New Noise: Althea

Althea is the 19-year-old London singer whose honest storytelling is making waves on the R&B scene. 

Honest and captivating, Althea’s debut release “See My Vision” is a hint what the future of R&B holds. Starting out learning piano and guitar and finding her singing talent through her local church’s gospel choir, Althea’s musical ambitions have always been there. While they were a glimmer in her mind during her school years, she enrolled at the esteemed British Academy of New Music when she realised that academia just wasn’t for her. Writing about her personal experiences and bringing stories from both her own and her friends lives and mixing them with the emotions she wants to express, Althea creates a relatable sound that speaks of issues we all go through. Aiming to make people really, honestly feel their emotions and challenge their thoughts, Althea has skills way in advance of her 19 years.

With her perfected, smooth R&B beats and infectious bass lines, “See My Vision” is a raw and relatable collection of tracks. The 7 track mixtape, which includes “What’s Up” and “London Interlude”, was produced and co-written by musician and producer Dayo, who helped Althea take her modern yet soulful sound onto the next level. With main themes transpiring along the lines of love and relationships, Althea’s lyrics give an honest perspective, there’s no sugarcoating the pain of heartbreak here. For her debut, Althea’s gone above and beyond the call of duty; this is just the beginning of Althea’s vision.

Sum up your sound in three words?

Edgy, Fresh, Vibes

You’re only 19! When did you realise that you wanted a career in music?

It’s been a while now. Since I was a child I always loved singing, then as I got a bit older when I got to secondary school I could see that the academic side was not for me and I knew then that I wanted to pursue the music and singing seriously.

What did you learn during your time at the British Academy of New Music?

I think over the two years I learnt more about myself as a person and also what I wanted to do with my music, and the direction I wanted to take it in. That really helped to focus me after I left to really make exactly the type of music I wanted to.

What was the starting point for your debut release “See My Vision”?

“See My Vision” started as a conversation between me, my manager and producer a few months ago. We were all there just discussing how when getting into music a lot of people don’t understand what you trying to do or can’t see it working, so we just decided we wanted to create a body of work which would be able to show me as an artist and what I’m about, and it’s also where the concept for the title came from.

Your songs have a big storytelling element – what’s your writing process like? Do you like to write about real-life experiences?

My writing process varies really, sometimes I just sit on the keys and vibe and create the melody and lyrics, or sometimes my producer will come up with an instrumental and I’ll write to it that way. In terms of the content I’d say it’s a mix of personal experiences I’ve been through in my life and other things which I’ve seen my friends go through or talk about, and just bringing all of these stories together to create music that hopefully other people can relate to.

What are the main themes that “See My Vision” explores?

I think the main themes of the mixtape would be love, heartbreak and relationships. The good, the bad and the ugly of all of these, and the effect they can have. I just try to look at the subjects as honestly as I can from my perspective and talk about what I’ve seen, heard and experienced.

You worked with producer Dayo – how did you guys come to work together and what was the collaborative process like?

I met Dayo through my manager, he’s someone that my manager has known for a while and he’d always wanted to bring us together to see how we’d work. When we got together we connected really well and from there the 3 of us just became a great team. Creating the mixtape was a lot of hard work but also lot of fun, we all knew what we wanted to achieve and we just kept going until we had a body of work that we felt represented it well.

Who’s your dream collaboration and why would you like to work with them?

Dream collaboration, that would have to be Chris Brown. I think he’s so versatile and his voice is so unique that he really adds something extra to any song he features on! So yeah, would love to work with Chris Brown for sure.

What do you feel the R&B scene is missing right now?

To be honest I think there are a lot of talented artists on the R&B scene at the moment each doing their own thing and putting their own spin on the music to make it unique, which is great. I just want to add to what’s out there and bring my own style to the table.

What do you want to make people feel with your music?

I want people to feel different emotions when they hear me and for me to be able to convey the feelings of situations to people in a way that they can relate to. I want to continue to push my song writing so I can challenge people’s thoughts and the way they view different situations.

What else have you got in store for us?

Well I’ve just started working again with my producer, so we’ll see what it turns into, but hopefully I’ll have some new music to put out there and a new project in the pipeline soon, and just being able to continue to show more of myself as an artist.

Annabel Lunnon
New Noise: Althea

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