While the rest of Chicago was rocking out at Lollapalooza for the weekend, Alma, Chicago-based pop/soul vocalist, managed to record every track of her upcoming album Tactics. Tactics, Alma’s first full-length project, will be released October 17.
“Recording an entire album in one weekend was ambitious! The whole project came together in a few months’ time and I credit the organization, consistency & initiative of Chris Thigpen, my bassist & creative producer,” shared Alma.
Alma, a newcomer to the Midwest music scene, would consider the title of communicator as vital as singer or songwriter to her art. Her new project, Tactics, is a calculated attempt to provoke thought about the human condition, supported by her neosoul sensibilities.
“I write and perform to inspire conversation about the things that matter,” says Alma. “Performing is fun, but my passion is the message, not the medium.”
Alma is quickly becoming a pro at both the medium and the message. Characterizing her medium, it’s hard to confine her to one genre. Neosoul comes closest, but her music has elements of jazz, pop, R&B and gospel. She performs regularly in Chicago and other venues around the Midwest, including Wisconsin music festivals Brat Fest and Lifest in the summer of 2014. In 2013, she toured the East Coast with Philly-based artist Kwesi K.
Drawing from her personal faith journey, the tracks on Tactics explore human nature with themes like jealousy in “Blind Side,” gluttony in “Honey,” as well as hope in “New Nation.”
Tactics’ sound showcases Alma’s skill in songwriting with eight original tracks that encompass a style reminiscent of Joss Stone or Jill Scott. Alma says, “In late 2012 neosoul stole my heart—and since then I've been sorting out how I want that to affect my own songwriting.”
In 2012, she released a demo Pass it On, with a more stripped down singer/songwriter sound than the upcoming Tactics. Her 2014 single, “For A Poet” gives a stronger foreshadowing as to what to expect from her new album. Alma graduated with a BA in Vocal Performance from Columbia College in Chicago in 2013.