Welcome back to Buzzmusic Alessa XO. Tell us about your visit to Puerto Rico. We hear it has served as inspiration for your latest release “Neverland”?
Thank you so much! I love being back here at Buzz Music for another feature, this time about my brand-new song “Neverland”. Puerto Rico is such a beautiful place that I was lucky to visit 3 times in the past. The nature and authenticity of the island served as a massive inspiration to what later on became my new record “Neverland”. I wrote the song after taking an hour long walk on the beach and staring at the waves of the ocean. It is the first song I wrote for the album and it was written in one day. If I had the chance, I would have shot my music video there like the artist Luis Fonsi did with "Despacito".
We listened and loved your record. What was the meaning behind this song? Were there any specific emotions you had to channel in while writing “Neverland”?
Neverland is an emotional record telling the story of two young people that are in love but are facing difficulties due to their family’s diverse socio-economic background. Neverland's theme was shaped by two famous tales: "Peter Pan" and Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". In the tale of Peter Pan, "Neverland" is a fictional island where young kids cease to age, thereby escaping adulthood and to take on responsibilities. The term is often used as a metaphor for eternal childhood, immortality, and escapism. In Shakespeare's well-known "Romeo and Juliet", two young people fall in love but their families are enemies creating thereby an impossible situation for the young lovers.
In my version of the story, a boy and a girl from two completely different worlds, depicted in the modern music video set in London by contrasting family structures and lifestyles, fall in love but their love is borderline impossible due to the girl's strict rich family. Neverland becomes a metaphorical place for the couple's dreams where they can eventually be together, and as it says in the song "where fantasies will never end" and where they will be "wild and free". The music video depicting that story was shot in London and Austria in the summer of 2018. One fun fact about the video is that
I actually incorporated my own family as actors, which was the best experience.
Can you detail the production behind “Neverland”? Were there any challenges or obstacles you had to face?
Neverland was a long and detailed production process and the song was changed a of times. The lyrics always remained the same, but the musical production was altered many times. I would not say we faced a lot of challenges because that makes the experience almost sound negative, which it was definitely not. The song, however, definitely took more time to be completed than the other songs from the album. We took a lot of time producing, re-recording and changing little details of the record but all in all, it was pure enjoyment. Neverland is one of the most thoughtful and artistic records of the whole album and I think the version of Neverland we ended up using is the one that perfectly captures the mood and vibe of the song and best tells the true story.
Working on “Neverland” was most definitely a lot of work, but it did not feel like actual “work”, it was an amazing time and a lot of fun. Neverland is originally a ballad, but we did two remix versions that can be used in clubs and at events. We did not want the fact that it is a ballad hinder it from getting more exposure amongst different musical environments.
We hear you have an upcoming album on its way called “WE ARE ONE”. Mind giving us a small hint on what we can expect from this project?
The album name stemmed from the message that I wanted to convey when doing the anthem for the World Bodypainting Festival in 2018. The WBF track was also called “We are one” and was meant to symbolize unity and artistic community. The album contains a lot of diverse tracks, all very unique in their own way. Some of the songs are strongly influenced by the EDM genre and others have classical elements worked into them. I personally am very happy about the outcome of each of the records that will be on the album because not one track is the same as the next. My personal life experiences and things I went through were the inspiration behind almost all of my songs. I want my audience to feel understood and to identify themselves with me and my art.
Which song off “WE ARE ONE” do you feel best represents this album theme and why?
This is a question that is impossible for me to answer but I guess the “go-to reply” would probably be “the song with the same name of the album” (We are one). However, since “We are one” was produced for a specific event, I almost believe that some of the other records better represent my artistic vision. I also think that, because the records are all very diverse and different from each other, there is not an exact theme that remains the same throughout the whole album. I would describe the album more as a journey that has the listener experience and go through different stages of life enabled through the messages in my artistry. I personally went through different stages in my own life when I wrote each record of the album.
What are you looking forward to the most this fall Alessa XO?
I am very much looking forward to releasing the music video for Neverland, which we shot in London last summer, the official record and remixes and some of the other records from the album in the near future. I’m also very excited about doing more collaborations with artists in NYC, being part of many more features and doing many more live performances. I love writing music, producing records, collaborating with other creatives, it is what makes me feel alive.