Afrobeats and her culture.
Alora spoke to Neon Music exclusively about her latest release and what she has planned next:
How would you describe your sound to new listeners?
Tell me about your latest single ‘The Homecoming’
‘The Homecoming’ tells a story about a woman taking that extra mile to reconnect with her roots and rediscover her purpose. She is bold and her fearless approach helps her reach new heights. When I wrote the homecoming I was capturing the hustle and bustle of a up and coming artist making efforts to establish their name in the music industry, “give me space give me room lemme see” which is me saying, “Everyone listen, I’ve got something worth listening to”.
The song then goes on to show my confident, witty persona “Pretty face but lyrically I’m a beast”. Nearer to the end of the song I sing “All night going hard where’s the car, next location” This is because during my stay in Nigeria I attended many music festivals, shows bar and parties and Nigerians can really party. I found myself joining other artists for consecutive nights of partying all in the name of trying to show people my social fun side but always keeping my business and brand in mind. I can be quite private always forgetting to post my adventures on Instagram so me putting out this song was to show my audience what I had been up to for those 2 months in Lagos.
What do you find are the differences between the music scene in Nigeria compared to the UK?
I feel that the difference is Nigerians love Nigerian music, or should I say Afro music. We are very enthusiastic people and we love to dance so always pick the music we can dance to over pretty much everything else. The UK scene prefers music from other countries over our own but the UK scene is expanding rapidly so that could change.
Your stage presence has been compared to J Hus and UK artists are really making waves in music – is there anyone who is particularly inspiring you at the moment?
I would say, Mahalia, I love her vibe she portrays through her music videos. And Ama Lou.
Is there a particular message or theme in your music you would like to get across to listeners?
Know yourself and stay positive.
You have three sisters – did you grow up in a musical household?
Not at all. My dad sang in the bathroom and my mum loved buying us Westlife, The Spice Girls and Britney Spears cassettes but that’s as far as it went haha.
Dream musical collaborations?
Alora ft Sam Smith
Which 3 songs are the soundtrack to your life (yours or someone else’s)
Kehlani – Distraction Marvin Sapp – Best in Me Mariah Carey – Like that
Tell me something our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
From the bottom of my heart, I hate custard creams
What do you find are the biggest challenges being in music?
Am I thinking deeply or overthinking?
Dream venues / festivals to perform at?
Coachelllaaaaaaaaa. I want to headline just like my Aunt Beyonce
Brownie and ice cream
Who would play you in a movie and why?
What’s next for Alora?
THE ENDS FESTIVAL! And one hell of a journey