Legendary DJ/Producer DJ Jazzy Jeff once said, “Oh my God...if you’re looking for some true soulful emotion, movin’ vocals...here you go...she makes me wanna throw my hands in the air & party the nite away..."
International singer and songwriter, LADY ALMA, is bringing her soaring, searing vocals back to eager audiences who desire her incomparable funk-house-soul stylings. Born in San Diego, and, raised in Philadelphia since age three, LADY ALMA began her entry into the house music scene recording club anthems helmed by the likes of super-producers Yukihiro Fukutomi, Masters at Work, Fanatix, 4Hero, and fellow Philly mainstay King Britt, where she was featured on his legendary album When the Funk Hits the Fan. She has worked with Mark de Clive-Lowe – fan favorite songs include “Keep It Movin’”, “Believe”, “Hold Your Head Up” and their infectious 2010 cover of Michael Jackson’s “I Can’t Help It”. In 2014, she released her single “It’s House Music”, produced by Osunlade, on Yoruba Records, which is still considered a fan-favorite world-wide. In 2017, her single “Peace You’ll Find” was released on Reelsoul Musik, produced by Will “Reelsoul” Rodriguez.
With the resurgence of “Let It Fall”, which went viral via Facebook with over 20 million views (video of a fan seen dancing and lip-syncing to the song in Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa), and thanks to another video of legendary choreographer Toni Basil, dancing to “It’s House Music”, that went viral with over 5 million views on Twitter and was also seen on Inside Edition; it is clear - LADY ALMA is in-demand! Her single “Glory & Honor” (produced by Darryl James) was released in March 2018 and quickly followed by “A Time and A Place” with producer/DJ Ralf GUM, which was released in June 2018 on GOGO Music. Also in 2018, LADY ALMA was recognized by Traxsource as “Best of 2018” including: “2 Top 10s”, “16 Top 100 spins” and “60 features in DJ Top 10 Charts” to name a few.
I had a chance to speak with Lady Alma about her musical journey and her 1st appearance at this year’s Chosen Few Festival and Picnic.
Black Widow: When did you know that singing was something you wanted to do?
Lady Alma: Early on as a child. I was about 3 years old when I knew I had that love of music.
Black Widow: Are you classically trained?
Lady Alma: God definitely blessed me with the talent but my mom had me in music school with academics during the day and after school I attended the Music Conservatory called Settlement Music School.
Black Widow: What was your introduction to house music?
Lady Alma: Initially it was just me hanging out with friends in college. Everyone I hung around with listened to this music. I remember going to NY when the Garage was open and from there I knew I loved the music. I didn’t start singing it until later on but it always felt good to me. It reminded me a lot of gospel music. I think that’s what drew me in.
Black Widow: We always say House music is a spiritual experience because you feel this music intensely and I always loved how this music made me feel…
Lady Alma: Me too!
Black Widow: Do you have a creative process? How do you write songs?
Lady Alma: It varies. It depends on how I feel and what’s going on in my life. If I feel the music, I’m inspired to write. If I’m not inspired by the music, it’s hard for me to write. I can’t write to just anything. I’m very selective when it comes to the music I choose to write to.
Black Widow: So the music inspires the lyrics?
Lady Alma: Yes, it’s absolutely the music and the connection I personally have with the person who is creating the music.
Black Widow: You left the scene for about 10 years, what did it feel like to have a song you did years ago go viral and expose you to an entirely new audience?
Lady Alma: The first word that comes to mind is gratefulness. I was told years ago that I didn’t write hit songs. I never desired to write hit songs, I wanted to write songs that would be classics. I wanted to write songs that people would listen to 10, 15, 20 years from now. For a song I wrote 10 years ago to become a staple in the music community, I am just grateful. It confirmed that I was on the right track as a writer. It confirmed to me that I don’t have to write hits to be respected and because so many ages have accepted this song, it gave me confidence to know that I’m definitely a songwriter.
Black Widow: This particular song came around at the right time, when people want to feel lifted, encouraged and inspired. I’ve watched people when your song comes on and their reaction is so visible. Their eyes are closed; hands are in the air…they are having these personal moments in public spaces. I think as an artist, that’s such a gift to be able to give people.
Lady Alma: Yes! I definitely feel and believe that. When I wrote the song, I was in a crossroads in my own life. I had to make a decision to either stay with my career or to take care of my mom. Of course, I chose to take care of my mom. I wrote that song to heal myself. Little did I know years later, it would heal and help other people. I’m just grateful.
Black Widow: You are releasing a new project this month. Can you tell me more about, “Twilight”?
Lady Alma: it’s an anthology project that has 9 songs that were recorded over the past 15 years. Some of the stuff was out but the masses didn’t get a chance to hear it. All 9 songs were done by one producer. We wanted to present it as my anthology.
Black Widow: What does it mean to perform at this year’s Chosen Few Picnic?
Lady Alma: It’s a great honor to be doing it. So many have graced that stage and for me to be on that stage is just a great honor. I can’t believe it, I keep seeing how large the crowds are and I get a little nervous but I’m also excited and ready to “Lady Alma-Tize” Chicago the only way I know how!
Black Widow: It’s such a great event and the energy is incredible. Take it all in; you are going to truly enjoy yourself!
Lady Alma: I can’t wait! I can’t wait to give my love to Chicago and receive the love Chicago has for me.
Black Widow: Thank you so much for speaking with me today, I look forward to seeing you at the Chosen Few Picnic!
Lady Alma: It was my pleasure!
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the Chicago Spotlight "Chosen Few Edition"! Look forward to interviews with Chosen Few guest Performers all month long!
Until next time,
See you on a dance floor!
Lady Alma’s anthology album, Twilight will be released on June 28, 2019 but is available now for pre-order. Check out Lady Alma’s catalog today!