Chatterbox: North London’s Alice D talks to us about new single ‘More 2 U’, working with Oscar Scheller, her musical family and the songwriting process

Hey Alice, Could you tell our readers something about yourself that they might not find out otherwise?

Hello! I’m Alice D from North London & have been writing songs since I was 11 years old. I’m passionate about singing and still love to dance around my bedroom to music (on my own!). I am also from a musical family who have massively influenced me, so music & performing is definitely in my blood.

What are your musical influences?

From a young age I always listened to Mariah Carey, Brandy, Aaliyah & Lauryn Hill. I think I was drawn to the empowering messages of their songs & emotive lyrics even as a child. The first song I remember playing constantly was ‘Angel in Disguise’ by Brandy. The whole structure of the song, how poignant the lyrics are and of course Brandy’s tone was something that instantly drew me in.

The first Aaliyah song that I thought ‘WOW’ was ‘Try Again’ – I listened to it with my Dad in the car & the music was like nothing I had ever heard before with that iconic Timbaland production & slick futuristic RnB sound. That song allowed artists to push boundaries by mixing genres & still sounds fresh today! I also love artists such as Banks, Kelela & The Internet. They too have this alternative RnB sound, which is super smooth & soulful. 

How would you describe the sound you’ve crafted over your last few releases?

My sound has definitely developed over the years and I’ve experimented with an array of genres. When I first entered the music world the ‘sound’ back then was to create house/dance tracks. My first proper collaboration was with the producer, Joey Mccrilley where I co-wrote 2 tracks on his first EP, which was a great experience. One of the songs I wrote & even recorded in my bedroom was called ‘Real For You’ & it actually got played on BBC Radio 1xtra so that was brilliant!

However, I never felt like I truly connected with that style of music. I definitely enjoyed making it but I’d always loved these soulful RnB records that really made me feel something. My first song that I feel really showcases my style and sound is ‘I Don’t Owe You,’  that was released in 2017. It was the first song where I had creative control & I built the track from scratch with song-writer & producer, Eddie Jenkins in his studio. I had a clear idea of what I wanted and he made it perfectly, he even told me he’d never made a song like it so that was great to share with him. I would describe my sound now as RnB with a darker ‘atmospheric’ vibe to it. My new EP, Narcissus, is the first body of work where I feel it is totally me and I’ve found my lane.

Where are you based?

I am from North London! Lived there my whole life & wouldn’t change a thing. 

How does your city impact your music?

I think coming from London where the city is so rich in culture, music and art with everything at your fingertips, you are opened up to so many different experiences. Music has always been a big part of my life and I have loved going to live music gigs since the age of 14. I was fully immersed in the ‘New Rave’ (indie with electronic beats) music scene in my teens, going to ‘All Ages’ under 18 nights every weekend. I was exposed to different artists/genres & met so many interesting people.

My friends and I would go to Scala, The Old Blue Last or sneak into clubs to watch our favourite bands (& sometimes even got up on stage!). Throughout my life living in London I’ve met so many creative people & having this foundation, has definitely shaped me as a person musically. Music is such an integral part of my life & the experiences I’ve had growing up in London have undoubtedly influenced my writing & allowed me to have a completely open mind. 

What does ‘More 2 U’ draw upon thematically?

‘More 2 U’ is about dealing with anxiety whilst being in a relationship & touches on my own experience. It’s not about the other person, instead it’s about how you feel within yourself. Not being able to give much to your partner or the relationship & feeling like you are only half the person you once were. However, I wanted there to be an element of determination & a recognition that you can overcome this & be open to love.

What is your songwriting process?

I normally have a melody first, work out the chorus/hook then write the rest of the song. I think a melody is so important and crucial to get right. If I connect with a melody, then usually the lyrics flow easily. I record ideas on my laptop or if I’m out, I’ll sing it quietly into my phone voice recorder. I love writing in my bedroom & have so many notebooks full of songs and scribbles from over the years. If I’m feeling a strong emotion, I often take pen to paper. It really helps to let it all out. Writing with others is also great as you can bounce ideas off of each other and switch up melodies or change lyrics that you may never have thought of doing. 

Did the track evolve significantly in the studio from the original demo?

I co-wrote ‘More 2 U’ with Oscar Scheller, who is a producer/musician himself & to begin with it was totally different to what it is now. It was the first song we did together in the studio and initially it had an afro-beat type vibe to it, it was much faster. It stayed that way for a while but as we progressed with the rest of the EP, it didn’t quite fit with the sound I wanted. Oscar slowed it down and produced more of an old school RnB track, which just clicked; we knew it was right straight away. It’s funny how the song we were uncertain about became the first single – I love it now!

What do fans have to look forward to over the next few months?

My video for ‘More 2 U’ will be out very soon and my debut EP, ‘Narcissus’ is released December 7th. I am looking into potentially throwing an EP launch party for it! I will also, of course, be working on new music.  


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