Althea is an emerging artist and musician giving a new lease of life to British R&B, the 20-year-old who released her first record only a year ago to critical acclaim with rave reviews.
Her latest EP Cold Thoughts sees the Althea embark on an emotional rollercoaster delving into relationship problems that most, if not all of us have dealt with at one time. The topics on the record hit hard and give us a taste of great R&B that many may not expect from a British artist; agiving us something unique that can cross over to an array of audiences.
#TBB10 recently spoke to Althea about her musical journey and how much her sound has evolved over the past year…
1# When did you fall in love with music?
I couldn’t really tell you the first time I fell in love with music, ever since I was young it’s always been a part of my life. My mum would always have music on around the house, it was something that was second nature so [it] was natural for me to fall in love with it.
2# Name the first song that inspired you to become an artist?
I wouldn’t say there’s one particular song, it was really just the overall love for music from a young age, and I guess wanting to emulate what I was hearing and seeing.
3# You’re a singer, songwriter and musician, what instruments do you play and which did you discover you had a talent for first?
I play piano, guitar and drums. Singing was something that came naturally to me. Once I started singing I wanted to develop my craft so I asked my mum if I could learn to play the keyboard, one of her friends was a keyboard teacher so I joined his class and it became my favourite instrument to play. After learning to play keys I started writing my own songs and then picked up the guitar and drums after that.
4# Who are your biggest musical inspirations and If you could choose any current artist to collaborate with who would it be and what would the song be about?
Firstly I’d have to go with Michael Jackson, he’s someone that my mum was always playing and hearing his music and seeing the videos was just such an eye opener for me. More recently I’d say Rihanna is a big inspiration, the way she’s always ahead of the curve with her music and creating the new trends, like when she had Future on her album before he got huge, and her song Work having that Caribbean style to it before it became so popular. Current artist to collab with, tough one, but I think musically Chris Brown can do no wrong, any genre/style of track he always delivers, so I’d go with him and probably a love song, make it a real R&B classic!
5# What has your journey been like for you this past year, do you think you have evolved not only musically but as a young woman?
Yeah definitely, I think personally and in music I’ve grown, got to know myself better, got to know what I want better as well. Probably more than anything I’m more determined to reach where I want to go now.
6# How would you describe the sound of this new EP? You worked extensively with producer Lone Wolf how did he help to evolve your sound?
If I was to describe it, I’d probably say vibzey R&B – a mix of R&B melodies with hazy and dark sounds. Lone Wolf is one of my friends from music college so working together came easily. I really liked his style of beats and I think they helped focus my writing by crafting the sound of the EP to bring out the different moods people feel in those situations.
7# The name of your EP is Cold Thoughts what made you choose this title?
Well I started writing it at the beginning of this year during the winter months and my aim was to create a project which captured peoples’ thoughts and feelings during different stages of relationships. So the two themes of ‘Cold’ and ‘Thoughts’ came together and stuck and I think it represents the body of work well.
8# How different is this EP from your debut See My Vision?
I’d definitely say Cold Thoughts is a more concise body of work, working with Lone Wolf for most of it we really knew what sound we were going for with the EP and from top to bottom I think it keeps you in a certain zone. Whereas with See My Vision being my first project I was trying to showcase a lot of different sides to me as an artist so the styles of songs are more varied.
9# What’s your favourite song on Cold Thoughts?
At the moment, Same Dream is my favourite song, listening back I think it really captured my thoughts and outlook on life and being an artist at the time of writing. It’s great being able to listen back and connect with those feelings and hopefully it allows other people to listen and connect with it as well.
10# What’s next for you?
Continuing to push the new EP, I just want to get as many people to hear it as possible and to take it in and enjoy it. Then after that, more music! I’ve been working hard and I’m looking forward to what I’ve got in store for this summer and beyond.