the AU interview: Alanna Cherote (Sydney)

How were you discovered?

Predominantly through the release of my first EP, “Universal Need”. This sparked the attention of Australian publishers ‘Centrifuge’ and then of course the Canadian label SPARKS based in Toronto, Canada, jumping on board. Sparks Music found me through being introduced to my music at the MIDEM music conference in France in 2009.

What was it like growing up with such a large musical family?

Quite crazy and noisy! But also wonderful and creative. It really promoted us developing big and pretty wild imaginations and I think it taught each of us very powerful stuff in terms of communication and self expression.

When did you discover your talent for singing and songwriting?

Fairly early I guess. For me, it was more about being a writer first. I was always obsessed with creative writing at school, and at a very young age, I was writing fairly in-depth short stories, and poems. My imagination was very active, I couldn’t stop writing!

At a very early age, maybe around 8 I was singing and coming up with little melodies and stringing words together… plus imitating all the music I’d hear at home, I would sing into hairbrushes, cans of hairspray, tubes of moisturiser, whatever I could get my hands on! I loved being on my own acting out different characters, I could do that all day long. Although in front of others at that stage I was still quite shy.

Around the age of 13 I started singing more seriously, and desiring to take it somewhere else. I started recording my voice from about 13 onwards. I also picked up the guitar at that time more as a tool to write songs and melodies.
I fronted a couple of bands, but found I was generally the one writing the songs, and as I got older I found more and more passion for writing songs for myself. and that just continued.

“Paper Flower” treads on the highs and lows of relationships. Explain the process of writing the lyrics based on personal experience.

I think a major part of the process is writing the truth, and then being okay with that. There is no right or wrong way really, but honesty helps people relate to what your saying. and helps people believe it. I don’t think you even need to have a musical ear to understand when music is genuine or not.

I think the tracks on Paper Flower have quite a different meaning to each individual listener, for me the songs are about many different topics, from how I see the world, to themes within my childhood memories. There are certainly relationship references in there, and letting them out of the box actually helps me move on to the next phase of writing and life.

Who did you work on the album with and where did you record it?

I wrote most of the tracks a little while before even looking to record the album. I always had very strong production ideas and vision about it.

I did most of the pre-production work on the songs with producer Nick Howard, and then recorded the album with Chris Vallejo at Linear Recording. Chris helped bring the songs to life – it was a such a wonderful studio to make music – so much vintage gear !!

How long as the album been in the making?

Close to two years.

Who are your greatest influences music-wise?

As far back as listening to Patsy Cline growing up, I’m heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Ray Charles, The Doors, Edith Piaf and I’d say that Brandi Carlisle, Crowded House, Sheryl Crow, Joan as Policewoman, Feist, Ron SexSmith, Neil Finn, Ray Lamontagne, Keb Mo, Lucinda Williams and Coldplay are all influences and favourites of mine.

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Each and every one of the Finns, Chris Martin, David Gray, Joan as Policewoman, Ron Sexsmith and Leonard Cohen.

What can we expect from your live shows?

Intimacy and quirkiness, raw and organic, you can also expect an extremely hot band 🙂

What’s next for you?

Another tour across Canada and the States in October this year, and hopefully some more touring through Europe as well.

I will be touring extensively within Australia later this year and into 2012.
And most definitely another studio album which will include some co-writen tracks with some of my favourite writers. I’m planning on making quite a few more music videos as well.

Don’t miss Alanna’s stunning live set with her enchanting backing band
at *The Vanguard* on *3rd August*, performing works from ‘Paper Flower’.

Wednesday 3rd August
The Vanguard – 42 King St, Newtown
Doors 8pm

Tickets $12 pre-sale / $14 door
Tickets & more info: