There comes a time in every artist’s life when he/she has to step into the spotlight on his/her own terms. For Janet Jackson, it was about Control. For Prince, it was about Emancipation. But for Alice Smith, it’s the art (and hard-won battle) of simply being herself.
The New York City–bred singer-songwriter-producer, known for her four-octave vocal range and stunning stage presence, made a name for herself with her critically acclaimed 2006 debut album, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, released on BBE Records. At the time, her artful blend of bluesy, soulful vocals and mid-tempo grooves garnered a passionate following that packed venues such as New York City’s Mercury Lounge and Joe’s Pub, while Vibe magazine gushed that her sound “evoke[s] Fiona Apple’s finest material.” Her single “Dream” was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the Best Urban/Alternative category.
“I’ve always written about and been interested in relationships,” says Smith, musing over her songwriting process. “I’m still interested in those things, because I think they are most important. However, I’m just as interested in how they relate to the self. I’ve been more consciously applying what I’ve learned about relationships in my outward life, to my relationship with myself inside.”
Although she has always been an artist at heart, Smith is now a mother, and she has been through some powerful experiences over the past few years. She emerges with new insights to realize through song. Still singing, of course, but today, stepping out independently, she has all the more reason to give them something they can feel.
Her music may channel Fiona Apple by way of the Ronettes.
Smith has gained attention for her unique personal style, a blend of 1930s chanteuse and modern-day hipster.
—New York Magazine
The music world is brimming with R&B torch singers, but feisty newcomer Alice Smith’s rock-star update on the girl-group pop and ’70s soul is getting her noticed.