By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Zoom, FaceTime, random naps and Netflix binges while you forget what day of the week it was should be a relatively relatable feeling for anybody who made it through lockdown in 2020.
These emotions (or lack of) spawned the perfect idea for Alu, as she began to pen what would become her June 2021 single “Alu’s Not Dead” and declared she was here to stay; something she compared to the likes of the nursery rhyme “Ring Around The Rosie” that children sang during the Great Plague.
The track was recorded remotely with the help of her boyfriend/co-producer Derek Whitacre and involved collaborations from string player Hiro Goto and drummer Justin DeHart. The music video – directed by Whitacre/Alu and filmed at Alu’s Los Angeles home – further explored the art of simplicity in complicated times, as skylights and long hallways provided the necessary backdrop.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with the cinematic-pop artist/songwriter about what she has been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for “Alu’s Not Dead”?
Alu – “Alu’s Not Dead” is about life in lockdown and ultimately, surviving the seriousness of the pandemic with innocence and laughter. Similar to the nursery rhyme “Ring Around The Rosie’” that children sang during the Great Plague. I had so much fun creating this song and video and I hope the audience experiences that same joy, at least for a small moment.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Los Angeles to someone who has never been there before?
Alu – There are way too many humans here and not enough martians.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Alu – I love that I’m not bound to any one genre or set of instruments and I have the freedom to explore and blend styles into my own unique sound. As a solo artist, my options are infinite.
Music Bugle – What is your favorite aspect of being a songwriter?
Alu – I love observing the human condition and translating my observations into songs. I enjoy exploring moods of light and dark and many of my songs range in themes from tragedy, to whimsy, to dark comedy.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Alu – Obviously, the pandemic has been super stressful for everyone and in many cases, tragic. Lockdown was rough and the world is forever changed. One positive thing that came out of the chaos, for me, is my song “Alu’s Not Dead.” Feeling inspired and creating the song and video were beautiful distractions.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Alu – Both. An independent artist can get more well-known through social media, but it can also be challenging, because we are competing with pictures of one’s pets and what someone had for dinner. Don’t get me wrong – I also love posting pictures of my adorable dog, but it would be brilliant if there was a social media site one-hundred percent designated to music and the arts. Sadly, some of the most talented artists will never be heard because they simply get lost in the shuffle.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Alu – My piano always restores me.
Music Bugle – What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Alu – Waking up each morning. Seriously. The randomness of life makes me question daily what will happen next and if any of this is even real. I feel incredibly grateful for each day, my loved ones and the music in my head.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Alu – “Don’t try,” from Charles Bukowski.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for as we start 2022?
Alu – That the aliens will finally come save us.