Night & Day
ALA.NI is a curious one. She hails from London, yet feels like she is from the 1940s or some pre-war peaceful world. Once a backing singer for the likes of Mary J. Blige, her eloquent southern twang is noticeable, yet when she starts to sing, the purity of her perfect pitch pretty much knocks your socks off.
Her show at Night and Day bar in the Northern Quarter was no different. She is a songbird, delivering feel good, easy listening tracks accompanied by light and airy guitar. At times you feel a bit dizzy listening to ALA.NI. Her sound is almost too soothing and too melodic. It’s impressive how a performer can really be like a waterfall, or a star-filled sky, or that feeling you get with a hot cup of tea in winter, yet not fulfil any cliché.
Songs such as ‘Cherry Blossom’ and ‘Woo Woo’ are nostalgic, comparable to Billie Holiday’s earthy voice. Even if like me you are on the younger side of 20 years old, ALA.NI takes you back to the days of Frank Sinatra; to a dimly lit club with slow dancing, elegantly dressed couples and mint juleps. In a way, supporting the fantastic duo Ibeyi was great for ALA.NI because unlike other gigs, ALA.NI’s show was extremely different from the jazz infused eclectic music of Ibeyi and this contrast boded well to highlight ALA.NI’s unquestionable talent, despite a few people chatting away in Night and Day.
ALA.NI also has an edge. She is witty, enticing and her performance was relaxed yet stylised showing her disciplined approach to music. It’s not all flowery, green fields and dreamy lyrics—ALA.NI has a spark that keeps you interested and is definitely worth keeping an eye, and an ear, on to see if that spark becomes fire.