Throughout the past several weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several artists on the music scene whose sole purpose is to change the way in which this generation consumes and understands music from personal experiences. A hidden gem among Philly is its undeniable talents such as Aleana and others like her. With a sound that is both unique and soulful, Aleana is just what we need if you are into R&B, neo-soul, and everything in between.
With a release of her new EP Chapter 22, Aleana sits down to talk about her musical journey, career path, and hopes for the future.
Tell us your name, where are you from and what do you currently do for a living?
Aleana: My name is ALEANA. I’m born and raised in Philadelphia and I’m currently living a double life pursuing my music career while also working as a paralegal for a law firm in Center City.
Are you happy with your current job title, could you do your job for the rest of your life without getting bored? If not, what would you’d rather be doing?
Aleana: Is “happy” the term to use to describe my emotion? Mmmmm… not quite, but I am proud of my position currently working as a paralegal. To make a long story short, I resigned from my job of two years working at a daycare. So, the day after June 10th, consider me unemployed. To make extra cash, I worked with a family-friend over the summer, painting and finishing homes. That was very helpful but it became exhausting and I had to figure something out and quick. In the end, it was my mom who saved the day, when she came to me with a business card and a new opportunity in September. I began my life at the law firm almost immediately. I will say it can be very repetitive with my assigned tasks but it’s cool for now, I’ve been doing administrative work for as long as I can remember. On top of that, I’ve told my boss about my plans so, I get to take off for my shows, events and traveling when necessary as long as I let him know in advance. I don’t know where I will be next but this is definitely not my last stop. I would much rather be reading and setting up rehearsals but the hustle is on.
What’s stopping you?
Aleana: I think the only thing that could stop me now is me.
Do you have any children? If yes, how do you balance work and play? If not, how would having children affect your future? Do they fit into your idea of success?
Aleana: No, I don’t have any children.
What is one of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning? What is the last?
Aleana: I recently started a new routine where I give myself three options of either dancing, exercising, or meditating. For each of those, it depends on my mood and the time I wake up on how long I do it for but I try to for at least 30 minutes. If I skip that, I’m checking all my social media and emails and hopefully, I’ve put some music on to get me moving. The last thing I do is unplug everything and turn off the power strip in my room, can’t have the house burning down…
Who depends on you?
Aleana: That’s a good question. I could say no one or everyone. No one is depending on me for their physical wants/needs. I have many people that depend on me in all forms of communication.
Whom do you depend on?
Aleana: I depend on my team. My team is my manager, my band, and my fans. I depend on everyone. Ultimately, I depend on myself.
What recent creative venture have you taken on? Tell us the concept behind this idea, business, project etc?
Aleana: My most recent creative venture would include the last 8 months to a year, working on what is now my new EP, “Chapter 22.” My main goal was to improve my writing and to tell my story or others’ stories, about life and love. Those topics that I chose to address came as natural as the experiences had and some came from my imagination, being of something I wanted to manifest and obtain in some way. People always think there’s a “who” attached to the music, and that’s simply irrelevant. The music with seasons. The message is universal.
Who are some of the influential people that you follow on social media? In what ways has their work inspired you and your craft?
Aleana: I follow high fashion blogs, photographers, and makeup artists, all of which have so many elements that inspire me but to name a few: color, style, perspective, and innovation. The accounts that I follow usually deliver soft, whimsical but subtle and fashionable taste.
What inspired you to become a music artist? Who are some of your influences?
Aleana: Honestly, music chose me, it’s always been in me. As much as the stage fright kicked in, something in me never let me stop, and now we’re here!
Why should people listen to your music? What sound do you bring to the music scene this year?
Aleana: I am just the messenger, I was blessed with this talent that I hadn’t even discovered fully until I was 20 years old. It’s amazing how far honesty can go and when you put your experiences and those around you experiences on to a pleasant sound, it’s a win, win. This year, the music scene is getting original R&B, soul, truth, and spice.
What advice would you give to others who may be interested in doing your line of work?
Aleana: Be as authentic as your personality pulls you to be. Work hard, practice your craft every day in different ways. Nothing that’s worth it comes easy and none of it is easy. You absolutely need a team. And lastly, be confident and be present in your art!
How would your service or product benefit your customers or people around you?
Aleana: They can feel again… become vulnerable with themselves and be moved by the feelings they’ve been neglecting.
What kinds of problems do you face on a day to day basis regarding your business/brand? How do you normally handle the problems that come your way?
Aleana: I wouldn’t call it an issue but it gets tough strategizing when everything changes so frequently. To let that stress go, we just do it!
What practices or routines do you do daily to keep you up in spirits?
Aleana: Creating my future, I do it every single day.
Where do you see yourself/family in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years?
Aleana: In five years, I imagine myself performing full time and on a large scale, like festivals, and across the country. I’m anxious about how much my writing skills will improve in the next 10 years, wow, imagine that music… and I’ll be performing with a full Orchestra to back me. I’m excited! I want a family but my baby is this music right now. I’m only two years in!
Any advice you would give your younger self?
Aleana: Look in the mirror more, watch how you change! Be present and never stop writing.
Where can we find you on social media? What sites are you most active on?
Aleana: Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are my Top 3 apps, all the same usernames ‘aleanaop.’ On Facebook and Youtube type in “ALEANA.” You can Google search “ALEANA” and everything you need pops right up, lucky me! It took me a while to get to the top!